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Old 10-10-2017, 09:25 AM   #11
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October 11

Daily Reflections


Our first objective will be the development of self-restraint.

My drive to work provides me with an opportunity for self-examination.
One day while making this trip, I began to review my progress in
sobriety, and was not happy with what I saw. I hoped that, as the
work day progressed, I would forget these troublesome thoughts,
but as one disappointment after another kept coming, my discontent
only increased, and the pressures within me kept mounting. I
retreated to an isolated table in the lounge, and asked myself
how I could make the most of the rest of the day. In the past,
when things went wrong, I instinctively wanted to fight back.
But during the short time I had been trying to live the A.A.
program I had learned to step back and take a look at myself.
I recognized that, although I was not the person I wanted to be,
I had learned to not react in my old ways. Those old patterns of
behavior only brought sorrow and hurt, to me and to others. I
returned to my work station, determined to make the day a
productive one, thanking God for the chance to make progress
that day.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

How good a sponsor am I? When I bring new members to a meeting,
do I feel that my responsibility has ended? Or do I make it my
job to stay with them until they have either become good members
of A.A. or have found another sponsor? If they don't show up for
a meeting, do I say to myself: "Well they've had it put up to
them, so if they don't want it, there's nothing more I can do? "
Or do I look them up and find out whether there is a reason for
their absences or that they don't want A.A.? Do I go out of my
way to find out if there is anything more I can do to help? Am I a good sponsor?

Meditation For The Day

"First be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer
your gift to God." First I must get right with other people and
then I can get right with God. If I hold a resentment against
someone, which I find it very difficult to overcome, I should
try to put something else constructive into my mind. I should
pray for the one against whom I hold the resentment. I should
put that person in God's hands and let God show him or her the
way to live. "If a man say: 'I love God' and hateth his brother,
he is a liar, for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath
seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"

Prayer For The Day
I pray that I may see something good in every person, even one I
dislike, and that I may let God develop the good in that person.

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As Bill Sees It


Every time a person imposes his instincts unreasonably upon others,
unhappiness follows. If the pursuit of wealth tramples upon people who
happen to be in the way, then anger, jealousy, and revenge are likely
to be aroused. If sex runs riot, there is similar uproar.

Demands made upon other people for too much attention, protection,
and love can invite only domination or revulsion in the protectors
themselves-two emotions quite as unhealthy as the demands
which evoked them. When an individual's desire for prestige
becomes uncontrollable, whether in the sewing circle or at the
international conference table, other people suffer and often
revolt. This collision of instincts can produce anything from a cold snub
to a blazing revolution.


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Walk In Dry Places

Keeping anger in safe limits
Dealing with anger
"The most heated bit of letter-writing can be a wonderful safety valve,"
AA co-founder, Bill W. said, "providing the wastebasket is somewhere nearby."
This is a delightful bit of advice about the right way to handle anger.
Writing an angry letter is at least a way of bringing our feelings out so
that we can see them. This is far healthier than the peculiar method of
"Stuffing" one's feelings and pretending that there was no hurt or offense.
But an angry letter, once mailed, can be more destructive than a bullet.
We may live to regret ever having mailed it. It could have unintended
consequences of the worst kind.
That's why the wastebasket becomes the second hand way to deal with
our anger. We throw the letter away and let time and wisdom heal the
matter. What usually happen under the guidance of our Higher Power
is that we find a much more satisfactory way of settling whatever has happened.
If I become angry today, I'll admit it to myself. Perhaps I'll even put my
feelings on paper. But I'll have the good sense not to go further with such outbursts.

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Keep It Simple

May you live all the days of your life. ---Jonathan Swift
The truth is, life hard. Accepting this fact will make it easier. Remember
how well it worked in Step One? Once we admitted and that we were
powerless over alcohol and other drugs, we were given the power to recover.
It works the same with life’s problems.
We can spend a lot of energy trying to avoid life’s hardships. But our program
teaches us to use the same energy to solve our problems. Problems are chances
to better ourselves and become more spiritual. We have a choice: we can either
use our energy to avoid problems, or we can face them. When we stop wasting
energy, we start to feel more sure of ourselves.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, life is to be lived, both the easy and the hard
parts. Help me face and learn from it all.
Action for the Day: I’ll work at not complaining about how hard life is. I’ll take
the same energy and us it to solve problems I may face.

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Each Day a New Beginning

Be still and listen to the stillness within. --Darlene Larson Jenks
No answer eludes us if we turn to the source of all answers--the stillness within.
Prayer accompanied by meditation will always provide the answers we need for
the situations facing us. The answers we want are not guaranteed, however. We
must trust that we will be directed to take the right steps. Our well being is
assured if we let go of the control and turn our wills over to the care of God,
our messenger within.
How comforting to know that all answers are as close as our quiet moments. God
never chooses to keep them from us. We simply fail to quiet our thoughts long
enough to heed them. Our minds race, obsessively, all too often. We jump from
one scenario to another, one fear to another, and one emotion to another. And
each time our thoughts capture a new focus; we push the answer we seek further
into the background.
The process is simple, if I want to follow it. The answers await me if I truly want
them. I need only sit quietly and ask God to offer the guidance I need. And then
I will sit quietly some more.

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

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition


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 soon have to give me over to the undertaker or the asylum.

p. 7

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition - Stories

Alcoholic Anonymous Number Three

Pioneer member of Akron's Group No. 1, the first A.A. group in the world. He kept the faith; therefore, he and countless others found a new life.

The next thing they wanted to know was if I thought I could quit of my own accord, without any help, if I could just walk out of the hospital and never take another drink. If I could, that was wonderful, that was just fine, and they would very much appreciate a person who had that kind of power, but they were looking for a man that knew he had a problem, and knew that he couldn't handle it himself and needed outside help. The next question, they wanted to know was if I believed in a Higher Power. I had no trouble there because I had never actually ceased to believe in God, and had tried lots of times to get help but hadn't succeeded. The next thing they wanted to know was would I be willing to go to this Higher Power and ask for help, calmly and without any reservations.

p. 186

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Seven - "Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings."

But again we are driven on by the inescapable conclusion which we draw from A.A. experience, that we surely must try with a will, or else fall by the wayside. At this stage of our progress we are under heavy pressure and coercion to do the right thing. We are obliged to choose between the pains of trying and the certain penalties of failing to do so. These initial steps along the road are taken grudgingly, yet we do take them. We may still have no very high opinion of humility as a desirable personal virtue, but we do recognize it as a necessary aid to our survival.

pp. 73-74

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A clear conscience is a good pillow.
--American Proverb

"It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get back up." --Vince Lombardi

There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range
risks and costs of comfortable inaction.
--John F. Kennedy

The first service one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as
love of God begins in listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is
learning to listen to them. It is God's love for us that He not only gives us His Word but
lends us His ear. So it is His work that we do for our brother when we learn to
listen to him.
--Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together

"Often we seek to grow or change ourselves by adjusting the external aspects of our lives. ...
We all too often forget that permanent or real change only comes when the center of our
being, our inner drives and motivations, undergoes transformation."
--Errol Strider


Father Leo's Daily Meditation


"Art is not a thing; it is a way."
-- Elbert Hubbard

In the spiritual twelve-step program it talks about "...a God as you understand Him."
This is a liberating concept that teaches us to risk and think "big". God is not only found
in churches, temples and rituals --- God can be found in the myriad of art forms. God is
always to be found in the creative. Because art is always concerned with life and truth,
God is always involved.

Today I am able to look for God in His or Her World.

In my recovery from the disease of addiction I need to discover the wonder and splendor
of life that got damaged in my drinking days. Art can help me to feel again. It helps me to
think and be concerned again. Art teaches me to be involved in life.

Thank You for the artist --- another aspect of priesthood.

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I will praise you O lord with all my heart.
Psalm 138 : 1

"Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their
trust in Him."
Proverbs 30:5

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Daily Inspiration

Weeds grow easily, but flowers need care and nurturing to bloom. Lord, may I turn away
from evil and tenderly encourage the goodness that comes my way so that I, too, may blossom.

Never doubt the power, the wisdom and the love that God has for you. Lord, thank You for
Your constant care and the certainty of Your love for me.

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NA Just For Today

Eyeglasses And Attitudes

"Our best thinking got us into trouble.... Recovery is an active change in our ideas and attitudes."

Basic Text p.53

In active addiction, the world probably looked like a horrible place. Using helped us tolerate the world we saw. Today, however, we understand that the world's condition wasn't really the problem. It was our ideas and attitudes about the world that made it impossible for us to find a comfortable place in it.

Our attitudes and our ideas are the eyeglasses through which we see our lives. If our "glasses" are smudged or dirty, our lives look dim. If our attitudes aren't well focused, the whole world appears distorted. To see the world clearly, we need to keep our attitudes and ideas clean, free of things like resentment, denial, self-pity, and closed-mindedness. To insure our vision of life is in focus, we have to bring our ideas in line with reality.

In addiction, our best thinking kept us from clearly seeing either the world or our part in it. Recovery serves to correct the prescriptions in our attitudinal eyewear. By stripping away our denial and replacing it with faith, self-honesty, humility, and responsibility, the steps help us see our lives in a whole new way. Then the steps help us keep our spiritual lenses clean, encouraging us to regularly examine our ideas our attitudes, and our actions.

Today, seen through the clean lenses of faith and recovery the world looks like a warm, inviting place to live.

Just for today: I will view the world and my life through the clean spiritual lenses of my program.

pg. 297

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
A musician must make music; an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. --Abraham Maslow
The same is true of a seamstress, carpenter, homemaker, lawyer, or mechanic. The question is, Who and what am I? What must I do to be at peace with myself? What can I be, for that is what I must be?
A lucky few of us find the answers to these questions fairly early in life, and we work to develop into the people we can be and must be. We do that by looking at our deepest desires, and ask what would bring fulfillment for us. We ask what we would enjoy doing most, what we believe we have the ability to be really good at. What is it that sometimes burns within us to be expressed or done? The answers to what we can be, what we must be, come from within, through asking ourselves these questions.
What kind of a person am I capable of being?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
What is most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine. --Susan Sontag
In recovery, we grow in many ways and become more comfortable with the many subtle colors in our personalities. We have a greater range of all human qualities available to us now. We are more light and playful at times and more serious at others. We can cuddle up like a dependent child, or we can be the one who is responsible under pressure. We can be tough and virile, and we can be soft and gentle. One musical tone playing in harmony with another makes a song more beautiful. Because we have made peace within ourselves, our masculinity is not threatened.
As we discover many new feelings and reactions, it is natural to wonder if they are normal. When we talk with others about the ways we have changed, we learn they have similar feelings. As we become more at peace with ourselves, the various sides of our personalities complement each other, and we appreciate the harmony within us and in our friends.
Today, I am grateful for the richness and variety within myself.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Be still and listen to the stillness within. --Darlene Larson Jenks
No answer eludes us if we turn to the source of all answers--the stillness within. Prayer accompanied by meditation will always provide the answers we need for the situations facing us. The answers we want are not guaranteed, however. We must trust that we will be directed to take the right steps. Our well being is assured if we let go of the control and turn our wills over to the care of God, our messenger within.
How comforting to know that all answers are as close as our quiet moments. God never chooses to keep them from us. We simply fail to quiet our thoughts long enough to heed them. Our minds race, obsessively, all too often. We jump from one scenario to another, one fear to another, and one emotion to another. And each time our thoughts capture a new focus; we push the answer we seek further into the background.
The process is simple, if I want to follow it. The answers await me if I truly want them. I need only sit quietly and ask God to offer the guidance I need. And then I will sit quietly some more.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
How easy it is to blame our problems on others. "Look at what he's doing." . . . "Look how long I've waited." . . . "Why doesn't she call?" . . . "If only he'd change then I'd be happy." . . .
Often, our accusations are justified. We probably are feeling hurt and frustrated. In those moments, we may begin to believe that the solution to our pain and frustration is getting the other person to do what we want, or having the outcome we desire. But these self-defeating illusions put the power and control of our life in other people's hands. We call this codependency.
The solution to our pain and frustration, however valid is to acknowledge our own feelings. We feel the anger, the grief; then we let go of the feelings and find peace - within ourselves. We know our happiness isn't controlled by another person, even though we may have convinced ourselves it is. We call this acceptance.
Then we decide that although we'd like our situation to be different, maybe our life is happening this way for a reason. Maybe there is a higher purpose and plan in play, one that's better than we could have orchestrated. We call this faith.
Then we decide what we need to do, what is within our power to do to take care of ourselves. That's called recovery.
It's easy to point our finger at another, but it's more rewarding to gently point it at ourselves.
Today, I will live with my pain and frustration by dealing with my own feelings.

Today I know it's okay to place myself first sometimes. Today I'm doing something very special for myself. --Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart
October 11
Honor Your Connection to Your Body

Our bodies are matter, the physical form we have assumed. They are infused with our energy, our soul.

My awareness of the body-mind-soul connection came slowly, over many years. I had spent many years denying I had a body, denying its importance. I felt disconnected from it, as though it were something apart from me, a burden I had to carry around and live with. Then I began to see the connection between my emotions and the aches and pains– and sometimes illnesses– my body was experiencing. If I didn’t feel the feeling, listen to myself, my body would pound out the pain until it was heard that way. Energy needs to be discharged somewhere. If it isn’t discharged, the body will absorb and feel it as pain. I began to see the connection between changes in my life and changes in my body, the way the earth marks changing seasons and cycles.

I began to get massages, exercise, and slowly trust the wisdom of my body. I became connected to my body. Yes, I was a soul. Yes, I had a heart. Emotions. Thought. But to live on the physical plane of earth, we need a body. Our body is part of us. It is us. It holds the scars of our life to date, the stories of our life so far, it contains the wisdom and energy of what we need today and tomorrow.

Honor your connection to your body. Honor and value your body’s wisdom. It can tell you many things about your life, your growth, your past, and your path. Learn to listen to your body , and it will speak openly and lovingly to you.


Make use of your imaginative powers

It was a small ad in a catalog for an electric flossing machine. "I don't have the time or energy to floss," the man in the ad declared. "That's why I need this machine to do it for me."

Too busy and too tired?

Some of us complain about all the things we have to do to maintain spiritual health. Prayer. Meditation. Attending support groups. All these things take time and energy, even though we get a good return on the time we invest. Now, we're considering adding another activity to our already full self-care activities list: spending time and energy visualizing to help create positive events in our lives.

When someone first suggested I use visualization as a tool, my reaction was similar to one of the man in the ad. I don't have the time. I'm too busy and tired.

But we're always thinking about something and creating pictures in our minds. Usually what we see are worst case scenarios. So why not take the time, effort, and energy we're already using to see things not working out and instead visualize things working out? If we've got enough time and energy to see the negative what if's, we've got the time and energy to visualize positive events,too.

Visualizing isn't a form of control. Just because we see things working out well doesn't guarantee that they will. But if we can see it, it's more likely to happen than if we can't see it at all.

God, help me use the powers of thought and imagination in the most creative way I can.


Setting a Limit to Sit with Emotions
How Long

When an emotion haunts us, it is often because we are afraid of really feeling it.

Our emotions color our lives with varying palettes. Sometimes we feel a strong emotion in reaction to something that has happened, but emotions also visit us seemingly out of the blue, flooding us unexpectedly with joy or grief or melancholy. Like the weather, they come and go, influencing our mental state with their particular vibration. Sometimes a difficult emotion hangs around longer than we would like, and we begin to wonder when it will release its hold on us. This is often true of grief stemming from loss, for example, or lingering anger over a past event.

Usually, if we allow ourselves to feel our emotions fully when they come up, they recede naturally, giving way to another and another. When an emotion haunts us, it is often because we are afraid of really feeling it. Emotions like despair and rage are powerful, and it is natural to want to hold them at bay. Certainly, we don’t want to let them take us over so that we say or do things we later regret. When we are facing this kind of situation, it can be helpful to ask the spirit, “How long do I need to sit with these emotions, how long do I need to feel these emotions before they can pass?” If you ask sincerely and wait, an answer will come. Setting a time limit on your engagement with that difficult emotion may be just the technique you need to face it fully.

When you have a sense of how much time you need to spend, set a timer. Sit down and make yourself available to the emotion that has been nagging you. All you have to do is feel it. Avoid getting attached to it or rejecting it. Simply let it ebb and flow within you. Emotions are by their nature cyclical, so you can trust that just as one reaches its apex it will pass. Each time you sit with its presence without either repressing or acting out, you will find that that difficult emotion was the catalyst for much needed emotional healing. Published with permission from Daily OM


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

When I say the Serenity Prayer, sometimes over and over, I occasionally lose sight of the prayer’s meaning even as I repeat its words. So I try to think of the meaning of each phrase as I say it, whether aloud or silently. As I concentrate on the meaning, my understanding grows, along with my capability to realize the difference between what I can change, and what I cannot. Do I see that most improvements in my life will come from changing my own attitudes and actions?

Today I Pray

May my Higher Power show me new and deeper meanings in the Serenity Prayer each time I say it. As I apply it to my life’s situations and relationships, may its truth be underlined for me again and again. May I realize that serenity, courage and wisdom are all that I need to cope with living, but that none of these three have value unless they grow out of my trust in a Higher Power.

Today I Will Remember

God’s formula for living; Serenity, courage and wisdom.


One More Day

Power said to the world, “You are mine,” The world kept it prisoner on her throne. Love said to the world, “I am thine.” The world gave it the freedom of her house.
– Rabindranath Tagore

We all need to test our spiritual muscles. At first those muscles may seem weak. It’s natural after a lengthy bout with illness to wonder why we were chosen for pain, misery, or illness.

After a time, we become ready to learn more about our own spirituality. We open our minds and our hearts. As we explore this wonderful side of ourselves, we discover our worth, our strengths, our wholeness. And we discover that we are not alone, that a Higher Power is sharing His strength and peace with us.

Today, I will learn more about my spirituality than I knew yesterday. I will feel the peace and strength given to me by my Higher Power.


Food For Thought

Feeling Deprived

If I allow myself to feel deprived, sooner or later I will overeat or react with negative emotions. I am a human being, a child of God with the same rights as all of His other children. I have needs and preferences, which, if denied and repressed, will surface in a destructive way.

If those around me are eating a special meal and I eat leftovers, which I do not particularly like, I will feel deprived. I may become bad tempered and I may overeat later to compensate. I do not need to have what others are eating, if it is not on my food plan, but my meal should be pleasing to me. I do not need to have and do what everyone else has and does, but I can recognize my desires and preferences and satisfy them when doing so does not injure anyone else.

By overeating, I deprived myself of good health, peace of mind, self-respect, and an attractive appearance. By abstaining, I am making amends to myself for the deprivation. By working the program, I am learning how to satisfy my legitimate needs.

I trust You to supply my needs.


One Day At A Time

”Faith is not belief. Belief is passive.
Faith is active.”
Edith Hamilton

I always believed that God could relieve my suffering if He chose; however, I was overlooking the distinction of the required “partnership” between my choices and his strength. God is not a magician who, with artful finesse, will relieve me of the bondage of my free-will choices. He requires my attention -- and then my ACTION -- in order to work through and in my life.

One day at a time...
I am willing to test my faith by putting forth the required action(s) that will help me move toward my share of miracles that abound in this Program.
~ January K.


AA 'Big Book' - Quote

To Whom It May Concern:
I have specialized in the treatment of alcoholism for many years.
In late 1934 I attended a patient who, though he had been a competent businessman of good earning capacity, was an alcoholic of a type I had come to regard as hopeless.
In the course of his third treatment he aquired certain ideas concerning a possible means of recovery. As part of his rehabilitation he commenced to present his conceptions to other alcoholics, impressing upon them that they must do likewise with still others. This has become the basis of a rapidly growing fellowship of these men and their families. This man and over one hundred others appear to have recovered. - Pg. xxv - 4th. Edition - The Doctor's Opinion

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

To a practicing addict who lives wholly in the sensations of the body, the recovery state is one of utter boredom. But as we learn to live balanced in body, mind, and soul we will wonder why we ever thought the state of addiction exciting.

May I know that it is not so much boredom as me being boring that's my problem.

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

'We can do no great things, only small things with great love.' ~Mother Teresa

God does not want me to do extraordinary things; S/He wants me to do ordinary things extraordinarily well.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Being sober doesn't keep you sober.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

Today I know it's okay to place myself first sometimes. Today I'm doing something very special for myself.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

It was like: 'Hi, we are Alcoholics Anonymous, we're a fellowship of self-admitted alcoholics and pathological liars; we want you to trust us. If you can believe that, you can start getting well. - Doug D.
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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