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Old 08-30-2013, 10:33 AM   #31
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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August 31

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
I'm a trader at heart. . . except that I don't like trades that come out equally--that's too much like borrowing. I'd rather trade a strong hand for a patient ear or a story for a meal: anything that keeps things turning over. --Gordon Bok
There is an old saying that there are just two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. Those of us who are givers delight in it. We have a buck to lend when someone is broke, a kind word when they're down, a helping hand when they need it. But sometimes we givers are uncomfortable when we're on the receiving end. We brush off thanks and gifts and help, even when they're needed or deserved.
Those of us who are takers, on the other hand, know how to receive graciously what others have to give; we know how to ask for what we need. Often, however, we don't know how to give. We may be afraid our gifts will be wrong or rejected or laughed at.
We can all strive to become traders, people who have learned how to both give and receive. We each have the capacity to give what we have freely and to ask, gratefully, for what we don't have. That is the greatest gift of all.
What can I give and take today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
In the world to come they will not ask me, "Why were you not Moses?" They will ask me, "Why were you not Zusya?"
--Zusya of Hanipoli
We grow in the direction of the choices we make. That growth depends as much on how we make decisions as on which ones we make. Often in the past we tried to model ourselves after someone we admired. Our self-confidence was poor, so we depended on others to let us know if our decisions were correct, or we modeled our decisions on how we thought others would decide. Now we see that we can never become exactly like someone else and we need not try.
To each of us, God gives a creative task and a problem - to take our special abilities and limitations and become whole men. We use standards for our choices based on our best ideas of right and wrong, of what fits with our inner feelings, and of what our Higher Power is guiding us toward. Unfinished and imperfect as we are, we become more peaceful as we become more fully ourselves.
May I be true to myself in the choices I make today? I am becoming the man that I admire.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
Tears are like rain. They loosen up our soil so we can grow in different directions. --Virginia Casey
Full self-expression softens our being, while self-reservation makes us brittle. Our wholeness is enhanced each time we openly acknowledge our feelings and share our many secrets. The tears that often accompany self-disclosure, self-assessment, or the frustration of being "stuck" seem to shift whatever blocks we have put in our paths.
At each stage of our lives, we are preparing for yet another stage. Our growth patterns will vary, first in one direction, and then another. It's not easy to switch directions, but it's necessary. We can become vulnerable, accept the spiritual guidance offered by others and found within, and the transition from stage to stage will be smooth.
Tears shed on the rocky places of our lives can make tiny pebbles out of the boulders that block our paths. But we also need to let those tears wash away the blinders covering our eyes. Tears can help us see anew if we're willing to look straight ahead--clearly, openly, and with expectation of a better view.
Tears nurture the inner me. They soften my rootedness to old behavior. They lesson my resistance to new growth.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
I've been recovering many years. I've used denial many times. It has been a defense, a survival device, a coping behavior, and, at times, almost my undoing. It has been both a friend and an enemy.
When I was a child, I used denial to protect my family and myself. I protected myself from seeing things too painful to see and feelings too overwhelming to feel. Denial got me safely through many traumatic situations, when I had no other resources for survival.
The negative aspect of using denial was that I lost touch with my feelings and myself. I became able to participate in harmful situations without even knowing I was hurting. I was able to tolerate a great deal of pain and abuse without the foggiest notion it was abnormal.
I learned to participate in my own abuse.
Denial protected me from pain, but it also rendered me blind to my feelings, my needs, and myself. It was like a thick blanket that covered and smothered me.
Eventually, I began to recover. I had a glimpse of awareness about my pain, my feelings, and my behaviors. I began to see myself, and the world, as we were. There was so much denial from my past that had the blanket been entirely ripped from me. I would have died from the shock of exposure. I needed to embrace insights, remembrances, awareness, and healing gently, gradually.
Life participated in this process with me. It is a gentle teacher. As I recovered, I was brought to the incidents and people I needed in order to remind me of what I was still denying, to tell me where I required more healing from my past, as I could handle these insights.
I still use, and break through, denial--as needed. When the winds of change blow through, upsetting a familiar structure and preparing me for the new, I pick up my blanket and hide, for a while. Sometimes, when someone I love has a problem, I hide under the blanket, momentarily. Memories emerge of things denied, memories that need to be remembered, felt, and accepted so I can continue to become healed - strong and healthy.
Sometimes, I feel ashamed about how long it takes me to struggle through to acceptance of reality. I feel embarrassed when I find myself again clouded by the fog of denial.
Then something happens, and I see that I am moving forward. The experience was necessary, connected, not at all a mistake, but an important part of healing.
It's an exciting process, this journey called recovery, but I understand I may sometimes use denial to help me get through the rough spots. I'm also aware that denial is a friend, and an enemy. I'm on the alert for danger signs: those cloudy, confused feelings . . . sluggish energy . . . feeling compulsive . . . running too fast or hard . . . avoiding support mechanisms.
I've gained a healthy respect for our need to use denial as a blanket to wrap ourselves in when we become too cold. It isn't my job to run around ripping people's blankets off or shaming others for using the blanket. Shaming makes them colder, makes them wrap themselves more tightly in the blanket. Yanking their blanket away is dangerous. They could die of exposure, the same way I could have.
I've learned the best thing I can do around people who are wrapped in this blanket is to make them feel warm and safe. The warmer and safer they feel, the more able they are to drop their blanket. I don't have to support or encourage their denial. I can be direct. If others are in denial about a particular thing, and their activity is harmful to me, I don't have to be around them. I can wish them will and take care of myself. You see, if I stand too long around someone who is harming me, I will inevitably pick up my blanket again.
I tend to be attracted to warm people. When I'm around warm people, I don't need to use my blanket.
I've gained respect for creating warm environments, where blankets are not needed, or at least not needed for long. I've gained trust in the way people heal from and deal with life.
God, help me be open to and trust the process that is healing me from all I have denied from my past. Help me strive for awareness and acceptance, but also help me practice gentleness and compassion for myself--and others--for those times I have used denial.

Today I respect my body, mind and spirit and I am taking care of all three. I am gentle and nurturing, putting my needs first. Only then can I be well enough to help others with their needs. --Ruth Fishel


Journey to the Heart
Serve Gently from Your Heart

Service. Gentle service that comes from the heart. That's the theme, the rhythm of life, work, love. See the trees, the grass, the flowers, the mountains, the ocean. Look and really see. See how effortlessly they serve. Their very life is service. Know that your life,too, is service. Let service arise naturally from your life.

Commit to your growth, to loving yourself and following your heart. Commit to joy, passion, gratitude for your life and all your lessons. Commit to honestly sharing and expressing who you are, what you feel, what you're going through.

Don't worry about what you will do to serve. Focus instead on loving yourself. Let your service arise from that, acts that spring from desire, joy, and inspiration. Cherish your life. It's a gift not just to yourself, but to others. To the entire universe.

Each star shines its light down from the heavens, making up the twinkling galaxy of the Milky Way. Each star is important and serves by playing its part-- naturally, gently, by being what it is. You too have a part to play in the universe. Your part is to serve others by being yourself.

Service is your path. Let service spring gently, naturally, from who you are. Radiate your gifts to the world by loving and sharing yourself.


more language of letting go
Be a good guest

Guests come and go at the Blue Sky Lodge. Sometimes a sky diver comes to the drop zone for the weekend from a nearby town and needs a place to shower and sleep for one evening. Often, people come from around the world to train and jump at Skydive Elsinore, and it is a particular pleasure to offer our international friends a bed, showers, and the amenities of the Lodge.

Martin was one such guest.

After spending years in the military, he decided to have some fun with what he had learned. He now recruits skydiving trainees from the United Kingdom and plans training excursions at Lake Elsinore, staying for several weeks at a time. He frequently brings his wife with him, but occasionally comes here alone. On one such solo visit, we invited him to stay at the Blue Sky Lodge and were thrilled when he accepted our invitation.

All Blue Sky Lodge guests are told the same thing: Make yourself at home. The pool, hot tub, miniature golf course, DVD player, stereo, showers, food, beverages, books, prayer room, stunning mountain view, musical instruments, and contents of the refrigerator are here for your enjoyment. Help yourself!

"Martin was a good guest," Chip commented recently. "He swam, used the hot tub, ran, and sat outside and enjoyed the view."

I agreed. It gave us both pleasure to see Martin make himself at home and enjoy the gifts the Lodge has to offer. He was respectful and grateful-- a delightful humble air-- but he was also confident, and confidently enjoyed the pleasures and gifts available and offered to him.

What kind of a guest are you? Are you making yourself at home on this planet, whatever the circumstances you find yourself in? Are you taking delight and pleasure in the gifts and moments available to you, each day? Or are you sitting uncomfortably on the edge of a straight-backed chair, wondering if it's okay to help yourself?

We each have different gifts and pleasures available to us at any given time in our lives. Sometimes, we have to look to see what these gifts are. The pleasures may be as simple as a view of an old oak tree from our kitchen window, a big bath tub that fills up with hot water and comforts our body and soul, or a walk around the city block surrounding the apartment we rent.

Sometimes, the best way to say thanks is to simply enjoy with humble confidence the gifts and pleasures that are offered to us today.

Are you a good guest? Make yourself at home. It's your world,too.

God, teach me how to enjoy and savor the pleasures, gifts, and talents that are spread out before me. Help me learn to make myself at home, wherever I find myself today.


Healing Your Sole

by Madisyn Taylor

Exploring our feet through self-reflexology can be an easy and free way to support our mind, body and spirit.

Our feet are home to literally thousands of nerve endings and almost seventy acupuncture points, which is why foot reflexology is so effective. By massaging and stimulating specific areas on the soles of our feet, we can provide general support for our entire body, improve sleep patterns, increase physical and mental wellbeing and also alleviate chronic conditions such as sinusitis and digestive upset. Although it is wonderful to work with an experienced foot reflexologist whenever possible, we can also develop a practice of treating ourselves to a self-reflexology treatment if we take some time for this purpose before we begin our day or in the evening to relax before going to bed.

There are a number of different ways to work the soles of your feet, including walking barefoot on river stones, rolling each foot over a golf or tennis ball, or just using your fingers and hands to massage your feet. When starting a reflexology session, it’s a good idea to begin with loosening up your ankles – rotate each foot clockwise then counterclockwise about ten times. You might also want to pinch the end of your toes, which can increase circulation and drainage in your sinuses and stimulate your pituitary and pineal glands. Then you can begin massaging the ball of your foot, the arch, and the heel. If you find that an area is tender, it may indicate some distress or dysfunction occurring in the corresponding area of the body. You may want to explore what is going on with that organ or system.

Whether we are able to spend just a few minutes a day on this kind of self-care or a full half hour, our efforts are never wasted. By taking responsibility for our own health and taking time every day to connect with our body, we can not only assist our body in letting go of stress and dysfunction, but we can also continue to support an ongoing sense of wellness and vitality. Published with permission from Daily OM


A Day At A Time
August 31

Reflection For The Day

From time to time, I begin to think I know what God’s will is for other people, I say to myself, “This person ought to be cured of his terminal illness,” or “That one ought to be freed from the torment she’s going through,” and I begin to pray for those specific things. My heart is in the right place when I pray in such fashion, but those prayers are based on the supposition that I know God’s will for the person for whom I pray, I out to pray that God’s will — whatever it is — be done for others as well as for myself. Will I remember that God is ready to befriend me, but only to the degree that I trust him?

Today I Pray

I praise God for the chance to help others. I thank God also for making me want to help others, for taking me out of my tower of self so that I can meet and share with and care about people. “Teach me to pray that “Thy Will be done” in the spirit of love, which God inspires in me.

Today I Pray

I will put my trust in the will of God.


One More Day
August 31

A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally…
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Many of us are will aware of how easily tempers flare or tears can flow when we face an unexpected problem or situation. Perhaps illness contributes to this sensitivity, but we might also consider whether we’ve become more rigid. Are we holding too tightly to absolutes, wanting to have almost everything? Has coping with unpredictable illnesses driven us to seek predictability in other areas of our lives?

Maturity often means letting go of the need to control. We also find greater peace by allowing ourselves to be unprepared for people and events we can’t prepare for. There are no absolutes, and we don’t have to live as though there were.

I will be willing to consider new ideas.

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

Food For Thought

Accepting Guidelines

Some of us have gone through life thinking that we did not need to follow any guidelines. Somehow, we got the idea that special circumstances placed us above the rules. We looked for shortcuts and rebelled against the tedium of discipline. Considering ourselves exceptional, we decided to make our own guidelines. These were usually based on doing what we felt like when we felt like it.

When we get to OA, we may spend a short or a long time experimenting with the program, adjusting it to suit ourselves. Sooner or later, we discover that our adjustments do not work. The OA program works, provided we follow the rules and work it as it is, not as we might like it to be.

Once we accept the rules at a gut level, they lead us out of negative restraint into positive freedom. By following a few simple guidelines, we become free from slavery to compulsive overeating and self-centered confusion.

Thank You for Your guidelines.
"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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