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Old 08-05-2013, 05:27 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Default More Recovery Readings - August

August 1

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Flying is largely a matter of having the right attitude--plus, of course, good wing feathers. --E. B. White
The swan flies with majesty, confidence, and grace. It is made to fly, of course, but it learns as much about flying from its parents as it knows by instinct. It is not born with the ability to fly, but with the potential.
Each of us is born with the potential to fly in many skies. We may sing or dance or write or run, fix machines, teach children, speak, listen, sympathize. And we can do all things well, as only humans can. It is not the ability to do these things that makes us human; it's what we do with that ability.
Knowing how to prepare ourselves before we spread our wings is part of discovering what we can do. When we learn to ride a bike, we know we can do it; our parent's hand on the seat helps us know it.
Wanting to soar is the first part of the flight; it is studying, practicing, and asking for help that allows us to get off the ground.
What steps can I take today toward reaching my potential?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
The great artist is the simplifier. --Henri Amiel
Just as an artist creates through simplification, so a man's recovery process grows and deepens as he simplifies his life. This isn't easy to do in our fast paced and high-powered world. We have often complicated a problem by our way of thinking. Sometimes we take pride in how complex we can make something seem. We look for hidden meanings when the truth is on the surface. We give long explanations for our actions when none is called for. We suspect a person's motives when taking him at face value loses nothing. We take on a battle when we could just as well let it pass.
Most of us don't think of ourselves as artists. Yet we are each given a profound, creative opportunity - to fashion a meaningful and worthwhile pattern in our lives. As we seek to do the will of God today, it is as if we are taking a lump of clay and creating an image from it.
As I go about today's activities, may I find ways to make it a simple and creative expression.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind. Hone and spread your spirit, till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff. --Annie Dillard
Our progress today, and certainly our serenity, is enhanced by our willingness to accept all that we are blessed with today. Not only to accept, but to celebrate, trusting that these events are moving us toward our special destiny.
Flowing with the twists and turns in our lives, rather than resisting them, guarantees smooth sailing, helps us to maximize our opportunities, increases our serenity. Accepting our powerlessness over all but our own attitude is the first step we need to take toward finding serenity.
Resistance, whether it is against a person or a situation in our lives, will compound the problem, as we perceive it. We can believe in the advantages for growth that all experiences offer. We can sail with our experiences. We can be open to them so they can carry us to our destination. We can trust, simply trust, that all is well and in our favor, every moment.
My serenity is in my control today. I will look to this day with trust and thanksgiving. And my Spirit will soar.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
We learn the magical lesson that making the most of what we have turns it into more. --Codependent No More
Say thank you, until we mean it.
Thank God, life, and the universe for everyone and everything sent your way.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. It can turn an existence into a real life, and disconnected situations into important and beneficial lessons. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Gratitude makes things right.
Gratitude turns negative energy into positive energy. There is no situations or circumstance so small or large that it is not susceptible to gratitude's power. We can start with whom we are and what we have today, apply gratitude, then let it work its magic.
Say thank you, until you mean it. if you say it long enough, you will believe it.
Today, I will shine the transforming light of gratitude on all the circumstances of my life.

Today I choose to forgive instead of holding on to resentments. Today I choose to let go of all feelings that block me from feeling love. Today I choose to see everyone through the eyes of love. --Ruth Fishel


Hidden Treasure
Finding Another Vantage Point

by Madisyn Taylor

Seeing the world from another perspective can introduce you to all sorts of hidden treasures.

The ocean can look very different, depending on whether you are standing at the shore, soaring above in a plane, or swimming beneath its waves. Likewise, a mountain can look very different relative to where you are standing. Each living thing sees the world from its unique vantage point. While from your window you may be seeing what looks like a huge shrub, a bird in its nest is getting an intimate view of that tree’s leafy interior. Meanwhile, a beetle sees only a massive and never-ending tree trunk. Yet all three of you are looking at the same tree.

Just as a shadow that is concealed from one point of view is easily seen from another, it is possible to miss a fantastic view. That is, unless you are willing to see what’s in front of you through different eyes. Seeing the world from another perspective, whether spatially or mentally, can introduce you to all sorts of hidden treasures. The root of the discovery process often lies in finding another way of looking at the world. The common human reaction to insects is one example. Spinning its web in a dark corner, a spider may seem drab, frightening, and mysterious. But seen up close weaving silver snowflakes between the branches of a tree, they can look like colored jewels.

Sometimes, there are experiences in life that from your vantage point may seem confusing, alarming, or worrisome. Or there may be events that look insignificant from where you are standing right now. Try seeing them from another point of view. Bury your face in the grass and look at the world from a bug’s vantage point. Explore your home as if you were a small child. Take a ride in a small aircraft and experience the world from a bird’s eye view. Just as kneeling down sometimes helps you see more closely when you are looking for lost treasure, so can standing back help you appreciate the broader picture of what you are looking at. In doing so, you’ll experience very different worlds. Published with permission from Daily OM


Journey to the Heart
You Have It All

I was sitting at a camp in Washington's Olympic Forest, talking to a young woman. We were both enjoying the day.

"People forget that life and death are both part of life," she said. "They forget that young and old are both part of life. We live in a society that has everything separated. We live in a society that's forgotten the whole in holistic."

The whole. All of it. Male and female. Young and old. Life and death. Tears and joy. All part of the same. Parts of the whole. I want to have it all... We may have heard those words many times. We may have said them ourselves many times. I want to have it all...

Connect to the parts. You do have it all. You've had it all, all along.


more language of letting go

Learn to say thanks

This is my favorite story about letting go. Although some of you may already be familiar with it (I told it in Codependent No More), I'm going to tell it again.

Many years ago, when I was married to the father of my children, we bought our first house. We had looked at many houses with nice yards, family rooms, inviting kitchens. The house we actually bought wasn't any of those. It was a run-down three story that had been built at the turn of the century and used for rental property for the past twenty years.

The yard was a sandlot where there should have been grass. There were huge holes in the house that went clear through to the outside. The plumbing was inadequate. The kitchen was grotesque. The carpeting was an old orange shag that was dirty, stained, and worn out. The basement was a nightmare of concrete, mildew, and spiders. It wasn't a dream home. It was more like a house you'd see in a horror show.

About a week after we moved in, a friend came to visit. He looked around. "You're really lucky to have your own house," he said. I didn't feel lucky. This was the most depressing place I had ever lived in.

We didn't have money to buy furniture. We didn't have the money or the skills to fix up the house. For now, that run-down barn of a house needed to stay just like it was. My daughter, Nichole, was almost two, and we had another baby on the way.

One day, right after Thanksgiving, I vowed I would take some action to fix up this house. I got a ladder and some white paint and tried painting the dining room walls. The paint wouldn't stay on. There were so many layers of old peeling paper that the paint just bubbled up, and the paper-- at least the three layers of it-- came loose from the walls.

I gave up, and put the ladder and the paint away.

I had heard then about practicing gratitude. But I didn't feel grateful. So I didn't know how gratitude in this situation could possibly apply to me. I tried to have a good attitude, but I was miserable. Every evening after I put my daughter to bed, I went downstairs into the living room; then I sat on the floor and looked around. All I could do was feel bad about everything I saw. I didn't see one thing I could possibly be grateful for.

Then I ran into a little paperback book that espoused the powers of praise. I read it, and I got an idea. I would put this gratitude thing to a deliberate test. I would take all the energy I had been using complaining, seeing the negative, and feeling bad and I'd turn that energy around. I'd will, force, and if necessary fake, gratitude instead.

Every time I felt bad, I thanked God for how I felt. Every time I noticed how awful this house looked, I thanked God for the house exactly as it was. I thanked God for the current state of my finances. I thanked God for my lack of skills to repair and remodel the house. I deliberately forced gratitude for each detail of my life-- those areas that really bothered me, those things I couldn't do anything about. Every evening, after I put my daughter to bed, I went down and sat in the same spot in the living room. But instead of complaining and crying, I just kept saying and chanting, Thank you, God, for everything in my life, just as it is.

Something began to happen so subtly and invisibly, I didn't notice when it first began to change. First, I began keeping the house cleaner and neater, even though it was truly a wreck. Then people, supplies, and skills began coming to me. First, my mother offered to teach me how to repair a house. She said we could do it for almost no money. And she'd be willing to help.

I learned how to strip walls, repair holes in walls, paint, texture, plaster, hammer, and repair. I tore up the carpeting. There were real wood floors underneath. I found good wallpaper for only a dollar a roll. Whatever I needed, just began coming to me, whether it was skills, money, or supplies.

Then, I began looking around. I found furniture that other people had thrown away. By now, I was on a roll. I learned to paint furniture, refinish it, or cover it up with a pretty doily or blanket. Within six months, the house I lived in became the most beautiful home on that block. My son, Shane, was born while I lived there. I look back on it now as one of the happiest times in my life. My mother and I had fun together, and I learned how to fix up a house.

What I really learned from that situation was the power of gratitude.

When people suggest being grateful, it's easy to think that means counting our blessings and just saying thank you for what's good. When we're learning to speak the language of letting go, however, we learn to say thanks for everything in our lives, whether we feel grateful or not.

That's how we turn things around.

Make a list of everything in your life that you're not grateful for. You may not have to make a list; you probably have the things that bother you memorized. Then deliberately practice gratitude for everything on the list.

The power of gratitude won't let you down.

Being grateful for whatever we have always turns what we have into more.

God, show me the power of gratitude. Help me make it a regular, working tool in my life.


A Day At A Time
August 1

Reflection For The Day

Self-pity is one of the most miserable and consuming defects I know. Because of its interminable demands for attention and sympathy. my self-pity cuts off my communication with others, especially communication with my Higher Power. When I look at it that way, I realize that self-pity limits my spiritual progress. It’s also a very real form of martyrdom, which is a luxury I simply can’t afford. The remedy, I’ve been taught, is to have a hard look at myself and a still harder one at The Program’s Twelve Steps to recovery. Do I ask my Higher Power to relieve me of the bondage of self-pity?

Today I Pray

May I know from observation that self-pitiers get almost no pity from anyone else. Nobody — not even God — can fill their outsized demands for sympathy. May I recognize my own unsavory feeling of self-pity when it creeps in to rob me of my serenity. May God keep me wary of it’s sneakiness.

Today I Will Remember

My captor is my self.


One More Day
August 1

Oft when the white still dawn
Lifted the skies
and pushed the hills apart
I have felt it like glory in my heart.
– Edwin Markham

The world is one, a while, and we are a part of it. But sometimes, we are so enmeshed in ourselves — in the details of our lives, in the unfair limitations placed upon us — that we become closed and forget the rest of the world. We see nothing else. We hear nothing else.

But if we reenter the world, the natural balance there gives us peace and comfort. The beauty — splashes of color, fragrance of flowers, trees swaying in a breeze — is also our beauty. We inhale the breath of spring amid the sounds of life. All seems right with the world, and we are one with all life.

Today, I will find joy and meaning in being alive within a living world.

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

In God’s Care

Hope arouses, as nothing else can arouse, a passion for the possible.
~~William Sloan Coffin, Jr

For many of us, the past is sprinkled with endeavors that were never pursued to completion. Perhaps some pursuits were more complicated than we were equipped to handle. But it’s likely that, at times, we gave up the idea, or ran from the struggle, before we’d experienced the first major barrier. Then, unlike now, we were short on hope, vision, and confidence. Most of all, we probably lacked faith that a power greater than ourselves could guide our steps and help us make the decisions that would bring our efforts to completion.

By working our program, we gain confidence and new vision. As our faith grows, so does our connection to God. God is the source of hope, of all the strength and understanding we need for any challenge or creative endeavor.

With hope, nothing is so overwhelming that we can’t move forward, and nothing we really need will be beyond our grasp.

I will make use of God’s gift of hope to overcome any barriers I meet today.

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

Day By Day

Following the leader

Whether in the program, church, or any other organization, any mortal leader we may have is but an instrument. Should any of these leaders die, our true leader remains (as always.)

If we allow the absence of any person to turn us away from our Higher Power, we don’t know who our real leader is. If we allow the absence of any person to halt our spiritual progress or prevent us from doing what we know is right, we are not following our true leader, our Higher Power. All others are but temporary instruments.

Am I following my true leader faithfully?

Higher Power, help me recognize and acknowledge my true leader.

I will share my faith in my Higher Power today by..

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

Food For Thought


If we are listening, we will hear promptings from the inner voice. Often they are suggestions for small acts of kindness and love. Sometimes they are urgings to do a difficult deed in order to correct a wrong or to apologize for a mistake. Whatever the prompting, we are free to ignore it or act on it.

Often, ignoring the prompting would appear to be the easiest course. Why should we go out of our way to help someone else, particularly if that person is a stranger? Apologies are frequently embarrassing and deflate our pride. Reaching out to someone with love makes us vulnerable to rejection, and we fear exposure.

In the long run, to ignore the promptings of our inner voice is to commit spiritual suicide. These promptings are intended for our growth, and if we do not grow in love, we will atrophy and decay. Through the Twelve Steps, our Higher Power leads us to do many things, which we would prefer to avoid, but which ensure our recovery.

I pray for willingness to follow the promptings of the inner voice.
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