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Old 12-31-2016, 05:47 AM   #1
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Icon24 Even More Recovery Readings and Meditations - January

January 1

Step by Step


Figures given in this foreword describe the Fellowship as it was in 1955
“Since the original Foreword to this book was written in 1939, a wholesale miracle has taken place. Our earliest printing voiced the hope ‘that every alcoholic who journeys will find the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous at his destination. Already,’ continues the early text, ‘twos and threes and fives of us have sprung up in other communities.’

“Sixteen years have elapsed between our first printing of this book and the presentation in 1955 of our second edition. In that brief space, Alcoholics Anonymous has mushroomed into nearly 6,000 groups whose membership is far above 150,000 recovered alcoholics.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, “Foreword to the Second Edition,” p xv.

Today, when tradition prods us to think in terms of new beginnings and resolutions, the history of AA as measured in the years between 1939 and 1955 assures us of a new start – if we work toward and apply the steps and principles of the program. In the years since this foreword, the number of recovering alcoholics has multiplied by more than 10 times. If the program has worked for that vast a number of people, why, then, can’t it work for me? It can, and if I have failed in the past, it is because I failed the program and not that the program failed me. On this day when we are encouraged to let go of the old and ring in the new, my recovery somehow appropriately begins with the hope that I, too, can be in that number of recovering alcoholics. So let the new begin. And our common journey continues. Step by step.– Chris M.


~ EASY DOES IT ~ (A Book of Daily 12 Step Meditations) ~


The new is but the old come true; each sunrise sees a New Year born.

~ Helen Hunt Jackson ~

We know that a totally new life can begin on any day of a year, at any hour of the day, or at any moment of an hour. That new life began the moment we decided to surrender and admit to a powerlessness over a substance or an impulse. It began when we accepted the fact that we needed help and could receive it simply by asking.

Many of us used to choose New Year’s Day as a time for making good resolutions and swearing off bad habits. When we failed, we simply shrugged and said, “Maybe I can start tomorrow, next week— or next New Year’s Day.” We were always going to “turn over a new leaf.”

Now, in recovery, we no longer depend on doing it all alone. We know we can stay abstinent only by sharing with fellow members.

Let me remember, each day in recovery is another milestone. I no longer have to use a calendar.


~ WISDOM TO KNOW ~ (More Daily Meditations For Men) ~

Hope smiles on the threshold of the year to come, whispering that it will be happier.

~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson ~

At the start of this new year, we look back at what has been and we look forward to the future. Our path has been filled with healing and hope. Rewards have come to us each day. Now, looking toward the year ahead, we can’t know much of what will happen, but we can recommit ourselves to our healing and sober path. We can have renewed comfort and optimism that we will not be alone and that we will be able to handle whatever comes our way.

The start of a new year is a good time to make lists of the things we fear, the things we hope for, and the things we are grateful for. These lists serve as a kind of snapshot inventory of our attitude toward the world and our relationship with our Higher Power. They point a direction for us today and for the year ahead. We can put these lists in a safe place until next year when we will bring them out as a reminder of where we were and a measure of how far we’ve come.

Today I once again turn my life and will over to the care of God. 


~ A WOMAN’S SPIRIT ~ (More Meditations For Women) ~

God does not require that we be successful, only that we be faithful.

~ Mother Teresa ~

It’s probable we have never equated success with faith. Being successful meant accomplishing worthy goals and receiving the expected praise. We may have even considered that relying on faith to help us was a cop-out. Fortunately, so much about how we interpret life has changed since joining this journey through recovery.

In Step Three we learn that God wants us to have faith. We are coming to see, in fact, that acting as if we have faith begins to feel like faith. Coming to believe that God’s only expectation is that we turn within for guidance makes every circumstance far less threatening.

Practicing faith promises that we will begin to feel successful in all our experiences because we are walking through them peacefully, trusting fully that God is at hand. Believing in God, being truly faithful, can be the greatest success of our lives.

I can be faith-filled today if I turn my life and my will over to the care of God. I will remind myself of this every time I get in the “driver’s seat.”


~ TODAY I WILL DO ONE THING ~ (Daily Readings for Awareness and Hope) ~

It helps if I do a little at a time

When I realized I had an addiction, I felt guilty and defective. I wanted to shake off the problem right away. At first, I couldn’t stay sober for long. I’d relapse and feel guilty and weak for having failed. I couldn’t see that I was making progress.

Nowadays, I have a better perspective on the process—both on the downward and the upward spirals. I can see that it took some time for me to develop an addiction, one day at a time. And it took some time to feel so miserable that I really wanted to get clean. Likewise, it will take some time—one day at a time—to begin the changes that make for recovery. It’s no fun to live with these problems, but I am slowly accepting the fact that change does not happen overnight. The most important thing I can do is to work at making some change each and every day.

Today I will do just one thing to help my recovery progress.


~ BODY, MIND, AND SPIRIT ~ (Inspiration and Support for Recovery) ~

Man, like the Bridge, was designed to carry the load of the moment, not the combined weight of a year at once.

~ William A. Ward ~

When trouble tumbles down on us, we are easily overwhelmed. We see problems facing us in the future, and mountains of work to do. We look at the past and see the pain and struggle of addiction. Looking at all this, we might feel despair. We can’t handle it. We want to run. Our thoughts begin to spin; we feel caught in a whirlwind. We feel we will break.

Then, softly, we hear the words of our Twelve Step program: “One day at a time.” We find we can slow down and take a moment to let the peace of our Higher Power touch us. Now we can take one small step at a time We can begin the task before us — doing the next right thing. By slowing down and taking action, we stop the spinning and find calm. We find that, like the bridge, we can handle the stress of the moment. And one day at a time, we can find serenity.

Today help me to stay focused on life, one moment at a time. Help me to hear the soft voice of recovery.


~ MORNING LIGHT ~ (Meditations to Begin Your Day) ~

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

~ Step One ~

A prayer is a humble and heartfelt communication with a power greater than yourself. A prayer can admit a weakness, communicate a need, or convey praise and gratitude. Prayers can unburden your heart, give you strength and courage, and deepen your faith and trust in a Higher Power. Use the following prayer as you work on your understanding and acceptance of Step One.

Step One Prayer Higher Power, I am powerless over my addiction. Addiction has controlled my life and made it unmanageable. It has had a terrible impact on my life and many others.

I am ready to let go of old patterns. I am ready to release toxicity from every facet of my life. I am open to receiving and using the tools of the program so I can take greater control of my life. Although I have felt unwilling to change in the past, I feel empowered today. I will no longer deny I have an addiction. Higher Power, I am an addict.

I ask for your help today with my addiction. I trust in your power and believe that, through your guidance, you will lead me into a true lightness of living—free at last from my addiction. Higher Power, thank you for listening.


~ NIGHT LIGHT ~ (A Book Of Nighttime Meditations) ~

It is as important to relax our minds as it is to concentrate them.

~ Charles B. Newcomb ~

After a day of activity, our bodies naturally need to slow down. We yawn, our muscles stiffen, our eyes want to close. Yet our minds can be racing at top speed. How do we learn to slow down our thoughts and relax? We first need to realize we don’t have to do it all ourselves. We can ask for help from a book, a relaxation tape, a class or workshop, a movie, or music. And we can learn how to unwind from others.

For most of our lives, we learned how to be tense. Now we need to learn how to relax. Just as we didn’t learn our tension in one night, we also won’t learn relaxation in one night. But we can begin tonight to find some methods that will work for us. We can try, a little bit at a time, to become familiar with how it feels to have a more relaxed mind. Tonight can be a beginning.

Am I willing to unlearn my tensions? What resources can I use tonight to help me relax my mind?


~ DAY BY DAY ~ (Daily Meditations for Recovering Addicts) ~

Living today

The beginning of the New Year will often bring back sad memories. This has been the big day for hangovers, coming down, remorse, guilt, and shame. But if we stay with our new purpose—staying clean and staying close to our Higher Power—we don’t have to fear the New Year. God has forgiven our past mistakes and tomorrow is not yet here. If we do what we know is right today, all else will be taken care of.

It’s not always easy to do what is necessary today, but it’s impossible to change yesterday or to guarantee what tomorrow will bring. Our year will unfold better by living each day as it comes instead of regretting the past or anticipating the future.

Am I learning to live one day at a time?

I pray for the willingness to deal with today, instead of being obsessed with the past or the future.

My plan for living today is

God help me to stay clean and sober today!


~ IF YOU WANT WHAT WE HAVE ~ (Sponsorship Meditations) ~

Whatever happens at all happens as it should.



I came to this meeting, but I don’t know if I belong here. I just don’t know.


We have a saying: “Nobody gets here by mistake.”

For many of us, this means that something inside us knows we need help and that we’re in the process of becoming willing to accept it. Some of us are drawn here thinking, at first, that we’ve come because of someone else’s problem; then we discover that we’ve also come for ourselves. Some of us sense immediately that we belong here; some come to this feeling over time; some never feel they belong. Our arriving at the first meeting can seem mysterious until we realize how unlikely it is for a person with no relationship to addiction whatsoever to show up here.

Since you can’t decide whether you belong here or not, why not stay? Consider it a gift that’s been offered you, a chance to explore your relationship to addiction. You are entitled to be here. The only “qualification” for membership is a desire to quit our addictive substance or behavior. Unless you cause a disruption, no one’s going to ask you to leave a meeting. Relax, sit back, and listen. See if you identify with any of the feelings that you hear people share, whether or not their specific life experiences mirror yours. If you keep coming, more will be revealed in time.

Today, I am where I’m supposed to be.



Without the introduction of a purpose into our lives we would be but dried-up drunks, wallowing in self-pity for the loss of that which we were forced to deny ourselves in order to bring about some semblance of order in our lives. We would be “off the bottle” but not for a moment happy about it — never with any sense of security.

We who have found AA have introduced that something into our lives that enabled us, with the Grace of God, to “fix” ourselves.

We have not given up anything — we have acquired something; we are no longer frustrated people, because we have introduced into our lives a reliance in a Power greater than ourselves, that we did not have before. That Power has opened up a new way of life, free of worry, fear and frustration.


~ POCKET SPONSOR ~ (Back to the Basics for Addiction Recovery) ~

To earn respect, we must live responsibly. To live responsibly, we must identify and clarify our personal value system, then act on a daily basis in accordance with that value system.

Respect is for the respectable.


~ The 12 STEP PRAYER BOOK ~ (A Collection of Favorite 12 Step Prayers and Inspirational Readings) ~

Serenity Prayer

God, grant me
The serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things I can;
The wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.


~ AROUND THE YEAR WITH EMMET FOX ~ (A Book of Daily Readings) ~


There exists a mystic power that is able to transform your life so thoroughly, so radically, so completely, that when the process is completed your own friends would hardly recognize you, and, in fact, you would scarcely be able to recognize yourself.

It can lift you out of an invalid’s bed, and free you to go out into the world to shape your life as you will. It can throw open the prison door and liberate the captive.

This power can do for you that which is probably the most important thing of all in your present stage: it can find your true place in life for you, and put you into it. This power is really no less than the primal Power of Being, and to discover that Power is the divine birthright of all men, women and children.

…The Kingdom of God is within you…(Luke 17:21)

…Seek ye first the kingdom of God…and all these…things shall be added… (Mathew 6:33)


~ A DEEP BREATH OF LIFE ~ (365 Daily Inspirations for Heart-Centered Living) ~

Clean Slate

Grand adventures await those who are willing to turn the corner.

~ Chinese fortune cookie ~

In the film Clean Slate, Dana Carvey portrays a man named Pogue who has an unusual type of amnesia—when he goes to sleep each night, he forgets everything that happened to him before that time. A woman who had once manipulated Pogue asks him, “Can you ever forgive me for what I did to you last week?”

In an utterly childlike way, Pogue shrugs his shoulders and answers, “Sure!” Of course he can— he doesn’t have the slightest clue what she did to him! As far as he is concerned, nothing ever happened; his relationship with her is as new as the current day.

As you enter this new year, nothing in the past has any power to affect what you do now. You are an entirely new person, different from the person you were. This year has never been lived before, and you have never had the consciousness you now have. You are setting sail on a great ad–venture determined only by how grand you are willing to think. This year, think big thoughts to create miraculous results.

I pray to start over. No matter what has happened, I am willing to let today be new. Thank you for the chance to begin again.

Today I begin anew. I see through the eyes of innocence.
"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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