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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

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Daily Recovery Readings – June 1

Just For Today
June 1
Keep Coming Back

“We don’t have to be clean when we get here but, after the first meeting, we suggest that newcomers keep coming back and come back clean. We don’t have to wait for an overdose or a jail sentence to get help from Narcotics.”
Basic Text, p. 10

Very few of us arrive in NA brimming with willingness. Some of us are here because we are court-ordered to attend. Some have come to save our families. Some come in an effort to salvage a career teetering on the brink of ruin. It doesn’t matter why we are here. It only matters that we are.

We have heard it said that “if we bring the body, the mind will follow.” We may come to meetings with a chip on our shoulders. We may be one of those who sits in the back of the rooms with our arms folded across our chest, glaring threateningly at anyone who approaches us. Perhaps we leave before the final prayer.

But if we keep coming back, we find that our minds begin to open up. We start to drop our guard, and begin to really listen when others share. We may even hear someone talking with whom we can relate. We begin the process of change.

After some time in NA, we find that more than our minds have arrived in our meeting rooms. More importantly, our hearts have arrived, too. After that happens, the miracles really begin.

Just for today: I will strive to listen with an open mind to what I hear shared.

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Daily Reflections
June 1
A CHANGED OUTLOOK

Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84

When I was drinking, my attitude was totally selfish, totally self-centered; my pleasure and my comfort came first. Now that I am sober, self-seeking has started to slip away. My whole attitude toward life and other people is changing. For me, the first “A” in our name stands for attitude. My attitude is changed by the second “A” in our name, which stands for action. By working the Steps, attending meetings, and carrying the message, I can be restored to sanity. Action is the magic word! With a positive, helpful attitude and regular A.A. action, I can stay sober and help others to achieve sobriety. My attitude now is that I am willing to go to any length to stay sober!

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
June 1
A.A. Thought For The Day

Some things I do not miss since becoming dry: that overall awful feeling physically, including the shakes, a splitting headache, pains in my arms and legs, bleary eyes, fluttering stomach, droopy shoulders, weak knees, a three-day beard, and a flushed complexion. Also, facing my loved one at breakfast. Also, composing the alibi and sticking to it. Also, trying to shave or put on make-up with a shaky hand. Also, opening up my wallet to find it empty. I don’t miss these things, do I?

Meditation For The Day

You were born with a spark of the Divine within you. It had been all but smothered by the life you were living. That celestial fire has to be tended and fed so that it will grow eventually into a real desire to live the right way. By trying to do the will of God, you grow more and more in the new way of life. By thinking of God, praying to Him, and having communion with Him, you gradually grow more like Him. The way of your transformation from the material to the spiritual is the way of Divine Companionship.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may tend the spark of the Divine within me so that it will grow. I pray that I may be gradually transformed from the old life to the new life.

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As Bill Sees It
June 1
Miraculous Power, p. 152

Deep down in every man, woman, and child is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that Power in human lives are facts as old as man himself.

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

“Faith may often be given through inspired teaching or a convincing personal example of its fruits. It may sometimes be had through reason. For instance, many clergymen believe that St. Thomas Aquinas actually proved God’s existence by sheer logic. But what can one do when all these channels fail? This was my own grievous dilemma.

“It was only when I came fully to believe I was powerless over alcohol, only when I appealed to God who just might exist, that I experienced a spiritual awakening. This freedom-giving experience came first, and then faith followed afterward–a gift indeed!”

1. Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 55
2. Letter, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places
June 1
Selfish is always wrong
Inventory

It’s unfortunate that members sometimes refer to the Twelve step idea as a SELFISH program. If selfishness is considered a human shortcoming, why should we describe our wonderful program as selfish?

What we’re really trying to say, it seems, is that our true self-interest lies in the direction of helping others and sharing our experience and strength with them. To do this is to lose the “bondage of self” that is so destructive in the life of every compulsive person.

In this process, we’ll probably also discover that too much self-concern has made us unhappy and ill. Selfish, we’re likely to learn, is always bad.

When people say that ours is a selfish program, they really intend to convey the idea that it’s a “self-improvement” program. It’s our concern about others that leads to the higher forms of self-improvement.

Though exercising prudence and good judgment, I’ll take a healthy interest in helping others and sharing with them today. I know that my Higher Power will be with me in all my actions.

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Keep It Simple
June 1

We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
—Step Six

Character defects include being stubborn, feeling self-pity, and wanting to always be in control. We must be ready to give up these defects, or they will hurt us. Being ready is our part of Step Six. Our Higher Power will remove these defects. We don’t need to know how. We just need to be ready to give them up when God asks for them. We don’t need to know when. We just have to be ready.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, take away my self-pity, fears, anger, and anything else that hurts my recovery.  Help me make room for peace.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll get ready to have my character defects removed. I will list them and ask myself, “What do I get from keeping them?”

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Each Day a New Beginning
June 1

One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach; one can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few.
—Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Being selective in choosing activities, in choosing friends, in choosing material possessions fosters unexpected appreciation. Too much of any one thing negates whatever specialness might have been realized. If we surround ourselves with acquaintances, we never fully share in knowing a few people well. If we surround ourselves with “toys,” we never learn how we really want to spend our time.

When we don’t take life slowly, piece by piece (one shell at a time), we avoid the greatest discovery of all, the person within. When our attention to persons, places, and things is deliberate and steady, the beauty within the object of our focus shines forth, and we, too, are made more beautiful in the process.

Today, I will take time to smell the flowers.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
June 1
Our Southern Friend

Pioneer A.A., minister’s son, and southern farmer, he asked, “Who am I to say there is no God?”

I become a teacher in a boy’s school. I am happy in my work. I like the boys and we have lots of fun, in class and out.

p. 211

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
June 1

Step Nine – “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

Good judgment, a careful sense of timing, courage, and prudence–these are the qualities we shall need when we take Step Nine.

p. 83

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Xtra Thoughts
June 1

Two step formula for handling stress:
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
2. Remember that it’s all small stuff.
–Anthony Robbins

People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.
–Joseph Fort Newton

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything, they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.
–unknown

“God does not ask your ability or your inability. He asks only your availability.”
–Mary Kay Ash

When I find myself exhausted, I can rest, in knowing God is unlimited strength.
–SweetyZee

Life’s most rewarding gifts are those that don’t look like presents at all.
–unknown

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
June 1
OLD

“Old age is when you realize other people’s faults are no worse than your own.”
–Edgar Shoaff

Age is a great leveler! I am on a journey to God and this involves many stages of experience – some good and some bad, some painful and some exceedingly joyful, some confusing and others understandable. These experiences will take me into a period of life called “old age”.

Many people fear this period of life because it is connected with poor health, helplessness and death. I was afraid of age because a part of me feared the “mystery” of death. The “uncertainty” of death brought with it a lack of control! I am sure that guilt and fear of God were also involved.

Today I realize that we all have similar fears and concerns. Mystery brings with it a sense of awe! Today I have a loving God. Today God is involved in my life. Today, in my recovery, I have a perspective in my life – I am not all bad! Age is bringing balance.

Thank You for the balance that comes with personal forgiveness.

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Bible Scriptures
June 1

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Proverbs 15:1

“Love is patient.”
I Corinthians 13:4a

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
Ephesians 4:2

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:31

Rekindle the gift of God that is within you.
2 Timothy 1:6

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Daily Inspiration
June 1

You will be more effective and get to the next thing that you want to do if you concentrate on what you are doing right now. Lord, help me recognize when my mind is jumping forward so that I can refocus.

Do not act as though you are watching a parade because we are each one of the marchers. Lord, things change so quickly. Help me to celebrate the constant newness of my life.

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One Day At A Time
June 1
PERFECTION

“My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents, and I lay them both at His feet.”
–Mahatma Gandhi

I don’t know why I used to think that if something wasn’t done perfectly, it wasn’t worth doing. I was an all-time overachiever and to fail at anything was totally unacceptable. Since I set such impossibly high standards, it was hardly surprising that I couldn’t love — or even like — myself. I was constantly pushing to excel at those things I was good at, and I would beat myself up if I failed to meet my high expectations. I was especially critical of my body. I thought that if I had the perfect body, my life would be perfect.

When I came into the program I had to learn to not be so hard on myself. For the first time I began to realize that I was human and could still be loveable and worthy ~ even with all my imperfections and character defects. I am lovingly reminded by my sponsor and my friends in the fellowship to be gentler with myself. They remind me that I don’t even have to do the program perfectly. I just need to do the best I know how for that day; then I can see progress one day at a time. I don’t have to push myself to be perfect all the time in order to win approval or gain love. What a relief that is!

One day at a time…
I don’t have to be perfect all the time. I just need to be the best me that I can be for today…and that’s the way God intended me to be.

~ Sharon S.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day June 1

“You have to have a lot of patience to hear those old people talk, because when they talk, they talk about motivation, the feeling, the unsound that is around the universe. They explain everything to one understanding. They bring it all together, and when they finish, just one word comes out. Just one word. They might talk all day, and just one word comes out.”
–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

We need to be careful about judging the old ones when we talk. At first they may not make sense to us. Maybe we’ll say they’re old fashioned and don’t understand. But the old ones do understand! When they speak, listen very carefully. Often it will take weeks or maybe even years before we understand what they are really saying. This is the way of Wisdom. We need to listen, listen, listen.

Great Spirit, today, open my ears so I can hear the Elders.

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Journey To The Heart
June 1
Let Your Body Lead You

Our bodies can help provide us with direction.

Many of us have heard the expression I’m leaning toward that or I’m leaning away from that. When we’re centered and balanced, our body will help show us what we really want to do. We will literally lean toward or away from what we like or don’t like. We’v spent much of our lives forcing our body into situations, into energy fields and circumstances that it leaned away from, resisted, moved back from. Then we wondered why we hurt and felt uncomfortable.

The more we honor our body, the more it will help lead us. And the more it will become a natural guide helping us on our path, reflecting the desires of our heart and soul. The more we learn to trust our body, the more we’ll come into harmony with our natural rhythms, the cycles and movements of our lives.

Learn to open to the subtle guidance and messages your body sends to you about what it likes, what it dislikes, what it leans toward, and what it leans away from. Learn to see where it’s leading you. Talk to your body. Ask it what it wants. Then let it show you. Respect it enough to listen.

The more we connect to our bodies, the more we will live connected to our hearts, our souls, and be guided by the Divine. The more we practice listening to our bodies, the more naturally and easily this guidance and connection will flow.

Trust the wisdom of your body, for it often reflects the wisdom of your soul.

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Today’s Gift
June 1

Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.
—Helen Keller

Close observation of small children playing, ants moving across a dirt mound, a bird building a nest, a plane flying overhead, tomatoes ripening in a garden are quiet reminders of the many miracles surrounding us at any moment. Often we may wonder just how a carrot grows from a small seed. What enables a robin to fly south in the winter without getting lost? And then we remember the power of the Creator, and the presence of that power everywhere.

Just as the squirrel knows to collect nuts for winter, each of us knows we’re always being watched over by God. When we remember that, we feel safe and happy wherever we are, at school, a new friend’s house, home alone in the evening. Every moment is full of wonder, and God is always present.

What small things will I share with God today?

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
June 1, 2011

In music, in the sea, in a flower, in a leaf, in an act of kindness… I see what people call God in all these things.
—Pablo Casals

The Third Step refers to “God as we understood Him.” The pathways to meeting our Higher Power and to our spiritual awakening are all around. Every tree and every leaf on every tree, as it rustles in the wind, expresses God in our lives. When the little bird flies overhead or when it comes to visit the feeder, we are being visited by a spirit. When the sky boils with a storm, when lightning and thunder crash, we are witness to power greater than ourselves with a history beyond the centuries. The beautiful works of art created by our fellow human travelers on this journey through life are expressions of their courage to reach out and create something. A line of music moves us and we feel the spirit.

A child makes a drawing and gives it away. A neighbor helps you start your car. You treat the clerk at the checkout counter like a real person. Whatever word we use for God, if we decide to be open and receptive, we find God in the little details of our lives. Spiritual awakening is a wonderful daily occurrence.

God, open my senses to take in your presence more fully.

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The Language of Letting Go
June 1
Directness

We feel safe around direct, honest people. They speak their minds, and we know where we stand with them.

Indirect people, people who are afraid to say who they are, what they want, and what they’re feeling, cannot be trusted. They will somehow act out their truth even though they do not speak it. And it may catch everyone by surprise.

Directness saves time and energy. It removes us as victims. It dispenses with martyrdom and games. It helps us own our power. It creates respectful relationships.

It feels safe to be around direct, honest people. Be one.

Today, I will own my power to be direct. I do not have to be passive, nor do I need to be aggressive. I will become comfortable with my own truth, so those around me can become comfortable with me.

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More Language Of Letting Go
June 1
Learn to say relax

In skydiving, there is a position called the arch. It is a body position where the body is specifically arched from the neck down. The theory behind this is that gravity always works, and if the hips are arched, the sky diver will fall facedown toward the earth in a balanced, stable body position.

The trick to this body position is that it must be maintained in a relaxed way. If the sky diver doesn’t relax enough, the body will bounce around, maybe even flip over. Or, legs and arms won’t be in the right position, and the sky diver may start spinning out of control.

It is a deliberate, assertive, yet relaxed posture. It’s a place sky divers call “home.”

“You have to practice your arch,” my jump master had instructed. “And you have to learn to relax.”

“How,” I said quietly and sincerely, “do you expect me to relax when I’m falling through the air at 120 miles an hour to my certain death if everything doesn’t work out right?”

“Practice,” he said. “Get out of your head and let your body remember how it feels.”

During free fall, I was stable. I grinned at my instructor. This was fun. Then for a second, I tensed up. I started wobbling through the air, feeling like I was out of control. Finally, I took a deep breath and let myself relax.

There it was again. I had finally found home.

Whether we’re chasing our dreams, trying to let go of a relationship, trying to raise our family, trying to get to know ourselves better, recovering from a dependency, healing from a loss, or just plain going about our lives, we can find that place called home,” too– even when it feels like we’re falling to the ground at 120 miles an hour.

Part of the language of letting go is learning to say relax.

God, teach me to relax inside, even when it feels like the last possible thing I can do.

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Daily TAO
June 1
SLEEP

Sleep is like a swift train
Plunging into long black tunnels,
Slicing day with red and black light.
No worry about the skeleton engineer.
Head to pillow is like head to track,
Listening to the rumble of destiny,
Knowing that the opening will come.
In sleep, as in the tunnels,
The sound seems ever closer.

When you sleep, some insist that the world as you know it ceases to exist.  The world exists because something inside of you asserts that it is so.  When awake, are you then no longer dreaming? Or are you just dreaming another dream?

Going to sleep takes letting go. As any insomniac will tell you, it can’t be forced. But we so identify control with waking, is it possible that the uncontrolled aspect of sleep is an equal reality?

Sleep seems so real, and then we awake. Waking life seems so real, and yet we need to let go of it every day. This strange contrast is one that those who follow Tao contemplate continually. If life is mere shifting from one dream to another, they constantly ask : What is truly real?

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