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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.

+ Alcoholics Anonymous Online Meeting Finder
+ Overeaters Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Narcotics Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – May 6

Just For Today
May 6
Are We Having Fun Yet?

“In time, we can relax and enjoy the atmosphere of recovery.”
Basic Text, pp. 53-54

Imagine what would happen if a newcomer walked into one of our meetings and was met by a group of grim-faced people gripping the arms of their chairs with white knuckles. That newcomer would probably bolt, perhaps muttering, “I thought I could get off drugs and be happy.”

Thankfully, our newcomers are usually met by a group of friendly, smiling folks who are obviously fairly content with the lives they’ve found in Narcotics Anonymous. What an enormous amount of hope this provides! A newcomer, whose life has been deadly serious, is strongly attracted by an atmosphere of laughter and relaxation. Coming from a place where everything is taken seriously, where disaster always waits around the next corner, it’s a welcome relief to enter a room and find people who generally don’t take themselves too seriously, who are ready for something wonderful.

We learn to lighten up in recovery. We laugh at the absurdity of our addiction. Our meetings—those rooms filled with the lively, happy sounds of percolating coffee, clattering chairs, and laughing addicts—are the gathering places where we first welcome our newcomers and let them know that, yes, we’re having fun now.

Just for today: I can laugh at myself. I can take a joke. I will lighten up and have some fun today.

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Daily Reflections
May 6
“HOLD BACK NOTHING”

The real tests of the situation are your own willingness to confide and your full confidence in the one with whom you you share your first accurate self-survey. . . . Provided you hold back nothing, your sense of relief will mount from minute to minute. The dammed-up emotions of years break out of their confinement, and miraculously vanish as soon as they are exposed. As the pain subsides, a healing tranquility takes its place.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS p. 61-62,

A tiny kernel of locked-in feelings began to unfold when I first attended A.A. meetings and self-knowledge then became a learning task for me. This new self-understanding brought about a change in my responses to life’s situations. I realized I had the right to make choices in my life, and the inner dictatorship of habits slowly lost its grip.  I believe that if I seek God I can find a better way to live and I ask Him daily to assist me in living a sober life.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
May 6
A.A. Thought For The Day

I’ve noticed that the ones who do the most for A.A. are not in the habit of boasting about it. The danger of building myself up too much is that, if I do, I’m in danger of having a fall. That pattern of thought goes with drinking. If one side of a boat gets too far up out of the water, it’s liable to tip over. Building myself up and drinking go together.  One leads to the other. So if I’m going to stay sober, I’ve got to keep small. Have I got the right perspective on myself?

Meditation For The Day

The way sometimes seems long and weary. So many people today are weary. The weariness of others must often be shared by me.  The weary and the heavy laden, when they come to me, should be helped to find the rest that I have found. There is only one sure cure for world-weariness and that is turning to spiritual things. In order to help bring about the turning of the weary world to God, I must dare to suffer, dare to conquer selfishness in myself, and dare to be filled with spiritual peace in the face of all the weariness of the world.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may be a help to discouraged people. I pray that I may have the courage to help bring about what the weary world needs but does not know how to get.

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As Bill Sees It
May 6
“Admitted to God . . .”, p. 126

Provided you hold back nothing in taking the Fifth Step, your sense of relief will mount from minute to minute. The dammed-up emotions of years break out of their confinement, and miraculously vanish as soon as they are exposed. As the pain subsides, a healing tranquillity takes its place. And when humility and serenity are so combined, something else of great moment is apt to occur.

Many an A.A., once agnostic or atheist, tells us that it was during this stage of Step Five that he first actually felt the presence of God.  And even those who already had faith often become conscious of God as they never were before.

12 & 12, p. 62

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Walk in Dry Places
May 6
Dealing with Fear
Challenges

Some of us suffer from a free-floating anxiety that is like a general fear, while others have specific fears that cause distress. Sometimes the specific fears are easier to face, because they can at least be identified. Most of us dread that other kind— a sort of general apprehension that things are not well or that something very bad is about to happen.

It’s reasonable to have some fear when facing trouble or risk. It’s unreasonable, however, to let fear keep us from acting in our own best interests. A review of the past may show that may of us did that while drinking– and brought even more calamities upon ourselves.

Whatever the fear, the answer is always the same. We must apply our principles to the problem, take ay reasonable action and then place the outcome in God’s hands. No person can do more than this.

This will not bring permanent victory over fear. It will however, give us confidence in the program as a tool for dealing with fears that arise in the future.

I may have to deal with fear today, but I will accept it as part of the human condition. I know that I have great spiritual resources to deal with any fear that might arise, and this gives me confidence and reassurance.

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Keep It Simple
May 6

Anyone who follows a middle course is called a sage.
— Maimonides

Much of the wisdom of our program is about how to live in the middle. We learn how to pause and think before we act. We ask, “What is the best way to handle this?” We look for the smooth part of the road. Our actions tell us who we are. We listen to our actions, and we think about them. This listening and thinking takes time. This slows us down. It’s good for us. It gives us time to talk with our Higher Power. After all, we want our actions to come from the new values our Higher Power has given us. Thus, over time we act and feel wiser. The wisdom of the program becomes part of who we are.

Prayer for the Day: I pray that I I don’t get caught up in the rush of the day. Higher Power, teach me to stop and think, to seek Your wisdom.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll set aside time to think, meditate, and be alone. I will listen to what’s inside me.

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Each Day a New Beginning
May 6

I stand before you as a tower of strength, the weight of the world on my shoulders. As you pass through my life, look, but not too close, for I fear I will expose the vulnerable me.
–Deidra Sarault

Vulnerability is as much a part of being human as is strength. Our vulnerability prevents our strength from becoming hard, brittle, self-serving. Our soft edges invite others’ openness and their expressions of love.

We learned long ago to be “strong.” We were encouraged to need no help, to need nobody. Now, we struggle to ask for help. As we grow in understanding of our human needs, and as we become more aware of the spiritual help available, the difficulty of reaching out to others is eased.

No longer need we look to pills, booze, food, or lovers for strength. All the strength we’ll ever need is as close as our thoughts. At this moment, we are a tower of strength, not one weighted with burdens. Rather, our strength is a gift of our connection to a spiritual power that can free us from all the troubles we shoulder. Our vulnerable selves will open our souls to the flood of strength just waiting for our prayers.

I will be as strong as I need to be, when I tap the spiritual source that awaits my call. I will risk my vulnerable self today.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
May 6
LISTENING TO THE WIND

– It took an “angel” to introduce this Native American woman to A.A. and recovery.

The Twelve Steps worked like a crowbar, prying into my dishonesty and fear. I didn’t like the things I learned about myself, but I didn’t want to go back where I had come from. I found out that there was no substance on the planet that could help me get honest. I would do just about anything to avoid working on myself.

pp. 467-468

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
May 6

Step Four – “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

Some will object to many of the questions posed, because they think their own character defects have not been so glaring. To these it can be suggested that a conscientious examination is likely to reveal the very defects the objectionable questions are concerned with. Because our surface record hasn’t looked too bad, we have frequently been abashed to find that this is so simply because we have buried these self same defects deep down in us under thick layers of self-justification. Whatever the defects, they have finally ambushed us into alcoholism and misery.

pp. 53-54

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Xtra Thoughts
May 6

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
–Anne Bradstreet

We can find no better insurance policy, than working a diligent program.
–SweetyZee

Today, I will come back to balance with any need or want that seems to be controlling my life. Instead of dwelling on it, I’ll give it to God and focus on taking care of myself.
–Melody Beattie

God is the only constant.
–Ruth Casey

At times fear grips me and I can concentrate only on the anxiety. Then I realize I am in God’s care and I need only trust and the fear subsides.
–Michele Fedderly

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
May 6
CHILDLIKE

“In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.”
–Friedrich Nietzsche

My spiritual program means that I can play and have fun in my life. I am forty years old and I can still enjoy going on the swings in the park.  But more importantly I have a daily sense of adventure. My eyes light up as I ask: How? When? Where? These words still dominate my life.

I can still get excited about life; I can still get excited about my life.

God is forever present in His world of color, movement and change.  But for me God is most clearly seen in people. They are a constant fascination for me. Part of my play involves people-watching and as I gaze my mouth still opens in amazement. The child in me still enjoys the world in which I play.

Thank You for toys, people and “difference” because they add color to my life.

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Bible Scriptures
May 6

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Galatians 5:1

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
Galatians 5:13-15

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
James 5:16

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Matthew 16:23

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Romans 12:16

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
– Proverbs 5:18

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Daily Inspiration
May 6

Each day offers many situations for accomplishment, joy, change and personal growth. Lord, grant me the ability to recognize these moments and the energy to benefit from these daily opportunities.

God knows what is best for you in all matters of your life. Rely on His wisdom. Lord, I place my trust in You because You answer every prayer.

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A Day At A Time
May 6

Reflection For The Day

So many of us suffer from despair.  Yet we don’t realize that despair is purely the absence of faith.  As long as we’re willing to turn to God for help in our difficulties, we cannot despair.  When we’re troubled and can’t see a way out, it’s only because we imagine that all solutions depend on us.  The Program teaches us to let go of overwhelming problems and let God handle them for us.  When I consciously surrender my will to God’s will, do I see faith at work in my life?

Today I Pray

May I be free of despair and depression, those two “down D’s” that are the result of feelings of helplessness.  May I know that I am never without the help of God, that I am never helpless when He is with me.  If I have faith, I need never be “helpless and hopeless.”

Today I Will Remember

Despair is the absence of Faith.

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One More Day
May 6

Troubles, like babies, grow larger by nursing.
— Lady Holland

The more we allow ourselves to fret about our troubles, the larger they appear to grow. Soon they are blown out of proportion.

Perhaps we need to set some time aside each day specifically for worrying. It’s much easier to put our worrisome thoughts out of our minds if we know that we will deal with them at a certain time every day. This “worry time” will also give us the chance to decide whether we have any control over these problems or whether we should just let them go. None of us is without problems, and if we address them with some serious thinking time each day, we should be able to free our minds for some of the more important things in our lives — like personal growth and development of values.

I will strike a happy balance between worries and joys.

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One Day At A Time
May 6
EXPECTATIONS

“The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.”
–Abraham Lincoln

Being a rational, logical person I have always worked from the premise that If I did something then the following would be the outcome and maybe in the scientific world that may have been true. But in the real world of relationships and people it certainly doesn’t work like that as I have discovered since coming into program. As it says in the Big Book “serenity is inversely proportional to one’s expectations” and I know now how true this is.

Just recently after having set a boundary with my son I was expecting all sorts of repercussions and imagined him trying to talk me out of my decision and the result was that I lost my serenity and became really anxious. Of course the truth was nowhere like I had imagined and the situation ended very differently from what I had expected. This was a lesson to me once again that things don’t turn out the way we expect them to but the way they are meant to.

One day at a time…
When I let go of any expectations I have of how a situation is going to turn out, I get to keep my serenity and the situation turns out the way it’s supposed to.

~ Sharon S.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day May 6

“We must remember that the heart of our religion is alive and that each person has the ability within to awaken and walk in a sacred manner.”
—- Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

The Native Spirituality is full of life. When we seek it we become alive. Even if we have gone astray and have conducted ourselves in a bad way, we can look within and have a new awakening to life. Maybe we have drunk too much alcohol; maybe we have cheated on our spouse; maybe we have done things that make us feel guilty and ashamed. If we look outside ourselves, we will not find life; if we look inside, we will find life. Anytime we choose to change our lives, we only need to look inside. How do we do this? Take some sage and light it, close your eyes and say to the Great Sirit, I’m tired, I need your help. Please help me change.

Great Spirit, I know you exist inside of myself. Let me awaken to your teachings.

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Journey to the Heart
May 6
Stay Open to Life

I have a tendency to be dogmatic. If I have an experience that’s unpleasant, I take a firm stand and say, I’ll never go through that again. I’ll never do that again. If something frightens me or I don’t understand it, I’ll push it away. Won’t even consider it. That won’t work for me, I say, sometimes before I know whether it will or not. Being dogmatic shuts us down and can shut life out.

The universe will challenge our prejudices,though. Without being certain how it happened,we may find ourselves doing the very thing we thought we never would, liking it, and hearing a quiet voice, the one that comes from our heart ask, What do you think now? When we’re open, we’ll find ourselves doing things, sharing things, experiencing things, and liking things we never thought we would or could.

Open your heart. Open your mind. Open to life and all it holds for you. Let the dogma dissolve.

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Today’s Gift
May 6

“Take it away at once,” stormed the Princess, stamping her tiny foot in its embroidered slipper. “I hate real flowers; their petals fall off and they die.”
—Hans Christian Andersen

If love is reserved for things that never die, love is doomed to die. If flowers fade in a minute or two, will not stones wear to sand in time? Even this earth, this garden of life, one day will be like the dust of stars. We must walk gratefully, carefully on it now. Now is the lifetime that passes here, now is the best of all days; now is the flower’s eternity in the sun, our chance of a lifetime.

This is all we have, this moment. Within it, anything can be done, any dream fulfilled, if we only use it well. Why hold back? There is nothing to stop us.

What can I do to use this moment well?

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The Language of Letting Go
May 5
Feeling Good

Make yourself feel good.

It’s our job to first make ourselves feel better and then make ourselves feel good. Recovery is not only about stopping painful feelings; it is about creating a good life for ourselves.

We don’t have to deny ourselves activities that help us feel good. Going to meetings, basking in the sun, exercising, taking a walk, or spending time with a friend are activities that may help us feel good. We each have our list. If we don’t, we’re now free to explore, experiment, and develop that list.

When we find a behavior or activity that produces a good feeling, put it on the list. Then, do it frequently.

Let’s stop denying ourselves good feelings and start doing things that make us feel good.

Today, I will do one activity or behavior that I know will create a good feeling for me. If I’m uncertain about what I like, I will experiment with one behavior today.

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More Language Of Letting Go
May 6
Say when it’s worn out

Throw it away when it wears out.

John and Al were talking one day about a mutual friend, someone they both knew and liked. “Mark thinks he has to be in pain all the time,” John said. “He defines himself by his resentments. He’s always angry, always upset, and so deeply concerned about how terrible and tragic life is that he’s always pulling out his hair and wailing about life. I’m worried about him,” John said.

“Let him go,” Al said. “People need to wear things out. They need to take their time wearing out their beliefs and attitudes before they’re ready to throw them away. You’ve needed your time to do this. So have I. Give Mark the time he needs–however long that is– to wear his beliefs out too.”

Are you attached to any beliefs that are sabotaging your life– beliefs about your ability to be happy, joyous, and free? Life is a journey through places, through people, and through our beliefs. We wear these beliefs out one by one, shedding them amd making room for a little more light.

Give other people the time and freedom to wear out their beliefs. Give yourself that freedom,too.

Right now, this moment, you’re wearing out a belief. Look around at your life. Trust where you are. Trust what you’re going through. Some belief is wearing thin right now, as you read this. Say when it’s time to throw out that belief.

You are loveable. You are beautiful, just as you are. You have a purpose. There’s a plan for your life. You can take care of yourself. You can think, feel, and solve your problems. Sometimes life is hard, but it doesn’t have to be a struggle. And it doesn’t have to hurt that much and that long. Not anymore. You can detach, and you can detach in love.

Look in the mirror for a few moments. Instead of just being honest with yourself about what you see, be honest with yourself about what you believe about who you see.

God, help me let go of my limiting and sabotaging beliefs.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
May 6

Little importance has been given to body awareness. The emphasis is on achievement rather than awareness. Yet it is only those athletes who have a highly developed kinesthetic sense – muscle sense – who ever achieve high levels of excellence.
—W. Timothy Gallwey

The outstanding athlete is guided by the feeling in his muscles and bones. He knows as he moves how much force to apply, how to place the ball on target, or how to dive gracefully. Competitiveness and achievement are useful in our lives. Winning provides us with motivation and fun. But when we give primary importance to being a winner, we weaken and lose balance.

Our balance is strengthened through more awareness in all aspects of our lives. If a ruler refused to hear news from a certain section of his country, his leadership would suffer. When we ignore our feelings and don’t reflect on our daily lives, we become weaker and less adequate men. As we read this page today, we are opening ourselves to internal messages and opening the windows of awareness.

God, help me find more balance and learn to be more aware.

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DailyTAO
May 6
METAPHOR

Spirituality is
Applied poetry.
Metaphysics is
Applied metaphor.

All the methods that we have for knowing Tao came from observing the outside world and then applying it to the human dilemma. In the past, the body was seen as a microcosm of the universe, spiritual energy was compared to the sun, the duality of the body was matched to the duality of day and night, the habits of animals were copied for their innate wisdom, and the psychic centers of the body were imagined as opening flowers. Even if we apply these ideas today, they yield results.

Metaphor is essentially a way to shape thoughts. The insights of poetry can often guide us out of our problems; the imagery of an opening flower is often used in meditation. Yet poetry is only a sensation of the mind and there is no opening flower inside of us. Human beings take objective reality and absorb it partially through a poetry of the mind. Without this, there could be no sense of humor, no creativity, and no spirituality. For until we make the connection between all things, we have no way out of the isolation that often infects us.

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