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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 – November 14

Just For Today
November 14
Not Just Surviving

“When we were using, our lives became an exercise in survival. Now we are doing much more living than surviving.”
Basic Text p. 50

“I’d be better off dead!” A familiar refrain to a practicing addict, and with good reason. All we had to look forward to was more of the same miserable existence. Our hold on life was weak at best. Our emotional decay, our spiritual demise, and the crushing awareness that nothing would ever change were constants. We had little hope and no concept of the life we were missing out on.

The resurrection of our emotions, our spirits, and our physical health takes time. The more experience we gain in living, rather than merely existing, the more we understand how precious and delightful life can be. Traveling, playing with a small child, making love, expanding our intellectual horizons, and forming relationships are among the endless activities that say, “I’m alive.” We discover so much to cherish and feel grateful to have a second chance.

If we had died in active addiction, we would have been bitterly deprived of so many of life’s joys. Each day we thank a Power greater than ourselves for another day clean and another day of life.

Just for today: I am grateful to be alive. I will do something today to celebrate.

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Daily Reflections
November 14
INTUITION AND INSPIRATION

. . . . we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 86

I invest my time in what I truly love. Step Eleven is a discipline that allows me and my Higher Power to be together, reminding me that, with God’s help, intuition and inspiration are possible. Practice of the Step brings on self-love. In a consistent attempt to improve my conscious contact with a Higher Power, I am subtly reminded of my unhealthy past, with its patterns of grandiose thinking and false feeling of omnipotence. When I ask for the power to carry out God’s will for me, I am made aware of my powerlessness. Humility and a healthy self-love are compatible, a direct result of working Step Eleven.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
November 14
A.A. Thought For The Day

A better way than judging people is to look for all the good you can find in them. If you look hard enough and long enough, you ought to be able to find some good somewhere in every person. In A.A. I learned that my job was to try to bring out the good, not criticize the bad. Every alcoholic is used to being judged and criticized. That has never helped anyone get sober. In A.A. we tell people they can change. We try to bring out the best in them. We encourage their good points and ignore their bad points as much as possible.  People are not converted by criticism. Do I look for the good in people?

Meditation For The Day

There must be a design for the world in the mind of God. We can believe that His design for the world is a universal brotherhood of men and women under the fatherhood of God.  The plan for your life must also be in the mind of God. In times of quiet meditation you can seek for God’s guidance, for the revealing of God’s plan for your day. Then you can live this day according to that guidance. Many people are not making of their lives what God meant them to be, and so they are unhappy. They have missed the design for their lives.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may try to follow God’s design for today. I pray that I may have the sense of Divine Intent in what I do today.

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As Bill Sees It
November 14
Our Protective Mantle, p. 316

Almost every newspaper reporter who covers A.A. complains, at first, of the difficulty of writing his story without names. But he quickly forgets this difficulty when he realizes that here is a group of people who care nothing for acclaim.

Probably this is the first time in his life he has ever reported on an organization that wants no personalized publicity. Cynic though he may be, this obvious sincerity quickly transforms him into a friend of A.A.

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

Moved by the spirit of anonymity, we try to give up our natural desires for personal distinction as A.A. members, both among fellow alcoholics and before the general public. As we lay aside these very human aspirations, we believe that each of us takes part in the weaving of a protective mantle which covers our whole Society and under which we may grow and work in unity.

1. Grapevine, March 1946
2. 12 & 12, p. 187

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Walk In Dry Places
November 14
No Respecter of People
Carrying the message

As human beings, we have to realize that some people are more attractive to us than others.  Even in AA, we will likely be more interested in a person who has qualities we admire than one who annoys and repels us.

This is a snobbish attitude that we ridicule when we see it practiced by others, but we may be practicing it in our own way by seeking out only those members we find interesting and attractive. Without realizing it, we can be making AA a popularity contest, which it’s not supposed to be.

We can compensate for such tendencies by making a special effort to express friendship to everyone at the meeting. This can even become a spiritual exercise. It doesn’t hurt to admit that one has snobbish tendencies that can violate the spirit of AA.

Just as alcohol is no respecter of people, so it is that the program should be open to all. Today, I’ll try to make AA a welcoming haven for everyone.

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Keep It Simple
November 14

Make it a point to do something every day that you don’t want to do

—Mark Twain

Self-discipline is a key part of living sober life. We need it t get to our meetings regularly. We need it to understand the Steps. We need it to work the Steps.

And we get much in return. With self-discipline, we learn to trust ourselves. We learn to do what is most loving and caring for ourselves. What a great relief! One of the worst parts of our illness was that we couldn’t count on ourselves. We didn’t know what we’d do next. Self-discipline heals this part of our illness.

Prayer for the Day:  Higher Power, You have given me much. It’s only right that I give You part of my day. I will pray and meditate on Your wonders.

Action for the Day:  I will list areas of my program where I lack self-discipline. I will share the list with my group and sponsor, and I’ll let them know in a month how I’m doing.

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Each Day a New Beginning
November 14

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
–Kathleen Casey Theisen

How awesome is our power, personally, to choose our attitudes and our responses to any situation, to every situation. We will feel only how we choose to feel, no matter the circumstance. Happiness is as free an option as sorrow.

Perceiving our challenges as opportunities for positive growth rather than stumbling blocks in our path to success is a choice readily available. What is inevitable–a matter over which we have no choice–is that difficult times, painful experiences will visit us. We can, however, greet them like welcome guests, celebrating their blessings on us and the personal growth they inspire.

No circumstance demands suffering. Every circumstance has a silver lining. In one instance you may choose to feel self-pity; in the next, gladness.

We do not always feel confident about our choices, even when we accept the responsibility for making them. How lucky for us that the program offers a solution! Prayer and meditation, guidance from our higher power, can help us make the right choice every time.

I will relish my freedom to choose, to feel, to act. I and only I can take it away.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
November 14
A DRUNK, LIKE YOU

– The more he listened at meetings, the more he came to know about his own drinking history.

During one session she suggested that I try not drinking at all one weekend. “Okay,” I said. She also suggested that I send the kids off somewhere for the weekend because I might be irritable.

p. 400

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
November 14

Tradition Five – “Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry it’s message to the alcoholic who still suffers.”

“Shoemaker, stick to thy last!” … better do one thing supremely well than many badly. That is the central theme of this Tradition. Around it our Society gathers in unity. The very life of our Fellowship requires the preservation of this principle.

p. 150

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Xtra Thoughts
November 14

“The door of opportunity won’t open unless you do some pushing.”
–Anonymous

Just when I have learned the way to live, life changes.
–Hugh Prather

I AM MORE
I am more than happy, I am JOYFUL.
I am more than healthy, I am WHOLE.
I am more than alive, I am RADIANT.
I am more than successful, I am FREE.
I am more than caring, I am LOVING.
I am more than tranquil, I am PEACEFUL.
I am more than interested, I am INVOLVED.
I am more than adequate, I am TRIUMPHANT.
I am more than fortunate, I am PROSPEROUS.
I am more than human, I am a CHILD OF GOD.
–William Arthur

Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.
–Art Linkletter

Life is available to anyone no matter what age. All you have to do is grab it.
–Art Carney

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
November 14
LEISURE

“It is seldom that an American retires from business to enjoy his fortune in comfort . . . He works because he has always worked, and knows no other way.”
— Thomas Nichols

For years I rushed around being busy and I missed me. I spent years trying to please people by doing things and I missed me. I was a workaholic, my value was seen only in what I could achieve and I missed me.

Today I can relax in my sobriety; indeed sobriety has enabled me to relax. I can sit and do nothing and it is okay. Life is about “being” and not “doing”. Spirituality is about taking time out for me because I am worth it. “Be still and know that I am God,”said the psalmist. In the silence of self I have discovered the meaning of life and I have found God.

Thank You, Lord, for creating the feelings of peace that come from leisure.

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Bible Scriptures
November 14

Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
2 John, 1:3

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us.”
Psalm 67:1

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Daily Inspiration
November 14

When you choose to fight, be sure it is only for that which is right and fair. Lord, help me to see clearly when goodness is being violated and guide me in helping those who need my help.

Nothing is ever quite as bad as it seems. Call on God and then practice expectancy and optimism and things will turn out better than you expect. Lord, thank You for tomorrow.

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A Day At A Time
November 14

Reflection For The Day

First search for a little humility, my sponsor urged me.  If you don’t, he said, you’re greatly increasing the risk of going “out there” again.  After a while, in spite of my lifelong rebelliousness, I took his advice;  I began to try to practice humility, simply because I believed it was the right thing to do.  Hopefully, the day will come when most of my rebelliousness will be but a memory, and then I’ll practice humility because I deeply want it as a way of life.  Can I try, today, to leave my self behind — and to seek the humility of self-forgetfulness?

Today I Pray

Since I — like so many chemically or otherwise dependent people — am a rebel, may I know that I will need to practice humility.  May I recognize that humility does not come easily to a rebellious nature, whether I am out-and-out defiant, dug-in negative or, more subtly, determined in a roundabout way to change everything else but myself.  I pray that by practicing humility it will become instinctive for me.

Today I Will Remember

Get the humble habit.

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One More Day
November 14

Rest is not a matter of doing absolutely nothing. Rest is Repair.
– Daniel W. Josselyn

Every once in a while the burdens of our lives get us down. We just can’t be optimistic all the time. It’s so important to know that we can let go of those burdens for a day or two; in fact, we owe it to ourselves.

Too many of us feel guilty if we succumb to our feelings of sadness, disgust, anger, or exhaustion. Why? Having a medical problem doesn’t make us any more or less exempt from the problems which face everybody else. There will be days when there seems to be no reason to get out of bed. That’s okay. We can take a mental health day by relaxing. We can pamper ourselves every once in a while to rejuvenate the physical and emotional strength needed to face our world.

I can simplify my life by giving myself this day for relaxing.

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One Day At A Time
November 14
Contentment

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

I spent most of my life dreaming and wishing for the stars, always hoping that something wonderful would happen to change my life. If only my mother were more loving; if only I had more friends; if only I had a better husband or smarter children; and, more especially, if only I were thin. I was never satisfied with what I had because someone else always seemed to be better off than me. It was like I was always being short-changed in life, and what expectations I had had as a child just didn’t materialize. I never realized that what I had was exactly what I needed at the time, even though it may not have seemed to be what I wanted.

I know now that, even though I may have less than a perfect life, I have many wonderful things. I have so much more than many others, and instead seeing my cup as half-empty, I can now see it as half-full. I can see the miracle of the changing seasons, the beauty of a sunset and the changing moods of the sea. I can hear the beautiful music that feeds my soul, a baby’s cry and the crash of thunder. I am surrounded by loving friends and family who care for me as I care for them. I can look at those less fortunate than me and know that I am truly blessed. More and more I am becoming aware that I have exactly what I need for today, and in that I am content.

One Day at a Time . . .
I am content knowing that I have many blessings in my life … may I always be willing to see that.

~ Sharon S. ~

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day November 14

“The hearts of little children are pure, and therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.”
–Black Elk (Hehaka Sapa) OGLALA LAKOTA

Sometimes adults think they know more than the children. But the children are closer to the truth. Have you ever noticed how quickly they can let go of resentments?

Have you ever noticed how free they are of prejudice?  Have you ever noticed how well the children listen to their bodies?

Maybe adults need to be more like children.  They are so innocent.  The children pray to the Creator and trust that He will take care of them.

Grandfather, today let the children be my teacher.

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Journey to the Heart
November 14, 2011
Find Your Center

“My life has changed so much,” the man at Breitenbush told me. “I go with the flow now, try to be in the moment, be spontaneous. I’m a foreman, and even at work life goes much more smoothly. A year ago, I didn’t know what it meant to be centered. Now I do and I work at staying that way.” He looked around the camp, a nature retreat in the heart of the Willamette National Forest in Oregon. “And I know how to get there too.”

For many years, I didn’t understand what it meant to be centered either. If I was that way for a while, it was more accidental than deliberate. It takes time, practice, and mostly desire and commitment to make staying centered a way of life. But the time it takes is worth it.

Learn what it feels like to be centered, to be balanced. Learn what it feels like to be off center. Learn to tell the difference. Then, learn to come back to center as quickly as possible.

Quiet. Relaxed. Feeling right about what you’re doing. On track. In harmony. At peace. In balance. No turbulent emotions racing through you. No disorganized thoughts clamoring through your head. Your body feels aligned, and you feel connected to it. What you do and say comes from your center. It feels right and honest. It feels like you, and you feel connected to your self, your deepest self, your soul. Your heart is open. And so is your mind.

That’s the place from which we’re seeking to live our lives. Find a way to get to that place, then go there often. Some helps include nature, listening to music, going for a walk, repeating a prayer, or forms of deep breathing or meditation.

It’s hard to find a place we’ve never been to. Learn what it feels like to be centered. Know your center is in you. Then go there often.

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Today’s Gift
November 14

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

Communication is much more than words. Words are merely fingers pointing the direction to understanding – they are not understanding itself. To really communicate with someone, we have to allow ourselves, just for a moment, to become that other person. When we do this, we begin to be able to see beyond the masks that hide what another person is really feeling.

When we take the time to really see others, we may discover they are frightened, timid people longing for understanding. When we get beyond reacting to their outward behavior and move toward viewing their inner selves, it is much easier to extend a hand of friendship, to say we care, and truly mean it.

Who can I see as they really are today?

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The Language of Letting Go
November 14
Letting Our Anger Out

It’s okay to be angry, but it isn’t healthy to be resentful. Regardless of what we learned as children, no matter what we saw role modeled, we can learn to deal with our anger in ways that are healthy for us and for those around us. We can have our angry feelings. We can connect with them, own them, and feel them, express them, release them, and be done with them.

We can learn to listen to what anger is telling us about what we want and need in order to take care of ourselves.

Sometimes we can even indulge in angry feelings that aren’t justified. Feelings are just feelings; there is no morality in the feeling, only in our behavior. We can feel angry without hurting or abusing others or ourselves. We can learn to deal with anger in ways that benefit our relationships instead of ways that harm them.

If we don’t feel our angry feelings today, we will need to face them tomorrow.

Today, I will let myself feel my anger. I will express my anger appropriately, without guilt. Then I will be done with it.

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More Language Of Letting Go
November 14
There’s freedom in letting go

Sometimes we gain freedom not only by letting go ourselves, but by helping someone else let go of us.

A child rounds a corner on her little purple bike, one training wheel clattering on the sidewalk, the other high in the air. Her father calls her over and tells her that today is special. Today, she has finally outgrown those training wheels and will learn to ride the bike like the big kids! Tears follow the happy news.

“But what if I fall? Or I can’t balance? I’m not ready!” she complains.

Finally, after many assurances that he will be right beside her, she lets daddy take the wheels off.

At first he holds tightly to the bike, and she sits there frozen, unable to pedal, rigidly gripping the handlebars.

“Relax,” he says. “It’s okay. I’m right here by your side.”

She relaxes. Then she starts to pedal. Dad releases his grip slightly. He lets go and runs alongside. She looks over and laughs. “Daddy, don’t let go! I’ll fall!” And then, the inevitable happens, she falls.

But she gets back up. He holds on again. And again. And again. Until near suppertime, daddy runs beside beside, lets go of the bike, slows to a walk, and watches his little girl ride off on two wheels.

Is there something or someone in your life that you need to let go of in order to grow? Is there someone you need to help let go of you? Sometimes it’s tempting to keep people dependent on us. It makes us feel needed and powerful. It makes us feel good. But it may be holding them and us back.

Go ahead. It’s time. Take off the training wheels. Help them ride off into the sunset. Set both of you free.

God, help me resist the temptation to keep people dependent on me. Give me the courage to help other people let go of me.

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Touchstones Meditations For Men
November 14

No one can get rid of the spirit of judgment by an effort of the will.
—Paul Tournier

In the past, we applied our wills and tried to bring about the changes we wanted. We may still unconsciously try to create self-improvement by an effort of will. But, as long as we do that, we continue the same circles of frustration and defeat we knew before recovery. The way to growth is in directions we cannot fully imagine for ourselves. We can become ready for change and then pray for help. The man who simply became ready to have God remove his judgmental attitudes was surprised to find God’s answer was to make him more trusting of others and less judgmental of himself.

The wonders of recovery are miracles because we tried before and couldn’t recover by ourselves. Miracles are surprises that come upon us because God’s will for us is more creative and far reaching in its renewal than anything we can think of.

Today, I pray that I may know the will of God and forgo my limited willfulness.

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Daily TAO
November 14
SINGING

Rain comes, and birds —
Silhouettes against the pearlescent sky —
Respond excitedly in song.
They open their throats to heaven’s nectar,
And rhyme with the drops.

All of nature is song. Sometimes the song is in a minor key, with purple tones that stir the soul, bursting the heart with pent-up emotions. Sometimes it is joyous, full of rich melodies and grand chords that bring electric thrills. Sometimes it descends into strange modes, guttural chants, and obscure dissonances. It is up to each of us to sing as we feel moved by the overall song of life. Do we harmonize with it?  Do we sing a counterpoint? Do we purposefully sound discordant tones?

Perhaps a student first encountering Tao endeavors to harmonize with  it, but that isn’t all that there is to having a relationship with Tao. Tao gives us the background, the broad circumstances. It is up to us to fit into it, go against it, or even flutter off on oblique angles. Don’t look at Tao as one big inexorable stream in which we float like dead logs. What could that lead to except logjams?

No, let us be like the birds. Who sing when Tao sends them rain. Who know what to do when winter comes. Who embroider the sky with their own unique paths. Who will sing a counterpoint when they need to. Who will sing poetry that is discordant when it must be and rhymes when it is proper.

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