November 28, 2004

Spirituality is.....

Spirituality is the:

Inward sense of a power or spirit greater than you who has the whole world, your environment, and you in His hands. This greater power and spirit is God. God is what you believe Him to be. God is the power greater than you upon whom you can rely.

Admission...that it is possible to turn to God with your problems. It is God's spirit that can provide for you the strength and courage to face your problems...

Recognition that you do not have to burn yourself out struggling to solve all your problems on your own. It is the openness to ``let go'' of your sense of over-responsibility and ``let God'' have some influence over the problems.

Recognition that you have a ``relationship'' with God that needs to be continuously nurtured through giving God a share of your life in prayer, worship, and good deed...

Power to overcome a sense of guilt, over-responsibility, over-control, rescuing, and enabling concerning others' problems. By tuning into God's message to mankind, you know that the troubled persons in your life have ready assistance anytime they call for help. Our helper in the deepest of deep problems is God. Handing our troubled persons over to God's power, mercy, and direction once we have taken all reasonable steps to help them is an act of spirituality.

Frame of reference that keeps all problems, anxieties, fears, and needs in perspective. It recognizes that we are human beings; as such we are imperfect, prone to error, and not always strong enough to change. It recognizes that there is only one power strong enough to handle all problems, anxieties, fears, and needs; that is God. It also recognizes that God's will may be different from our will.

Mechanism through which people gain the strength, understanding, confidence, and reassurance to let go of grief, fear, over-responsibility, and guilt. Spirituality is the well that must be tapped whenever you need to handle the loss events in your life.

Texture of our lives that enables us to risk being vulnerable to pain and hurt so that we can heal, change, and grow. In living a God-centered life we are able to recognize the need to open ourselves to new ideas, new concepts, new ways of acting, and new people so that we may discern God's plan and direction in our lives.

From -- Spirituality

Prayers Are Always Answered

God always answers prayer.

When the idea is not right he says ``No.''

When the timing is not right he says ``No.''

When I am not ready he says ``Grow.''

And when all is in order he says ``Go.''

Prayer plus positive thinking leads to creative change.

From -- Spirituality

November 27, 2004

A Thankful Heart

"One exercise that I practice is to try for a full inventory of my blessings and then for a right acceptance of the many gifts that are mine -- both temporal and spiritual. . .

I try to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot entertain great conceits. When brimming with gratitude, one's heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion that we can ever know."

- Bill W., March 1962
c. 1967 AAWS, As Bill Sees It, p. 37

Prayer of Thanksgiving

From -- Prayer of the Day:

"Prayer of Thanksgiving

We gather today, Lord of abundant life, as grateful children.

Delighted and humbled by our bounty, we celebrate gifts of food and shelter, of colors that dance at dawn and dusk.

We relish the scent of cooking foods, of burning leaves and summer's wet grass, of snowflake, of animal fur.

We marvel at the intricacy of spiders' webs and fish bones, newborn babies and lines etched on faces of grandparents come for a visit today.

All gifts from Your hand.

When our meal is completed, leftovers stashed, and naps taken, we will leave replete, energized, and eager to go generously into the world and share our good fortune.

- Rev. Lynn James"

Gratitude Unlocks the Fullness of Life

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow."

Melody Beattie

November 24, 2004

Three Choices Regarding Defects of Character

As Bill Sees It

The immediate object of our quest is sobriety-freedom from alcohol and from all its baleful consequences. Without this freedom, we have nothing at all. Paradoxically, though, we can achieve no liberation from the alcohol obsession until we become willing to deal with those character defects which have landed us in that helpless condition. In this freedom quest, we are always given three choices.

A rebellious refusal to work upon our glaring defects can be an almost certain ticket to destruction. Or, perhaps for a time, we can stay sober with a minimum of self-improvement and settle ourselves into a comfortable but often dangerous mediocrity. Or, finally, we can continuously try hard for those sterling qualities that can add up to fineness of spirit and action - true and lasting freedom under God.


Lesson from Falling Leaves


One Sunday in October, during my morning meditation, I glanced out the window at the ash tree in our front yard. At once I was overwhelmed by its magnificent, golden color! As I stared in awe at God's work of art, the leaves began to fall and, within minutes, the branches were bare. Sadness came over me as I thought of the winter months ahead, but just as I was reflecting on autumn's annual process, God's message came through. Like the trees, stripped of their leaves in the fall, sprout new blossoms in the spring, I had my compulsive, selfish ways removed by God in order for me to blossom into a sober, joyful member of A.A. Thank you, God, for the changing seasons and for my ever-changing life.


Twelve Simple Instructions:

From Sacred Portals:

1. Remember you are connected to all living beings.
2. Know who you are and live deeply from that truth.
3. Tend well the relationships and lessons given to you.
4. Move through life at your own pace.
5. Love with an open heart. No holding back.
6. Surrender your will to the Divine will.
7. Seek what is real.
8. Do what is just. Start now.
9. Stay in the moment. We reach our destinations one step at a time.
10. Never stop questioning. Never stop learning.
11. Diminish no one. Even the most unlikely among us is a teacher.
12. Life provides endless opportunities to awaken. Embrace them.

November 22, 2004

Prayer for Guidance

Show Me the Course

Steer the ship of my life, good Lord, to your quiet harbour, where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict. Show me the course I should take. Renew in me the gift of discernment, so that I can always see the right direction in which I should go. And give me the strength and the courage to choose the right course, even when the sea is rough and the waves are high, knowing that through enduring hardship and danger in your name we shall find comfort and peace.

- Basil of Caesarea (c. 329-379)

From -- Prayer of the Day

Overcome Resistance to Spiritual Change

“All beginnings are difficult.”
— Rashi, Exodus 19:5

Learning something new may take effort, but once we make something a part of our routine, it becomes not only effortless, but automatic. For example, when we learned to walk, it required conscious effort, as we can see when we observe children taking their first steps.

Later on in life, walking takes no thought at all. The same holds true for many other behaviors.

Whenever we begin something new, we are, by definition, initiating some new type of behavior. The body naturally tends to return to the old, effortless pattern. If the new behavior holds promises of significant gain (such as a new job, new business, or new learning), which we anticipate will be profitable, this anticipation of reward overcomes the resistance to change, and we make the adjustment to the new.

When we see no tangible gain, such as in spiritual advancement, the ease of routine is likely to draw us back to well-established habits.

Let's face it. If we were offered a significant promotion at work which would necessitate arising half an hour earlier than usual, we would certainly set the alarm clock and get up promptly. If, however, we resolve to devote that half-hour to bettering ourselves, we would have trouble getting up.

We must value our spiritual goals so much that we will be willing to make the changes in our routine that are necessary to achieve them.

... try to overcome any resistance to spiritual growth that requires changing well-established routines.

From "Growing Each Day" by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D., founder of Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh, a leading center for addiction treatment.

Seek Progress Rather than Perfection

Today's thought is:


Part of the ego reduction necessary to our recovery is the acceptance of the fact that we are not and never will be perfect. Perfectionism gets in the way of recovery because it imposes impossible, unrealistic goals which guarantee failure. If we do not think we have to be perfect, then we can accept our mistakes as learning experiences and be willing to try again.

Deepening acquaintance with our Higher Power is good insurance against perfectionism. We come to believe that God accepts and loves us as we are, and this gives us the courage and humility to accept ourselves.

We are not perfect, but we are growing. In spite of our weaknesses, we can serve others according to God's plan for our lives. Accepting our own limitations makes us more tolerant of the faults and weaknesses of those around us. Together, we progress.

I am thankful that I don't need to be perfect.

You are reading from the book:
Food for Thought by Elisabeth L.
Copyright 1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.

November 19, 2004

Joy is the Presence of God


"Though I still find it difficult to accept today's pain and anxiety with any great degree of serenity -- as those more advanced in the spiritual life seem able to do -- I can give thanks for present pain nevertheless.

I find the willingness to do this by contemplating the lessons learned from past suffering -- lessons which have led to the blessings I now enjoy. I can remember how the agonies of alcoholism, the pain of rebellion and thwarted pride, have often led me to God's grace, and so to a new freedom."

Bill W., Grapevine, March 1962
c. 1967AAWS, As Bill Sees It, p. 266

Thought to Consider . . .

Joy isn't the absence of pain -- it's the presence of God.

Alone No More

It is said that alcoholics and other addicts treat loneliness with isolation. This "just for today" reminds us that recovery promises a better solution.

Alone No More

"We gradually and carefully pull ourselves out of the isolation and loneliness of addiction and into the mainstream of life."

Basic Text p. 35

Many of us spent much of our using time alone, avoiding other people - especially people who were not using - at all costs. After years of isolation, trying to find a place for ourselves in a bustling, sometimes boisterous fellowship is not always easy. We may still feel isolated, focusing on our differences rather than our similarities. The overwhelming feelings that often arise in early recovery-feelings of fear, anger, and mistrust-can also keep us isolated. We may feel like aliens but we must remember, the alienation is ours, not NA's.

In Narcotics Anonymous, we are offered a very special opportunity for friendship. We are brought together with people who understand us like no one else can. We are encouraged to share with these people our feelings, our problems, our triumphs, and our failures. Slowly, the recognition and identification we find in NA bridge the lonely gap of alienation in our hearts. As we've heard it said - the program works, if we let it.

Just for today:

The friendship of other members of the fellowship is a life-sustaining gift. I will reach out for the friendship that's offered in NA, and accept it.

pg. 334

Happiness is not a Destination


We're all after the same thing, and that's happiness. We want peace of mind. The trouble with us alcoholics was this: We demanded that the world give us happiness and peace of mind in just the particular way we wanted to get it -- by the alcohol route.

And we weren't successful. But when we take time to find out some of the spiritual laws, and familiarize ourselves with them, and put then into practice, then we do get happiness and peace of mind. . . .There seem to be some rules that we have to follow, but happiness and peace of mind are always here, open and free to anyone.

Dr. Bob S. (1879-1950), co-founder of AA,
c. 1980 AAWS, Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, p. 308

Thought to Ponder . . .

Happiness is not a station we arrive at; it's a way of traveling.

Prayer Leads to Clarity and Peace


"As the alcoholic goes along with his process of prayer,he begins to add up the results. If he persists, he will almost surely find more serenity, more tolerance, less fear, and less anger. He will acquire a quiet courage, the kind that doesn't strain him. He can look at so-called failure and success for what they really are.
Problems and calamity will begin to mean instruction, rather than destruction.
He will feel freer and saner. . .Wonderful and unaccountable things will start to happen. Twisted relations with family and on the outside will unaccountably improve."

Bill W., June 1958
c. 1988AAGrapevine, The Language of the Heart, p. 241

November 17, 2004

We Are Spiritual Beings

Today's quote from Beliefnet:

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Overcoming Loneliness


Almost without exception, alcoholics are tortured by loneliness. Even before our drinking got bad and people began to cut us off, nearly all of us suffered the feeling that we didn't quite belong.


The agonies and the void that I often felt inside occur less and less frequently in my life today. I have learned to cope with solitude. It is only when I am alone and calm that I am able to communicate with God, for He cannot reach me when I am in turmoil. It is good to maintain contact with God at all times, but it is absolutely essential that, when everything seems to go wrong, I maintain that contact through prayer and meditation.


Dreams and Fantasy are Very Different

“[Joseph] dreamt another dream ... the sun, moon, and the eleven stars were bowing before me.” — Genesis 37:9

Joseph dreamt of greatness, and he achieved it. Still, he paid a steep price for that greatness, suffering years of enslavement and imprisonment.

Some people are satisfied with their status quo and choose not to rock the boat. Others are dreamers, people of great ambition.

Dreams and fantasy are very different. Fantasy is mere wishful thinking, something we know is beyond reach, but a dream is something that may be in the remote future, yet is conceivably achievable.

Suppose Joseph had known that, in order to obtain the promise of the dream, he would have to endure years of suffering. Would he have foregone the greatness, or would he have accepted the pain? Since Joseph understood the dream to be a revelation of the Divine plan for him, he undoubtedly would have chosen to accept the suffering it entailed.

We may be frequently confronted with a decision whether to resign ourselves to the status quo or to try to advance ourselves at considerable cost. We should avail ourselves of expert counseling and pray for Divine guidance to know what the Divine plan for us is. If we feel secure in the knowledge that G-d wants us to advance to our optimum potential, we should not retreat because of the personal cost entailed.

Infants are fortunate; they do not have to choose whether to remain toothless or to accept the distress of teething. While we do have such choices, we also have the wisdom to make the right choice.

... pray for enlightenment as to what is G-d's will for me and for the fortitude and courage to achieve it.

You are reading from the book, Growing Each Day,by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D., a psychiatrist and ordained rabbi. He is the founder of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh, a leading center for addiction treatment and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Touch Others to Find Faith and Reduce Anxiety

Fear of the unknown, often referred to as free-floating anxiety, catches up to us on occasion. But it needn't. The program offers us strength whenever we need it, and faith diminishes all fear. It is said that fear cannot exist where there is faith.

We have many days when we feel strong, in touch with our higher power, able to meet all situations. On those days, we are seldom conscious of how our faith is guiding us. But the hours of fear that we experience on other days make us aware of faith's absence. There is a simple solution: We can reach out to a friend. We can be attentive to our friend's needs, and the connection to God will be made.

Shifting our focus, from self-centered fears to another person's needs, offers us a perspective on our own life. It also offers us a chance to let God work through us. Our own faith is strengthened each time we offer our services to God and to a friend in need. What may frighten us seems less important the closer we are to the people in our lives.

When I touch someone else, God touches me in return.

You are reading from the book:
Each Day a New Beginning by Karen Casey
Copyright 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved.

November 15, 2004

Stand Up for Yourself

Today's thought is:

Standing Up for Ourselves

When other people speak to me in ways that feel disrespectful or mean, I will tell them how I feel about it. I will tell them that what they've said has hurt my feelings or makes me feel sad or angry. I have the right to ask that others express themselves in ways that aren't hurtful.

Today I will write down what my response might be if someone hurts my feelings or speaks to me in an uncomfortable tone of voice. When I learn appropriate ways to respond, I'm better able to stand up for myself and let others know how I'm feeling. I don't have to hold my feelings inside and allow verbal abuse to continue. I have the right to stand up for myself in all situations.

You are reading from the book:
Time to Fly Free by Judith R. Smith
Copyright 2001 by Judith R. Smith. All rights reserved.

When All Else Fails - Follow The Steps

Today's thought is:

I have to laugh at the times I've knocked myself out over a tough spot only to find out afterwards there was an easier way through.
--Robert Franklin Leslie

We receive messages throughout the day that tell us ways of doing things. The door to the store says, pull. The red light tells us not to drive through the intersection. The cereal box says, lift tab and open. Our car gas gauge tells us empty. With these messages, we are given the guidance on which to base our decisions.

We can choose not to pull the door. Then we'll spend a lot of time and energy pushing until we finally read the sign. All that effort expended, just because we couldn't stop to get some guidance!

The Twelve Steps offer guidance for an easier way through life. We don't have to knock ourselves out over these Steps; all we have to do is follow the direction they give us.

How can I use the Steps to make my life easier?

You are reading from the book:
Night Light by Amy E. Dean
Copyright 1986, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved.

November 14, 2004

A Lovely Day

"For me, a lovely day is any day I wake up."

Bernie S. Siegel
Prescriptions for Living

Word of the Day from A Network for Grateful Living

On Awakening

"On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives."

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, Into Action, pg. 86~

It's Alcohol-ism Not Alcohol-wasm

"Iffy" Thinking

Alcoholism respects no ifs. It does not go away, not for a week, for a day, or even for an hour, leaving us nonalcoholic and able to drink again on some special occasion or for some extraordinary reason -- not even if it is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration, or if a big sorrow hits us, or if it rains in Spain or the stars fall on Alabama. Alcoholism is for us unconditional, with no dispensations available at any price.

c. 1998 AAWS, Living Sober, p. 63

November 11, 2004

Today's Sobriety is a Precious Gift


"I realize that all I'm guaranteed in life is today. The poorest person has no less
and the wealthiest has no more -- each of us has but one day. What we do with it is our own business; how we use it is up to us individually.

I feel that I have been restored to health and sanity these past years not through my own efforts nor as a result of anything I may have done, but because I've come to believe -- to really believe -- that alone I can do nothing. That my own innate selfishness and stubbornness are the evils which, if left unguarded, can drive me to alcohol.

I have come to believe that my illness is spiritual as well as physical and mental,
and I know that for help in the spiritual sphere I have to turn to a Higher Power."

c. 1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 473

Surrender Becomes Acceptance

From "Just for Today"

"We surrender quietly and let the God of our understanding take care of us."

Basic Text p. 26

Surrender and acceptance are like infatuation and love. Infatuation begins when we encounter someone special. Infatuation requires nothing but the acknowledgement of the object of our infatuation. For infatuation to become love, however, requires a great deal of effort. That initial connection must be slowly, patiently nurtured into a lasting, durable bond.

It's the same with surrender and acceptance. We surrender when we acknowledge our powerlessness. Slowly, we come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves can give us the care we need. Surrender turns to acceptance when we let this Power into our lives. We examine ourselves and let our God see us as we are. Having allowed the God of our understanding access to the depths of ourselves, we accept more of God's care. We ask this Power to relieve us of our shortcomings and help us amend the wrongs we've done. Then, we embark on a new way of life, improving our conscious contact and accepting our Higher Power's continuing care, guidance, and strength.

Surrender, like infatuation, can be the beginning of a lifelong relationship. To turn surrender into acceptance, however, we must let the God of our understanding take care of us each day.

Just for today: My recovery is more than infatuation. I have surrendered. Today, I will nurture my conscious contact with my Higher Power and accept that Power's continuing care for me.

pg. 329

"Living just for today relieves the burden of the past and the fear of the future." Basic Text, pp. 90-91

Narcotics Anonymous, The Basic Text, and Just for Today are owned and copyright by Narcotics Anonymous.

Prayer for Inner Peace and Calm

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways;
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.

- John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

Nurture and Care for Yourself

I pray for the willingness to remember that I am a child of God, a divine soul in human form, and that my most basic and urgent life-task is to accept, know, love and nurture myself. As I accept myself, I am accepting God's will. As I know and love myself, I am knowing and loving God. As I nurture myself I am acting on God's guidance.

I pray for the willingness to let go of my arrogant self-criticism, and to praise God by humbly accepting and caring for myself.


November 09, 2004

Prayer Gives Sense of Belonging

Prayer can have many rewards. One of the greatest rewards is the sense of belonging it brings to me. No longer do I live as a stranger in a strange land, alien in a completely hostile world. No longer am I lost, frightened and purposeless. I belong.

We find, in The Program, that the moment we catch a glimpse of God's will - the moment we begin to see truth, justice and love as the real and eternal things in life -we're no longer so deeply upset by all the seeming evidence to the contrary surrounding us in purely human affairs. Do I believe that God lovingly watches over me?

Today I Pray

May I be grateful for the comfort and peace of belonging - to God - the ultimately wise "parent" and to His family on earth. May I no longer need bumper stickers or boisterous gangs to give me my identity. Through prayer, I am God's.

Today I Will Remember I find my identity through prayer.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Today's meditation comes from the book
A Day at a Time
Daily Reflections for Recovering People
by Anonymous © 1989

Step Into The Sunlight -- Make Time for Meditation

But first of all we shall want sunlight; nothing much can grow in the dark. Meditation is our step out into the sun.


Sometimes I think I don't have time for prayer and meditation, forgetting that I always found the time to drink. It is possible to make time for anything I want to do if I want it badly enough. When I start the routine of prayer and meditation, it's a good idea to plan to devote a small amount of time to it. I read a page from our Fellowship's books in the morning, and say "Thank You, God," when I go to bed at night. As prayer becomes a habit, I will increase the time spent on it, without even noticing the foray it makes into my busy day. If I have trouble praying, I just repeat the Lord's Prayer because it really covers everything. Then I think of what I can be grateful for and say a word of thanks.

I don't need to shut myself in a closet to pray. It can be done even in a room full of people. I just remove myself mentally for an instant. As the practice of prayer continues, I will find I don't need words, for God can, and does, hear my thoughts through silence.


To Change Your Life, Change Your Mind

'It seems to me that the primary object of any human being is to grow, as God intended,that being the nature of all growing things. Our search must be for what reality we can find,which includes the best definition and feeling of love that we can acquire.

If the capability of loving is in the human being, then it must surely be in his Creator.Theology helps me in that many of its concepts cause me to believe that I live in a rational universe under a loving God, and that my own irrationality can be chipped away,little by little. This is, I suppose, the process of growth for which we are intended.'

Bill W., Letter, 1958
c. 1967AAWS, As Bill Sees It, p. 295

Thought to consider:

All you have to do to change your life is change your mind."

November 07, 2004

What is Spirituality?

"Everything is spiritual which tends towards understanding, towards kindness, towards that which is productive of beauty and which can lead man on to a fuller expression of his divine potentialities.

All is evil which drives man deeper into materialism, which omits the higher values of living, which endorses selfishness, which sets up barriers to the establishing of
right human relations, and which feeds the spirit of separateness, of fear, of revenge."

The Externalization of the Hierarchy, 187 - Alice Bailey /

God is God; and we are not

"Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

We need to be reminded that we are not God.

This seems pretty basic. You wouldn't think it would be hard to remember.

But we get so caught up in proving ourselves by performing, achieving and rescuing that we forget that we are humans with real limits. We fill our time so full of frenzied activity that there is no 'stillness'. And when there is no stillness, it is hard to remember who is God and who is not.

Fortunately, God does not forget who is God and who is not. God invites us to quiet ourselves, to slow ourselves down. God invites us to be still long enough to regain perspective. "Be still", God says, "and know that I am God."

In the stillness we can see again that there is a difference between our frenzy and God's kingdom. It is God's work to provide and protect and rescue.

It is not our work. We can do our part. But our part needs to be respectful of our human limits. Our part needs to actively acknowledge our dependence on God. God is God, and we are not.

Help me to slow down, Lord.
Help me to be quiet.
Help me to be still long enough to remember that you are God.
Help me to remember who is creature and who is Creator.
Let this truth free me, Lord, to accept my limits,


From Sponsor to Sponsor Recovery Publications

Honest Acceptance Leads to Humility

"Humility is a result of getting honest with ourselves."

Basic Text p. 35

Humility was an idea so foreign to most of us that we ignored it as long as we could. When we first saw the word "humbly" ahead in Step Seven, we may have figured it meant we had quite a bit of humiliation in store. Perhaps we chose to look it up in the dictionary, only to become even more confused by the definition. We didn't understand how "lowliness and subservience" applied to recovery.

To be humble does not mean we are the lowest form of life. On the contrary, becoming humble means we attain a realistic view of ourselves and where we fit in the world. We grow into a state of awareness founded on our acceptance of all aspects of ourselves. We neither deny our good qualities nor overemphasize our defects. We honestly accept who we are.

No one of us will ever attain a state of perfect humility. But we can certainly strive to honestly admit our faults, accept our assets, and rely on our Higher Power as a source of strength. Humility doesn't mean we have to crawl life's path on our hands and knees; it just means we must admit we cannot recover on our own. We need each other and, above all, we need the power of a loving God.

Just for today:

To be humble, I will honestly accept all facets of myself, seeing my true place in the world. For the strength I need to fill that place, I will rely on the God of my understanding.

pg. 324

Copyright Narcotics Anonymous

Realm of the Spirit Open to All

"As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence, A Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things, we began to be possessed of a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps. We found that God does not make too hard terms for those who seek Him.

To us, the Realm of the Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive, never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men."
c. 1976AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 46

Thought to Consider . . .

Take a walk with God. He will meet you at the Steps.

November 05, 2004

Ancient Wisdom

Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity,
Reduce selfishness,
Have few desires.

Lao-Tzu (fl. B.C. 600)

Our Higher Power is Always With Us

"Our Higher power is accessible to us at all times. We receive guidance when we ask for knowledge of God's will for us."

Basic Text p. 92

It's not always easy to make the right decision. This is especially true for addicts learning to live by spiritual principles for the first time. In addiction, we developed self-destructive, anti-social impulses. When conflict arose, we took our cues from those negative impulses. Our disease didn't prepare us to make sound decisions.

Today, to find the direction we need, we ask our Higher Power. We stop; we pray; and, quietly, we listen within for guidance. We've come to believe that we can rely on a Power greater than ourselves. That Power is accessible to us whenever we need it. All we need do is pray for knowledge of our God's will for u and the power to carry it out.

Each time we do this, each time we find direction amidst our confusion, our faith grows. The more we rely on our Higher Power, the easier it becomes to ask for direction: We've found the Power we were lacking in our addiction, a Power that available to us at all times. To find the direction we need to live fully and grow spiritually, all we have to do is maintain contact with the God of our understanding.

Just for today: My Higher Power is a source of spiritual guidance within me that I can always draw upon. When I lad direction today. I will ask for knowledge of my Higher Power will.

Basic Text pg. 323

copyright by Narcotics Anonymous

November 04, 2004

Go With the Flow

Let go of fear and your need to control. Relinquish anxiety. Let it slip away, as you dive into the river of the present moment, the river of your life, your place in the universe.

Stop trying to force the direction. Try not to swim against the current, unless it is necessary for your survival. If you've been clinging to a branch at the riverside, let go.

Let yourself move forward. Let yourself be moved forward.

Avoid the rapids when possible. If you can't, stay relaxed. Staying relaxed can take your safely through fierce currents. If you go under for a moment, allow yourself to surface naturally. You will. Appreciate the beauty of the scenery, as it is. See things with freshness, with newness. You shall never pass by today's scenery again!

Don't think too hard about things. The flow is meant to be experienced. Within it, care for yourself. You are part of the flow, an important part. Work with the flow. Work within the flow. Thrashing about isn't necessary. Let the flow help you care for yourself. Let it help you set boundaries, make decisions, and get you where you need to be when it is time. You can trust the flow, and your part in it.

Today, I will go with the flow.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Today's meditation comes from the book
The Language of Letting Go, © 1990, pg. 161
by Melanie Beattie; Hazelden Meditation Series
The Language of Letting Go - Meditations for Codependency
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Spirituality Requires Practice

Father Leo's Daily Meditation


"I hear and I forget. I see and I
remember. I do and I
-- Chinese Proverb

I suppose the best way to learn a thing is to do it, practice it, demonstrate it, make it real in our lives. Spirituality needs to be experienced, not talked about. You cannot learn spirituality, get spirituality from a famous guru, read and acquire spirituality from a book--spirituality needs to be discovered in our lives. It needs to be found in body, sexuality, sweat, anger, morning exercise and kneeling in prayer and gratitude at the end of the day.

God, may You be real in my life.

Tap in to Your Creativity

Today's thought is:

Creativity and self-expression are the keys, which open the door to my soul.
--Betty MacDonald

Why do we find it so hard to believe that we are creative and talented? Generally we look upon artists as being far different from us. When we were young, we were encouraged to be ordinary, like everyone else. Those who dared to see the world differently were "weird." Thus our creative juices lay untapped.

But every spirit, by its very nature, is creative and talent-filled. Fortunately, the well of our creative spirits hasn't run dry. We can prime the pump and bring them bubbling to the surface. The first step is to acknowledge our creative potential.

The real gift of this journey is that hope has been inspired in us. We hear the stories of how others have changed and tapped into their creativity. We understand it can happen to us too.

Being willing to have my talents revealed is necessary for it to happen. I will work on willingness today.

You are reading from the book:
A Woman's Spirit by Karen Casey

Copyright 1994 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

November 01, 2004

Awaken from the Nightmare of Self-Centeredness

Just For Today
November 1 Awakening

"God helps us as we help each other." Basic Text p.51

Our addiction caused us to think almost exclusively of ourselves. Even our prayers-if we prayed at all-were self-centered. We asked God to fix things for us or get us out of trouble. Why? Because we didn't want to live with the problems we'd created for ourselves. We were insecure. We thought life was about getting, and we always wanted more.

And in recovery we get more-more than just not using. The spiritual awakening we experience in working the Twelve Steps reveals to us a life we never dreamed possible. We no longer need to worry about whether there will be "enough;' for we come to rely on a loving Higher Power who meets all our daily needs. Relieved of our incessant insecurity, we no longer see the world as a place in which to compete with others for the fulfillment of our desires. Instead, we see the world as a place in which to live out the love our Higher Power has shown us. Our prayers are not for instant gratification; they are for help in helping each other.

Recovery awakens us from the nightmare of self-centeredness, strife, and insecurity that lies at the core of our disease. We wake up to a new reality. All that is worth having can be kept only by giving it away.

Just for today: My God helps me as I help others. Today, I will seek help in giving away the love my Higher Power has given me, knowing that is the way to keep it. pg. 319

Just For Today Daily Meditation is the property of Narcotics Anonymous ©
1991 by World Service Office Inc.

Free Choice and God's Will Not in Opposition

Growing Each Day
By Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

If I surrender my will and turn my life over completely to the will of G-d, do I not thereby abrogate my power of free choice?

Certainly not. Take the example of a child who receives money for his birthday. An immature child may run off to the toy store or candy store and spend the money on everything his heart desires. He may indeed have several moments of merriment (although a stomach ache from indulging too heavily in confections is a possibility). Without doubt, however, after a short period of time those moments of enjoyment will be nothing but a memory, with the candy long since consumed and the broken toys lying on the junk heap.

A wiser child would give the money to a parent and ask that it be put into some type of savings account where it can increase in value and be available in the future for things of real importance.

Did the second child abrogate his prerogative of free choice by allowing the parent to decide how to invest the money? Of course not. In fact, this was a choice, and a wise choice as well as a free choice.

We can choose to follow our own whims or we can choose to adopt the will of an omniscient Father. We a wise when we make the second choice.

... turn my will over to G-d, and seek to do only that which is His will for me.

Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D. is a psychiatrist and ordained rabbi. He is the founder of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh, a leading center for addiction treatment. An Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he is a prolific author, with some 30 books to his credit, including, "Growing Each Day", from which this was excerpted.

Let Go of the Past

Today's thought is:

Let us not go over the old ground, let us rather prepare for what is to come.
--Marcus Tullius Cicero

Sometimes we hang on to the oddest things. For instance, many of us go to a lot of trouble to hang on to old guilt, old mistakes, old loneliness, old hurts, and old crimes. We fight like crazy to keep these little darlings near and dear. If we make a mistake, we feel we don't deserve to let go of the self-punishment.

The healthy and sober thing to do is let go of the past. We can cut the chains and shackles of the past that keep us from moving forward. When we cut even one link of that chain, we begin to move more freely toward health and self-love.

Today let me understand that I'm not helping anyone by holding on to the past.

You are reading from the book: Our Best Days by Nancy Hull-Mast
Copyright 1990 by Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved.