STEP 11

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Definition of Step Eleven – Awareness: knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.
Synonyms of Step Eleven – Awareness: consciousness, recognition, realization, cognizance, understanding, grasp, etc.

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful.
Love in fellowship.

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Step Eleven: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying ONLY for knowledge for His will for us and the power to carry that out. | More…

We all have the capacity for spiritual health and adventure. Self-examination and meditation are the tools for self-knowledge and serenity.

Unknown adventure awaits us when we seek to know ourselves. –The Promise of a New Day | More…

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Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation. We shouldn’t be shy on this matter of prayer. Better men than we are using it constantly. –Big Book p.85 | More…

Those of us who have come to make regular use of prayer would no more do without it than we would refuse air, food, or sunshine. When we turn away from meditation and prayer, we deprive our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of vitally needed support.

As the body can fail its purpose for lack of nourishment, so can the soul. We all need the light of God’s reality, the nourishment of His strength, and the atmosphere of His grace. To an amazing extent the facts of A.A. life confirm this ageless truth. –12 & 12 p.97-98 | More…

There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life.  –12 & 12 p.98 | More…

We discover that we do receive guidance for our lives to just about the extent that we stop making demands upon God to give it to us on order and on our terms. Almost any experienced A.A. will tell you the conviction finally came that God does “move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.” –12 & 12 p.104-105 | More…

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There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. but when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life. –12 & 12 p.98 | More…

Quite often, however, the thoughts that seem to come from God are not answers at all.
They prove to be well-intentioned unconscious rationalizations. –12 & 12 p.103-104 | More…

One of the many benefits of our Twelve Step program is to make prayer a familiar experience in our life. Emmet Fox says prayer is nothing more than being joyfully attentive to life, moment by moment.

We don’t have to speak certain words or assume a particular posture or demeanour. We simply must be awake to the currents in our life and be grateful.

The most wonderful gift of prayer is the friendship we discover with God. This friendship promises security in the midst of any turmoil. Making the choice to pray, to let God offer comfort will become easier with each surrender. –In God’s Care/Karen Casey 26/06 | More…

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Our relationship with God and our relationship with ourselves are always interwoven.
Sometimes we feel disconnected from ourselves or emotionally flat.

God is always with us, but sometimes we are the missing party. Our first moments of spiritual awakening may have been when we saw how far we were from our true selves.

This honest message from ourselves to ourselves was painful but was also a re-contact with the truth that made it possible to find God. –Touchstones | More…

Why should you unduly worry or fret over the problems that arise today? Your attitude toward them can be changed by putting yourself and your problems in God’s hands and trusting Him to see that everything will turn out all right, provided you are trying to do the right thing.

Your changed mental attitude toward your problems relieves you of their burden and you can face them without fear. –24Hours 27/06 | More…

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Daily meditation for about twenty minutes is recommended for all in recovery – unless you’re very busy, then you should do half an hour. – Anon

Here we search and become aware of following our path, being aware of our purpose in life, and actively pursuing it. We view this principle as just being aware, not being caught up in the rush of life, making conscious effort to do the right thing, and to be at peace.

To certain newcomers and to those one-time agnostics who still cling to the A.A. group as their higher power, claims for the power of prayer may, despite all the logic and experience in proof of it, still be unconvincing or quite objectionable. –12 & 12 p.96-97 | More…

Of course we finally did experiment, and when unexpected results followed, we felt different; in fact we knew different; and so we were sold on meditation and prayer.

And that, we have found, can happen to anybody who tries. It has been well said that “almost the only scoffers at prayer are those who never tried it enough.” –12 & 12 p.97 | More…

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When I don’t know what to do next, God does. Working this Step (11), one day at a time, will take us to places we could never have travelled on our own. –The Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie | More…

God never, never asks us to do anything that He would not equip us to do. He never asks us to do anything we can’t do. If we are to do it, we will be empowered.

That’s the easy part of this program. We never have to do more than we can, or anything we can’t. If we want to worry and fuss we can, but we don’t need to. That is our choice. –The Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie | More…

We will want the good that is in us all, even in the worst of us, to flower and to grow.
Most certainly we shall need bracing air and an abundance of food.

But first of all we shall want sunlight; nothing much can grow in the dark. Meditation is our step out into the sun. –12 & 12 p.98 | More…

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The actual experience of meditation and prayer across the centuries is, of course, immense. The world’s libraries and places of worship are a treasure trove for all seekers. –12 & 12 p.98-100 | More…

Once more we read our prayer, and again try to see what its inner essence is. We’ll think now about the man who first uttered the prayer.

First of all, he wanted to become a “channel.” Then he asked for the grace to bring love, forgiveness, harmony, truth, faith, hope, light, and joy to every human being he could. –12 & 12 p.100-101 | More…

He hoped, God willing, that he might be able to find some of these treasures, too. He thought it better to give comfort than to receive it; better to understand than to be understood; better to forgive than to be forgiven. –12 & 12 p.100-101 | More…

In the morning we think of the hours to come. We ask simply that throughout the day God place in us the best understanding of His will that we can have for that day, and that we be given the grace by which we may carry it out. –12 & 12 p.102 | More…

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We take Steps Four and Five in order to sort out our thoughts, getting rid of those that depress our spirit.

In Step Ten, we continue a daily mental housecleaning so that residues of resentment and discouragement are not allowed to accumulate. Then we go on to Step Eleven for an infusion of the kind of thinking that nurtures the person we want to become. –Inner Harvest/Elisabeth L. | More…

Meditation is something which can always be further developed. It has no boundaries, either of width or height.

Aided by such instruction and example as we can find, it is essentially an individual adventure, something which each one of us works out in his own way. But its object is always the same: to improve our conscious contact with God, with His grace, wisdom, and love.  –12 & 12 p.101-102 | More…

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Prayer is the raising of the heart and mind to God–and in this sense it includes meditation. Prayer, as commonly understood, is a petition to God.

Having opened our channel as best we can, we try to ask for those right things of which we and others are in the greatest need. And we think that the whole range of our needs is well defined by that part of Step Eleven which says: “…knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”  –12 & 12 p.102 | More…

A “quiet time” need not be long. Our “quiet time” need not be lengthy to be effective, provided it is consistent.

Twenty minutes taken once a month to pray will probably do little but frustrate us with the poor quality of our conscious contact. Twenty minutes taken regularly each day, however, renews and reinforces an already lively contact with our Higher Power. –Just For Today | More…

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Our program teaches us to slow down.
We learn to slow down by taking time out.

During these times-outs, we look at our values and see if we’re staying true to them.

Because of that, meditation is an important part of our program.
It teaches us to slow down. –Keep It Simple | More…

As the day goes on, we can pause where situations must be met and decisions made, and renew the simple request: “Thy will, not mine, be done. –12 & 12 p.102-103 | More…

Of course, it is reasonable and understandable that the question is often asked: “Why can’t we take a specific and troubling dilemma straight to God, and in prayer secure from Him sure and definite answers to our requests?” –12 & 12 p.103-104 | More…

We also fall into another temptation.
We form ideas as to what we think God’s will is for other people.

It is A.A.’s experience that particularly in these cases we ought to pray that God’s will, whatever it is, be done for others as well as for ourselves. –12 & 12 p.104 | More…

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We discover that we do receive guidance for our lives to just about the extent that we stop making demands upon God to give it to us on order and on our terms. Almost any experienced A.A. will tell you the conviction finally came that God does “move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.” –12 & 12 p.104-105 | More…

All of us, without exception, pass through times when we can pray only with the greatest exertion of will. Occasionally we go even further than this.

We are seized with a rebellion so sickening that we simply won’t pray. When these things happen we should not think too ill of ourselves.

We should simply resume prayer as soon as we can, doing what we know to be good for us. –12 & 12 p.105 | More…

Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us. We no longer live in a completely hostile world. We begin to see truth, justice, and love as the real and eternal things in life. –12 & 12 p.105 | More…

The persistent use of meditation and prayer, we found, did open the channel so that where there had been a trickle, there now was a river which led to sure power and safe guidance from God as we were increasingly better able to understand Him. –12 & 12 p.108-109 | More…

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Our spiritual nature must be nurtured. Prayer and meditation lovingly kindle the flame that guides us from within.

For most of us, the flame burned low, or not at all, for many years.
We can listen to the voice of our higher power in others.

We can listen, too, as we carry the message.
Prayer surrounds us every moment.

We can fuel our inner flame with the messages received from others. We can let our spirit spring forth; let it warm our hearts and the hearts of others. –Each Day a New Beginning/Karen Casey | More…

So, practicing these Steps, we had a spiritual awakening about which finally there was no question. –12 & 12 p.109 | More…

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For straying from the right way there is no cure except to keep so close to the thought of God that nothing can seriously come between you and God. God has promised peace if you stay close to Him, but not leisure. You still have to carry on in the world.

He has promised heart-rest and comfort, but not pleasure in the ordinary sense. Peace and comfort bring real inward happiness. –24Hours 14/08 | More…

As the day goes on, we can pause where situations must be met and decisions made, and renew the simple request: “Thy will, not mine, be done.” –12 & 12 p.119-120 | More…

I have learned, through difficult and good times that this Step will carry me through.
When I don’t know what to do next, God does.

Working this Step, one day at a time, will take us to places we could never have travelled on our own. Simple acts, done daily in accordance to God’s will for us, lead to a Grand Plan for our life. I will focus on asking God to show me what He wants me to do. –The Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie | More…

As we have seen, self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. It is a step in the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God’s help. –12 & 12 p.98 | More…

Step 11 suggests that we continue to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power, so we tap into that power through prayer and meditation. We become cognizant of the blessings we are receiving in our new life. We are learning to notice His handiwork in all aspects of our lives. | More…

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Bill W. considered each step to be a spiritual principle in and of itself.
The most important of these is Humility.

Core Spiritual Principles of the Program:  Willingness, Open-mindedness, Honesty. AA’s Code:  Love and Tolerance of Others.

The Principles of the Twelve Steps

Step One:            Honesty
Step Two:            Hope
Step Three:         Faith (Surrender)
Step Four:           Courage
Step Five:            Integrity
Step Six:              Willingness
Step Seven:         Humility
Step Eight:           Brotherly love
Step Nine:            Discipline
Step Ten:              Perseverance
Step Eleven:        Awareness
Step Twelve:       Service (Charity)

The relative success of the A.A. program seems to be due to the fact that an alcoholic who no longer drinks has an exceptional faculty for “reaching” and helping an uncontrolled drinker.

The heart of the suggested program of personal recovery is contained in Twelve Steps describing the experience of the earliest members of the Society.

The five principles of the Twelve Step Program are; membership requirement, spiritual basis, personal inventory, restitution, and helping others. | More…

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The most important talk we can do during any day, is to start the day with prayer and meditation. We need to ask the Creator to be in our lives. We ask Him to direct our thinking. We ask Him for the courage and the power to be gentle.

In the morning quiet time, we make our request for guidance using our spiritual tools.
We pray for the  people and we pray for ourselves. In the evening we thank the Creator for the day, for the lessons and, For the opportunity to be of service to others.
Then we go to sleep. –Elders | More…

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