wm00533July in Japan

If we sat in a circle and put an object in the center of the circle and we all described what we saw, everyone would see different points of view from each other.
Some would even see opposites because they would be sitting on opposite sides of the circle. In other words, you don’t have to see what I see for you to be right. In fact, everyone in the circle is right based on their own point of view.
If we are willing to listen to everyone’s point of view, then we can get a more accurate description of the object in the center. This is one way to put our minds together. When we get the clarity from each other, we should give thanks and be grateful to each other. –Elders Meditations | More…

We feared that if we ever revealed ourselves as we were, we would surely be rejected. Having relationships without barriers, is something many of us desire. If we examine what frightens us, we usually find that we are attempting to hide something we are ashamed of.
Anyone who enters our lives will not get past the point at which our secrets begin. To maintain intimacy in a relationship, it is essential that we acknowledge our defects and accept them. When we do, the fortress of denial, erected to keep these things hidden, will come crashing down, enabling us to build up our relationships with others. –Just For Today | More…

We never stop learning. We absorb information every waking moment.
Since learning is ongoing, we are fortunate to have a positive context within which to interpret our experiences. We can anticipate what lies ahead, or we can dread it. What we learn from each experience reflects our attitude. Our commitment to the Twelve Steps determines it. — A Woman’s Spirit | More…

As we realize our need to be forgiven, we tend to be more forgiving.
Working the steps helps us understand our own limitations and our humanity. As we learn to gently accept ourselves, we can start to view others with the same accepting and tolerant heart. These people, too, are only human, trying to do their best and sometimes falling short. –Just For Today | More…

We cannot afford to allow our focus in life to be money.
Money is important. We deserve to be paid what we’re worth. We will be paid what we’re worth when we believe we deserve to be. Is there something we truly don’t want to do, something that goes against our grain, but we are trying to force ourselves into it “for the money”? Usually, that’s a behavior that backfires. It doesn’t work. Money is a consideration, but it cannot be our primary consideration if we are seeking spiritual security and peace of mind. — The Language of Letting Go | More…

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Great modesty and humility are needed by every AA for his own permanent recovery. –Grapevine: AA Co-Founder, Bill W., March 1946, Language of the Heart

Our herbs and our medicines are all here for the purpose of serving.
Offering tobacco as a gift to the Creator is proper use of our medicine. In this way, we are able to communicate from the physical world to the spiritual world. Sometimes we have a hard time coming up with the right words when we pray, especially if we are really mixed up. The tobacco and the sage will take the intent to the spirit world. The meaning behind the words are more important the words. The Creator always knows our intent. The tobacco helps us get to the Sky World. –Elders Meditations | More…

The combination of heart and mind is very powerful.
The Medicine Wheel teaches that two worlds exist – the seen and the unseen. The seen world is the physical and the unseen is the spiritual world. Both of the worlds are necessary to discover true reality. The seen world is easiest seen by the male side. The unseen is easiest seen by the female side. The heart is the unseen and the mind is the seen. Blessed is the leader or person who has developed the heart and the mind. Truly, the person is of tremendous value to the Creator and the people. –Elders Meditations | More…

It is tradition among us that the individual has the unlimited right to his own opinion on any subject under the sun. He is compelled to agree with no one; if he likes, he can disagree with everyone.–Grapevine: AA Co-Founder, Bill W., September 1944

We AAs are the best listeners in the world – that is, when we’re not talking! –Grapevine: Maspeth, New York, May 1998

We can safely entrust our lives to our Higher Power and to The 12 Step Program.
So long as we work the program, the payoff is certain: freedom from active addiction and a better way of life. –Just For Today | More…

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Bad news is part of life, just as good news is.
When we engage life we do not shy away from problems; we do our loved ones the favour of speaking the truth. Then our relationships are armed to deal with whatever comes. — The More We Find in Each Other | More…

Trying to understand God just makes His job harder.
Once I gave up trying to understand God and instead looked at the evidence of God’s presence in my life, I began to develop a knowing that went beyond understanding. Suddenly I just knew that a force was working miracles in my life, that it was always available to me, and that it would never let me down. –Wisdom Of the Rooms | More…

In most tribes, there are Coyote Clans.
The job of the Coyote Clan people is to wake the people up. They need to become a nuisance and irritate the people. We must return to the spiritual walk. –Elders Meditations | More…

The outside is merely a reflection of our insides.
My mind is designed to tell me that I’m not crazy for thinking what I am thinking. Even if I have an angry thought, my mind is giving me excuses and reasons why it is OK to think what I’m thinking. I need to be knowledgeable about the laws of harmony and balance. I cannot twist the laws to serve me but I can adjust my life to serve the laws. This is the law – I am here to serve the earth. The earth is not here for me to misuse and abuse. –Elders Meditations | More…

True humility occurs when we stop shaming or inflating ourselves and begin accepting ourselves as no worse and no better than anyone else. Then all people are our peers. At our meetings, our powerlessness puts us all in the same box. In the sight of God we are all equal – and status games, which have seemed so important are ultimately silly. – Touchstones | More…

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We are powerless; our lives are unmanageable, at least by ourselves alone.  Our denial will not change that fact. Our lack of certainty, though, does not affect the essential truth:  We are powerless.  Our lives are unmanageable.  We must surrender. Only by doing so can we open ourselves wide—wide enough for our old ideas and past wreckage to be cleared, wide enough for a Higher Power to enter. –Just For Today | More…

We are all connected. This is what the Elders have told us for a long time.
If we are connected to all things, then whenever we harm anything, it causes harm to ourselves. If we destroy the air, then we will be affected by what we breathe in. If we poison the Earth, we poison ourselves. We must respect our Mother Earth and She will respect us in return. We must open our eyes and obey the spiritual laws that govern the Earth and ourselves.  –Elders Meditations | More…

Why is self-control so valuable?
The impact of any action or thought or quiet response is never ending. It’s quite analogous to the pebble skipped across the pond. We are making subtle contributions to the world around us whether we are conscious of it or not. Let’s be more careful of our input. — Keepers of the Wisdom

If we live according to spiritual principles, we will know harmony in our lives. If we ignore these principles, our harmony will be destroyed. — Day by Day

We have two choices. We can continue in our slavery to self-will, making unreasonable demands and becoming frustrated. Or we can surrender, relax, seek knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry that out, and find our way back to a condition of peace with the world. Thinking, taking initiative, making responsible plans—there’s nothing wrong with these things, so long as they serve God’s will, not merely our own. –Just For Today | More…

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One of the miracles of recovery is the recognition of ourselves, complete with assets and liabilities. Self-esteem begins with this recognition. Despite our fear of becoming vulnerable, we need to be willing to let go of our disguises. We need to be free of our masks and free to trust ourselves. –Just For Today | More…

It’s interesting to ponder the notion of surprise. Does it help to know that there is a divine plan unfolding in our lives? Many of us find comfort in that. All of us can cultivate that belief. – Keepers of the Wisdom | More…

There is no such thing as a “failed” Twelfth Step call. Even if our prospect doesn’t get sober, we have accomplished two purposes. We have planted the seed of recovery in the mind of another with whom we have shared our experience, strength, and hope. And we ourselves have stayed clean another day.  Rarely does a recovering addict leave a Twelve Step call with anything but a deep dose of gratitude. For many, the Twelfth Step is the cornerstone of recovery. We truly believe that “we can only keep what we have by giving it away.” The paradox of the Twelfth Step is evident, for in giving, we receive. –Just For Today | More… 

We receive from life what we put in, unless we’re pouring our energy into a black hole. Are you getting what you want out of your relationships, work, and leisure time? How much of you are you investing? –52 Weeks of Conscious Contact | More…

Changing destructive habits is what changes lives. We learn at our first meeting that Twelve Step programs are both for the present day and for a lifetime. I can change my life if I have the willingness to use what the program is teaching me. — A Life of My Own | More…

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I can’t give away anything that I don’t have myself. If I am to love others, then I must love myself. If I am to forgive others, then I am to forgive myself. If I am to accept others as they are then I need to accept myself as I am. If I am to not judge others, then I need to lighten up on myself. Let me experience this power of love… –Elders Meditations | More…

Our best efforts at control had only worn us out; and we became willing to surrender. Desperation is what finally drives many of us to ask for help. Once we’ve reached this state, we can turn around and start anew. Just as the desperate, hunted animal seeks a safe haven, so do we: in The Program. –Just For Today | More…

The Creator gives us many laws to live by. These are different than the laws of man. The laws of the Creator are designed for us to live in harmony and balance with ourselves and each other. These laws are about having freedom and happiness.  –Elders Meditations | More…

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well,” doesn’t mean if it’s worth doing, try harder and harder. Doing it well means relaxing and letting the actions unfold gently, naturally, without force. Pull back a little. Relax. –52 Weeks of Conscious Contact | More…

Though my sobriety had come easy, the growing up business hadn’t. Both emotional and spiritual growth have always been mighty difficult for me. –Grapevine: AA Co-Founder, Bill W., September 1957

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The way we think determines who we are and what happens to us.
We cannot harbor poisonous thoughts without their effects visibly showing in our lives. If we dwell on our inadequacy and ineffectiveness, for example, circumstances will prove us correct because we will invite self-defeating events to us. On the other hand, replacing destructive thoughts with hope-filled, optimistic ones brings peaceful and confidence-producing circumstances to us. We will radiate competence and joy. — The Reflecting Pond | More…

I cannot hide my true spirit and intent from the Creator.
He created a system of justice. This system of justice says we will get back whatever we plant. If I plant good then good returns – if we plant bad, then we will suffer the consequences. Whatever we think about another person, the same things are thought about us. Whatever we send out is sent back. Man cannot alter this system of justice. It doesn’t matter what we say or do. What really matters is what we really, really did. –Elders Meditations | More… 

Times change, people change, and language may change. But the disease of alcoholism does not change. It always kills. –Grapevie: Beaumont, Texas, February 1996

All things begin with a dream. We can use this day to make our dreams come true. To fulfil our dreams we must take action. We can begin by setting realistic goals. –Just For Today | More…

Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? If you want to be right, this is a request from your ego. If you want to be happy then this is of the Great Spirit. The only meaning anything has is the meaning we give it. Elders Meditations | More…

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Self-care takes time and priority planning to be successful.
We may find we put off our exercise and nutritional needs saying, “Tomorrow I’ll start taking better care of myself.” But sooner or later tomorrow comes, and our body produces symptoms that demand attention. Learning to nurture our body brings rewards without measure. We deserve to reap the benefits starting today. — Body, Mind, and Spirit | More…

A negative attitude is the trademark of active addiction.
While a negative attitude dogged us in our active addiction, all too often it can follow us into Program rooms. How can we begin to adjust our attitudes?  By altering our actions.  It isn’t easy, but it can be done. We can start by listening to the way we talk.

Before we open our mouths, we ask ourselves some simple questions:  Does what I’m going to say speak to the problem, or the solution? Is what I’m going to say framed in a kind manner? Is what I have to say important, or would everyone be just as well off if I kept my mouth shut?

Am I talking just to hear myself talk, or is there some purpose to my “words of wisdom”? Our attitudes are expressed in our actions.  Often, it’s not what we say, but the way we say it, that really matters. –Just For Today | More…

The opportunities for growth continue to flow.
Our purpose for being here remains the same. Our responsibility to ourselves never abates. It’s comforting to count on these things. It makes our choices simpler. There’s always the right step to take, the right response to make, the right attitude to foster. But if ever we’re in doubt, the impulse to forgive and to love will never be wrong. — Keepers of the Wisdom | More…

Many times we feel like we can’t take another step in recovery.
Just like a child learning to walk, we sometimes stumble or fall. But our Higher Power always awaits us with outstretched arms. And like the child’s brothers and sisters shouting their encouragement, we, too, are supported by other NA members as we walk toward a full life in recovery. –Just For Today | More… 

What is sometimes called a conversion by religion is often only the discovery of God as a friend in need. What is sometimes called religion is often only the experiencing of the help and strength of God’s power. What is sometimes called holiness is often only the invitation of God to be a Friend. –24 Hours | More…

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In our addiction we sought instant gratification, squandering our resources.
In recovery we must learn to prioritize, sometimes denying the gratification of some desires in order to fulfil more important long-term goals. To do so requires patience. To find that patience, we practice our program of recovery, seeking the kind of full-bodied spiritual awakening that will allow us to live and enjoy life on life’s terms. –Just For Today | More…

Routine is consoling for many of us.
We feel good about ourselves as long as we keep to the schedule. Sometimes we fear that if we step out of line once, we’ll never get our lives together again. We need to know that we can renew ourselves. –The Promise of a New Day | More… 

Sometimes recovery gets downright difficult.
It can be even more difficult to get humble enough to ask for help. The reality of recovery is simple: Whether we have thirty days or thirty years clean, we must be willing to ask for help when we need it. –Just For Today | More…

I try to think, act, and live as though I am always in God’s presence.
Keeping close to a Power greater than myself is the solution to most of earth’s problems. I try to practice the presence of God in the things I think and do. That is the secret of personal power. –24 Hours | More…

Great Spirit – Sometimes I don’t feel like praying.
Sometimes when I have done something wrong, I’m ashamed to come to You. Even though You have always been there for me, I sometimes choose to stay away. It’s hard for me to understand what all knowing is. Sometimes it’s hard for me to see how much You really care. You are life, You are love, You are power, You are desire, You are truth, You are principle, You are intelligence, You are courage. With You I am everything; without You I am nothing. –Elders Meditations | More…

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Looking normal is very different from being normal.
Acceptability in the eyes of the world is a benefit of recovery; it is not the same thing as recovery. Lasting recovery isn’t found in acceptance from others, but in the inner growth set in motion by the Twelve Steps. –Just For Today | More…

Touching the earth – getting grounded, centered.
There is magic in touching the earth and feeling her healing power. This is especially healthy to do during a troubling time when our minds are racing or can’t stop thinking or are locked onto fear or resentment. When I need to feel free I can go to the Mother Earth. The Mother Earth is full of life and love. She always gives her powers to those who come to her. The Mother Earth is alive. –Elders Meditations | More…

May I tackle only those things which I have a chance of changing.
And change must start with me, a day at a time. May I know that acceptance often is a form of courage. I pray not for super-bravery, but just for persistence to meet what life brings to me without being overcome by it. — A Day at a Time  | More…  

All human beings struggle with self-centeredness.
The Eighth Step is the process our program has given us to honestly examine our past relationships. When we recognize harm done, we become willing to take responsibility for our actions by making amends. We want to discover the true nature of our relationships with other people and mend whatever breaks we may find in those relations. We want to work the Eighth Step. –Just For Today | More… 

To use the past without being controlled by it – that is our responsibility to history.
Being true to ourselves means being true to our history. Past cruelties can remain powerful in our lives – to take possession of our history means to free ourselves of bondage to past events. Nothing can ever change them. Our freedom requires us to make choices based on the needs of the present, not the past. — The Promise of a New Day | More…

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Inside of every man and woman is a place of knowing. In this place is the knowing that there is a Great One, the Great Mystery, the Holy One, the Great Spirit. We can deny this all we want but we know what we know. This place of knowing is at the very center of our being. It is gratifying to know that God cannot leave us. It is said we are spiritual beings trying to be human. –Elders Meditations | More…

Along the way, many of us developed feelings of inadequacy and inferiority.
Low self-esteem doesn’t go away overnight.  Sometimes it takes years for us to really get in touch with ourselves. But with the help of other program members who share our same feelings, and by working the Twelve Steps, we blossom into individuals whom others and, most importantly, we ourselves respect. –Just For Today | More… 

The Medicine Wheel teaches that there are two worlds – the Seen World and the Unseen World, or the Physical World and the Spiritual World.
We need information from both of these worlds in order to live our lives in a harmonious way. The most difficult way is to figure things out by ourselves and leave the Great Spirit out of it. When we do this, we are making decisions with information only from the Physical World. This can be called reliance on self. If we ask the Creator to help us, we then get information from the Unseen World or the Spiritual World.
The Spiritual World is where we get our power. When we do this, we are God-reliant. –Elders Meditations | More…

We have to educate ourselves to know who we are.
That’s what I mean when I say, ‘Teach the children. It is only by knowing ourselves that we can get in touch with our power. As we increase knowledge of ourselves, as we choose to grow spiritually, then we can teach the children. –Elders Meditations | More… 

We reject fantasizing and accept reality.
And we find it beautiful. For, at last, we are at peace with ourselves. And with others. And with God. –Grapevine: Connecticut, March 1975/Grapevine

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Silence is the cornerstone of character. Be still and know.
Anyone can be sarcastic, devaluating and belittling. It takes a Warrior to be silent. Silence is so powerful. Silence can be so loving. –Elders Meditations | More… 

We need tenderness and caring from our families and friends.
Other people can’t meet our needs if we don’t tell them what our needs are. Being honest and candid about our needs and feelings is an important goal of recovery. True, the other person may say no, but being able to make a reasonable request raises our self-esteem and opens the door to communication. –Inner Harvest | More… 

The truth shall set you free.
This is the truth. When we speak the Truth, we do not need to be defensive. Truth needs no defense. When we speak the Truth, we do not need to attack because Truth cannot be attacked. It is so easy to want to manipulate or to be deceitful or dishonest. –Elders Meditations | More…

Making amends means to make changes and, above all, to make the situation right. Amending our behavior and the way we treat ourselves and others is the whole purpose of working the steps. –Just For Today | More…

Freedom is what recovery is all about.
We must remain strong and guard the freedom that comes with abstinence. Whatever threatens abstinence should be avoided: we don’t want to transfer one obsession to something else. To remain free, we stay in touch with others who are also recovering and with the Higher Power that guides and supports us. –Inner Harvest | More…

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Celebrate your freedom.
It’s good to identify our problems. Through the awareness of what’s wrong and what’s broken, we learn what to repair and fix. It’s good to focus on the health and the goodness in our lives, too. Becoming aware of what’s right and what’s working is how we discover joy. — More Language of Letting Go | More…

It is said, how you live your life makes so much noise that people can’t hear what you are saying anyway. It is so easy to see people who do not walk the talk. –Elders Meditations | More…

The nature of our belief will determine the manner of our prayers and meditation.
Just as our definition of a Power greater than ourselves differs from one to another, so does our manner of achieving a “conscious contact.” Some attend religious services; some chant; some sit quietly or talk with whatever is out there; some find a spiritual connection by communing with nature.
The “right way” to pray and meditate is whatever way helps us improve our conscious contact with our own Higher Power. Asking others how they found their spiritual guidance is always a good place to begin. Many have gone before us on this search. As we seek spiritual growth, we can greatly benefit from their experience. –Just For Today | More… 

With so many differences from one another to the next, how do we help one another in recovery and how do we use each other’s experience? When we listen carefully, we hear others tell of suffering from the same disease we have suffered from, regardless of their specific backgrounds. When we open our ears, we hear others talk of applying spiritual principles that promise hope to us as well, regardless of our personal goals. –Just For Today | More…

Time has a wonderful way of erasing bad feelings and leaving us with good ones. Refusing to dwell on our wounds allows them to heal more quickly. In our program, there is no place for self-pity. Gratitude for all the good fortune that comes our way keeps us healthy. — Inner Harvest | More…

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My Creator, today let me remember the reason I’m here on Mother Earth.
Let me look into my own eyes and see the beauty You have created. Let me have good thoughts. –Elders Meditations | More…  

It is said, when we need love the most is when we deserve it the least.
If I secretly hold a grudge or resentment against my brother or sister, I will be a slave to that person until I let them go. Let me remember to look at my brother in a sacred manner. –Elders Meditations  | More… 

Today I pray that my love grows bigger than my fear and that my humility becomes greater than my shame. –Grapevine: May 1999, Young AAs in Recovery.

When you get to your wit’s end, you’ll find that God lives there.
I learned that He was there for me all along – I just had to ask for help sooner. What I now know is that I don’t have to wait until I’m at my wit’s end to reach out and get help from God. He lives in me and is with me every step of the way. The key that opens the lock is and always has been willingness. Today, I’m much more willing to be willing. –Wisdom of the Rooms | More…

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.
In the hustle and bustle of our day, many of us end up going from morning to night without taking time out to improve our conscious contact with the God we’ve come to understand. However, if we set aside a particular time of the day, every day, as “quiet time,” we can be sure that our conscious contact will improve. Set aside a few moments to pray and meditate. This will be the beginning of a new pattern for my recovery. –Just For Today | More…

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The nature of our belief will determine the manner of our prayers and meditation.
Just as our definition of a Power greater than ourselves differs from person to person, so does our manner of achieving a “conscious contact.”   –Just For Today | More…

We can make good choices. We can control our actions.
We can start by having control in little ways – follow the law, pay the rent, make the bed every day. These choices put order in our lives. Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. These choices make us strong enough to live each day to the fullest. These kinds of choices set us free. — Keep It Simple | More…

When you are in the woods, you cannot ever be lost.
You are surrounded by friends and surrounded by God. All nature participates in the life cycle. Nature communicates; Nature talks; Nature listens; Nature forgives; Nature respects; Nature loves. Nature lives in harmony. Nature follows the law. Nature is kind. Nature is balance. The woods are alive and beautiful. She is our friend. Great Spirit, let me honor and respect the forest and all the life it contains. Elders Meditations | More… 

We learn that conflicts are a part of reality.
And we learn new ways to resolve them instead of running from them. When tempers rise, it is often a good idea to back away from the situation until cooler minds prevail. We can’t avoid troubling situations, but we can use time and distance to find perspective. Conflict is a part of life. We can’t go through our entire recovery without encountering disagreements and differences of opinion.
There always comes a time when conflict must be resolved. When that time comes, we take a deep breath, say a prayer, and apply the principles our program has given us: honesty, openness, responsibility, forgiveness, trust, and all the rest. We didn’t get clean to keep running from life—and in recovery, we don’t have to run anymore. The principles the program provides are sufficient to guide me through any situation. –Just For Today | More…

I go to lots of meetings. I get there early and help set up. I stay late and help clean up. I extend my hand as it was extended to me… I’ve been given a second chance and I’m here to be of service. –Grapevine: Blacksburg, Virginia, August 1995

Sobriety in AA is the first thing in my life that has really worked. –Grapevine: Brooklyn, New York, July 1991

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The most important move is to begin.
Sometimes new possibilities occur to us only through action. If we take the risk of the first step and keep our eyes open, we will see the next step. Too much planning, too much carefulness and analysis, may block all action. When we take one hopeful step at a time, each step produces information that leads to the next. — The More We Find in Each Other | More…

Our newly found faith serves as a firm foundation for courage in the future.
As we stay clean and our lifestyles change, our priorities will also change. Work and school may become important because they improve the quality of our lives. New relationships may bring excitement and mutual support. But we need to remember that our recovery program is the foundation upon which our new lives are built. Each day, we must renew our commitment to recovery, maintaining that as our top priority. –Just For Today | More…

Overachieving may be symptomatic.
Suffering from low self-esteem is common. Many of us didn’t have a Higher Power before, at least not one we relied on, to help us feel better about ourselves. We are learning to turn to our Higher Power every day for peaceful assurance that we are loved, that we are being taken care of. In time we’ll grow to love ourselves, and then we’ll be free of the need to overachieve. I will accept my worthiness today and trust that my Higher Power has something wonderful in store for me. –A Life of My Own | More…  

We forget so we consider ourselves superior.
We are, after all, a mere part of the creation and we must consider to understand where we are and we stand somewhere between the mountain and the Ant. Every human being gathers information from the center of a circle. If we are not careful, we soon think we are the center of all things. Therefore, it is easy to become self centered. The universe is all connected. Each part is here to do something special and according to its design. We are here to honor and respect the job of each part. We are neither above nor below anything. –Elders Meditations | More…  

We are a part of an interconnected system.
Words in themselves have no meaning. It is the spirit and intent behind the words that really show the meaning. –Elders Meditations | More… 

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