Phuket, Thailand in August
Spiritual experiences transform men and women so that they can do, feel, and believe what had hitherto been impossible to them. It mattered little whether these awakenings were sudden or gradual; their variety can be almost infinite. –Grapevine: AA Co-Founder, Bill W., July 1953
With prayer and good intentions, we make our lives sacred and come into balance.
Only through prayer can we make spiritual changes that are permanent. You have told us that all life is sacred. Let me see today with a sacred eye. Let me see beauty in all things. –Elders Meditations | More…
The bottom started falling out faster than I could lower my standards –-Wisdom Of The Rooms | More…
The Creator has a way of allowing us to see or know in the spiritual world.
This is called the Sixth Sense. The Sixth Sense is like a radar system; our personal radar system. It will help us “see” opportunities and help us avoid disaster. This Sixth Sense is controlled by God. We must learn to listen to it. We must learn to trust it. We must learn to act on it even if our head says differently. We must learn to look at things through the eyes of God. –Elders Meditations | More…
The temporary or seeming good can often be the deadly enemy of the permanent best. –Grapevine: Bill W. January 1955/Why Alcoholics Anonymous is Anonymous
Truth connects us to life while fear, isolation, and dishonesty alienate us from it.
We need not hide from the reality of our relations with the people, places, and things in our lives. We accept those relationships just as they are, and we own our part in them. We take time every day to ask, “Am I telling the truth about myself?” Each time we do this, we draw that much further away from the alienation that characterizes our addiction. Each time we do this, we draw that much closer to the freedom recovery can bring us.–Just For Today | More…
Let’s think about this.
Before coming to the Program, could we stay clean on our own? What makes us think we can now? Then there’s the disease itself to consider—the chronic self-centeredness, the obsessiveness, the compulsive behavior patterns that express themselves in so many areas of our lives.
Can we live and enjoy life without effective treatment for our disease?
No. “Ordinary” people may not have to worry about such things, but we’re not “ordinary” people—we’re addicts. We can’t pretend we don’t have a fatal, progressive illness, because we do. Without our program, we may not survive to worry about the demands of work, school, family, or anything else. Meetings give us the support and direction we need to recover from our addiction, allowing us to live the fullest lives possible. –Just For Today | More…
Life is a series of decisions, actions, and consequences.
Given that, many of us have great difficulty learning to make decisions in recovery. Slowly, by working the Twelve Steps, we gain practice in making healthy decisions, ones that give positive results. Where our disease once affected our will and our lives, we ask our Higher Power to care for us. We inventory our values and our actions, check our findings with someone we trust, and ask the God of our understanding to remove our shortcomings.
In working the steps we gain freedom from the influence of our disease, and we learn principles of decision-making that can guide us in all our affairs. Today, our decisions and their consequences need not be influenced by our disease.
Our faith gives us the courage and direction to make good decisions and the strength to act on them. The result of that kind of decision-making is a life worth living. –Just For Today | More…
We mistakenly think that others have talent, never ourselves, but that’s because we misunderstand what talent means. Talent is really just an inclination; it develops from a desire to pursue some activity that we then proceed to cultivate with a passion. It’s not mysterious. It doesn’t just happen. We persevere because we feel good when involved in the activity. When we define talent this way, we realize how right it is. It’s just that many of us haven’t followed our passion yet. — Keepers of the Wisdom | More…
It’s sometimes hard to believe that when we’re grappling with disappointment, anger, or loss. Only when we love ourselves can we love others realistically, instead of seeing them as fantasy figures, projections of our own desire. We’re full partners in everything that we do, and taking responsibility for our actions and our desires is our first step toward being fully lovable. — The Promise of a New Day | More…
Friends are there for us when we’re not there for ourselves.
Friends help us gain valuable perspective on the events in our lives and our recovery. It is important that we actively cultivate friendships, for we have learned that we cannot recover alone. –Just For Today | More…
The individual message we carry may help a newcomer only we can reach.
There are many ways to serve our fellowship. Each of us will find that we do some things better than others, but all service work is equally important. If we are willing to serve, we’re sure to find that particular way to contribute that’s right for us. –Just For Today | More…
It is sometimes easy to get off track when times are good.
We need to remember how honourable it is each day to come into the presence of the Creator. How happy we should be to talk to the Grandfathers, to have the choice to start each day on the Sacred Spot – our place of communion with the Great Spirit. – Elders Meditations | More…
The more I change, the more I hope the Traditions and principles of AA don’t change –Grapevine: San Mateo, California
The Serenity Prayer is the handrail to grab until you can work the Steps. — My Mind is Out to Get Me
You’ve got to give time, time. — My Mind is Out to Get Me
The value of staying close to the Creator is the immediate help we have available to us whenever we need it. I can listen to the whisper of my heart for this is the place He communicates with me. Staying close helps me remember that we are here to serve Him and to help other people. The Grandfathers are my direct access to wisdom; He who has wisdom has everything. If we have wisdom, then we will see our lives become more effective in the areas of jobs, relationships, family, friends, and finances. –Elders Meditations | More…
ACT AS IF
As I continue to grow in awareness in recovery, I realize that “acting as though until it becomes so” is one of the great universal spiritual truths of humanity. Books like “The Secret” and others on positive attraction explain why this is, and I know through experience that it is true. Today if I want my reality to change, I simply begin acting as if.
It always works. –Wisdom of the Rooms | More…
Many of us fake emotions because our past experiences never taught us how to use boundaries when dealing with feelings. Sometimes we need to learn to “fake it till we make it.” We can learn to “act as if” – working all the time to liberate the frozen emotions of years gone by – until we actually do experience what we seek. Like new shoes, new behaviors and feelings will feel stiff and uncomfortable for a little while. Willingness to live through the “breaking in” period in necessary. — Days of Healing, Days of Joy | More…
If we keep everything in balance, we are in harmony with ourselves and are at peace. We need to keep ourselves in balance. We must be careful to not get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. We must know the times – time to work, time to rest, time to play, time to sleep, time to pray, time to lighten up, time to laugh, time to eat, time to exercise. We need to take care of ourselves. You cannot give away what you don’t have. –Elders Meditations | More…
Every life has a beginning and an end.
However, when someone we love a great deal reaches the end of their life, we may have a very hard time accepting their sudden, final absence. Our grief may be so powerful that we fear it will completely overwhelm us—but it will not. Our sorrow may hurt more than anything we can remember, but it will pass. We need not run from the emotions that may arise from the death of a loved one.
Death and grieving are parts of the fullness of living “life on life’s terms.” By allowing ourselves the freedom to experience these feelings, we partake more deeply of both our living in recovery and our human nature. Sometimes the reality of another’s death makes our own mortality that much more pronounced.
We re-evaluate our priorities, appreciating the loved ones still with us all the more. We want to make the most of what’s most important while it lasts. We can accept the loss of one we love and turn to our Higher Power for the strength to accept my feelings. –Just For Today | More…
The first thing that captured me at my very first meeting was the way AA members talked with one another. There was a genuineness, something real there, that I wanted… I saw they were sober and that they were honest with each other. –Grapevine: New York, New York, February 2001
God, this is hard. Today, allow me to be a Warrior.
Let me be strong. Let Your voice be clear to me. Let me hear Your guidance. My goal today is to serve You, to develop myself to be the kind of Indian person that You would have me be. To Walk the Red Road it must sometimes be walked alone. –Elders Meditations | More…
An old-timer spoke about the danger of becoming complacent and explained the need for the Steps in her life. ‘The way I see it,’ she said, ‘I might have gotten the monkey off my back, but the circus is still in town.’ –Grapevine: New York, New York, September 2005
FIRST THINGS FIRST
It’s been said that recovery is simple—all we’ve got to change is everything!
That can seem a pretty tall order. The enormity of the change required in our lives can be paralyzing. We know we can’t take care of all that needs to be done, not all at once. How do we start? We’ve done the first, most obvious things that needed to be done: We’ve stopped using drugs, and we’ve started going to meetings. What do we do next? Pretty much the same thing, just more of it: From where we are, we do what we can. We walk the path of recovery by picking up our feet and taking the step that’s right in front of us. Only when that’s been accomplished must we concern ourselves with what comes next. Slowly but surely, we’ll find ourselves making progress. I will walk the path of recovery by taking the step right in front of me. –Just For Today | More…
Blame-saying is game-playing.
I see that my preoccupation with the faults of others is a smokescreen to keep me from taking a hard look at my own. As well as a way to bolster my own failing ego. May I check out the “why’s” of my blaming. — A Day at a Time
When we are born, we start with a beautiful empty mind ready to be given our beliefs, attitudes, habits and expectations.
Most of our true learning comes from watching the actions of others. As we watch our family or relatives, whatever their actions and values are, so will be the children’s values and acts. If we see our families living a just and peaceful way of life, so then will the children. If we see our family shouting, arguing, and hateful, so will it be for the children. The cycle of life – baby, youth, adult and Elder is all connected. If the older ones have good values, it will be connected to the children. –Elders Meditations | More…
It is important that we practice thinking about consequences before we make decisions about choices.
Every choice I make is like setting up dominos one after the other that produce consequences. Not just for me but also for my children and for the children that are unborn. My choices and decision today will have consequences for seven generations. For example, if I work on my own spiritual development, the odds are that my children will. They will marry and their children will follow and so will my grandchildren even up to the seventh generation. This will happen because of the choices and decisions that I make today. –Elders Meditations | More…
We become like that which we think about.
What we think about creates our vision. It’s important to be aware of what we are thinking about. As I live my vision, my children watch and live their lives the same way. –Elders Meditations | More…
We need to honor and respect our Mother Earth.
She is the source of all life. The sun shines life to the earth, then the earth produces life in all forms and in a balanced way. Everything is here to serve everything else. If we interrupt the flow in any way, we leave nothing for the future generations. Before every decision is made, we should ask, and answer, a final question; “If we do this, what will be the effects on the seventh generation? What will we cause our children to live with?” We need to have respect and love for all things and for all people. We need to do this for ourselves and for all the children still unborn. –Elders Meditations/White Bison | More…
We form habits and then these habits begin to form us.
To stay clean and sober we must develop new habits, new patterns of living. We must give up old hangouts, old friends, old attitudes, and ideas. It seems this is the only way to form new habits – for example, kindness, love, and honesty – on which our program is based. –Day by Day
There are no short cuts.
Every tree must grow according to the growth plan of the Creator. Every flower must grow according to the plan of God. The moon must make its trip around the earth according to God’s plan. Every human being must grow according to the plan of the Creator. Sometimes we look at ourselves and we think we are not growing but we are always growing. Because we cannot see it with our mind does not mean it is not happening. We must be patient with ourselves and let the Creator direct our growth. –Elders Meditations | More…
I learned that if I had the capacity to be honest, I would get better. –Grapevine: Cornwall, Ontario, January 2005
There were many injustices done to Native people.
Sometimes I wonder; why am I connected to the past injustices done to Indian people? Why am I so angry about the past? The Elders say our ancestors are alive within each of us. Therefore, I may experience anger and resentment inside of me because of the injustice done to them. The way I get rid of these past feelings is to forgive. It may be necessary to even learn to forgive the unforgivable. –Elders Meditations | More…
The only way I ever found to displace a thought was to put another thought in its stead. –Grapevine: Alexandria, Virginia, August 1950
A long time ago the Creator said to the People – You will be the keepers of the Mother Earth.
Among you I will give the wisdom about nature, about the interconnectedness of all things, about balance and about living in harmony. You will see the secrets of nature. You will live in hardship and the blessing of this is you will stay close to the Creator. The day will come when you will need to share the secrets with the other people of the earth because they will stray from their spiritual ways. The time to start sharing is today. –Elders Meditations | More…
We are made in the image of the Great Spirit.
A long time ago He breathed life into our ancestors. He made the Indian strong. He created a Warrior. Our ancestors created more warriors. We have been tested throughout the seasons and we are still here, stronger than ever. It is good to be Indian. We are proud of ourselves and our ancestors. Mostly we are proud the Great Spirit has never forsaken us, and continues to guide us. –Elders Meditations | More…
Everyone has to find the right path.
You can’t see it so it’s hard to find. No one can show you. Each person has to find the path by himself. Inside of everyone is the natural, built-in desire to be seeking a relationship with the Creator. We must make this journey because we want to. The path is inside of ourselves. It is inside that we must begin our search. –Elders Meditations | More…
Honesty is one of the fundamental principles of recovery.
We apply this principle when we finally admit our powerlessness and unmanageability. We continue to apply the principle of honesty each time we are faced with the option of either living in fantasy or living life on its own terms. Learning to be honest isn’t always easy, especially after the covering up and deception so many of us practiced in our addiction. Our voices may shake as we test our newfound honesty. But before long, the sound of the truth coming from our own mouths settles any doubts: Honesty feels good! It’s easier living the truth than living a lie. –Just For Today | More…
When you get older and you are ready, your ancestors will show up to guide you.
When we are young we sometimes think we know everything. Sometimes we do foolish things. As we get a little older, we realize we don’t know anything. This is when we become teachable. There is a saying that goes, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. We usually aren’t teachable unless we are ready. The ancestors are waiting and willing to help. When we are ready, many beautiful teachers start to come into our lives. Then we really start to grow and mature. We are ready for the spiritual lesson. –Elders Meditations | More…
The Creator told everyone of us in our tribal beginnings to look after our ceremonies, and each other.
Our ceremonies are important and each has a purpose. They teach us about the Creator and about each other. The ceremonies teach us to be humble and teach us to pray. They teach us to look inside ourselves. –Elders Meditations | More…
Recovery is something that has to be worked for.
It isn’t going to be handed to us on a silver platter, nor can we expect our friends or our sponsor to be responsible for the work we must do ourselves. We recover by making our own decisions, doing our own service, and working our own steps. By doing it for ourselves, we receive the rewards. –Just For Today | More…
When it hurts enough, when we’re scared enough, when we’re sick and tired enough, when we’ve lost enough, then we’ll begin to change.
But we have to want to change. That is the key. — Day by Day | More…
Thunder demands our attention.
From the ear-splitting boom overhead to the faint rumble in the distance, it is an impressive part of nature. Yet, it is the lightning that discharges electricity from one cloud to another, or to the earth. We are sometimes like thunder. We may shout our intentions to others, or quietly tell our dreams to friends. No matter how we say it, it is the ability to follow through that is most important. When we’ve completed what we’ve set out to do, we will feel a sense of satisfaction and energy. With this energy, and the knowledge we can finish what we set out to do, we will make our dreams come true. –Today’s Gift | More…
The Elders have taught us to balance our lives emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.
If I am out of control emotionally, I get angry, doubtful or erratic, I am out of balance. If I trigger bad mental pictures of my brothers and sisters, I am out of balance. If I get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, I am out of balance physically. If I don’t pray and talk to the Creator daily, I am out of balance spiritually. To be centered, I must be in balance.
The Creator talks to me in the quiet and still place. So if I get angry, what I should do first is to pause and get still so I can hear the guidance of the Grandfathers. –Elders Meditations | More…
Forgiveness seems to depend more on the love of the one who does the forgiving than on the lovability of the one being forgiven. –Grapevine: West Henrietta, New York, September 1997
Today I can only keep changing and keep growing if I stay on the train of recovery.
As long as I continue to grow along spiritual lines, I know that things will change and things will get better. –Wisdom Of The Rooms | More…
It’s easy to be grateful when everything runs smoothly.
But when we find ourselves becoming obsessed with the things that are wrong, we can use a gratitude list. Whatever we have that we are grateful for goes on the Gratitude List. We have literally hundreds of things in our lives that inspire our gratitude. Those of us who are suffering from an illness or who have lost all material wealth will find blessings of a spiritual nature for which we can be thankful. An awakening of the spirit is the most valuable gift we can receive. –Just For Today | More…
Anonymity and humility are almost the same thing.
They are devoid of prestige; they demand nothing; they don’t ask to be ‘right’; They simply suggest that the icy egocentric elements in all of us retire into the background and that we wear the warm cloak of anonymity and humility and therefore, spirituality. –Grapevine: Walnut Creek, California, March 2000
Spirituality is not based on logic, it is faith-driven.
Faith makes the impossible possible. –Grapevine: Sacramento, California, September 2005
We’re as sick as our secrets.” What do we keep secret, and why?
We keep secret those things that cause us shame. We may hold onto such things because we don’t want to surrender them. Some of us hold onto the things that cause us shame for another reason. It’s not that we don’t want to be rid of them; we just don’t believe we can be rid of them. We need to remember who we are: recovering addicts. Only when our secrets stop being secret can we begin to find relief from those things that cause us shame. –Just For Today | More… http://www.jftna.org/pages/8-4.htm
LIVE AND LET LIVE
“Live and Let Live” can be extremely helpful when we are having trouble tolerating other people’s behavior.
We know for certain that nobody’s behavior – no matter how offensive, distasteful or vicious – is worth the price of a relapse. Our own recovery is primary, and while we must be unafraid of walking away from people or situations that cause us discomfort, we must also make a special effort to try to understand other people – especially those who rub us the wrong way. — A Day at a Time | More…
By shaping our thoughts with spiritual ideals, we are freed to become who we want to be. Denial is counteracted by admission, secretiveness by honesty, isolation by fellowship, and despair by faith in a loving Higher Power. The spiritual ideals we find in recovery are restoring the shape of our thoughts and our lives to their natural condition. –Just For Today | More…
Other people’s actions need not affect us.
Part of the problem is our desire to be liked. The anger or criticism that’s directed at us hurts. But we can change – we can learn detachment. Daily we can work at letting whatever someone else says or does roll off us. In time, detachment will become our nature. — A Life of My Own | More…
It is a paradox that in our desire for peace we must willingly give ourselves to struggle. The Grandfathers have taught us about sacrifice. We have been taught to pray for the people in a pitiful way. Struggle and conflict is neither good nor bad, it just is. Everything that grows experiences conflict. When the deer is born it is through conflict. When the seed first grows, it is through conflict. Conflict precedes clarity. Everything has the seasons of growth. Recognize – acknowledge – forgive and change. All of these things are done through conflict.–Elders Meditations | More…
How important it is for us to support one another?
How important it is for us to know our culture and to share our experiences with one another? How powerful it is to be authentic? How important it is to hold no secrets? I am as sick as my secrets –Elders Meditations | More…
“searching and fearless” means complete honesty about who and what we really are. Difficult as it is to be fully honest, it’s made easier when we remind ourselves that it’s all for our own recovery. We benefit in proportion to the amount of honesty we bring to our inventory. If it’s searching and fearless, the results will be far-reaching and substantial. –Walk in Dry Places | More…
All our choices and decisions will reflect on our people.
We need to assume the accountability of honouring people. We must remember to conduct ourselves in a sacred way. We must remember we have the assistance of the Spirit World, and we have the principles and values by which we should live, written in our hearts. The Creator will help us develop into a strong people if we just learn to depend upon Him. –Elders Meditations | More…
I think my Higher Power stepped in and started leading me out of the alcoholic life, as I seemed incapable of doing it on my own. –Grapevine: Alexandria, Virginia, April 2002
July 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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
EASY DOES IT
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
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…
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…
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…
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…
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
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…
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…
WALK THE WALK
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…
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…
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
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…
What we are destined to learn in this life will keep presenting itself until “contact” has been made. The Steps coach us through every situation And they never shame us for needing reminders of our lessons. –A Woman’s Spirit/Karen Casey | More…
The Ninth Step tells us to make direct amends wherever possible. We make direct amends by repairing the damage we do. We make indirect amends by repairing the attitudes that cause us to do damage in the first place. –Just For Today | More…
We wanted an easy way out…. When we did seek help, we were only looking for the absence of pain. Thankfully, the steps are always there, no matter what we’re sick and tired of. As soon as we make the decision to begin the Twelve Step process, we realize our fears of change were groundless. –Just For Today | More…
Change is scary, even if it promises a better life. –Grapevine, Watsonville, California, June 2009
The Creator gave to all people and to all things the Wisdom and the knowledge of how to live in harmony. Some tribes call these teachings the original Instructions, the original teachings, or the Great Laws. Where are these teachings? The Instructions are written in our hearts. –Elders Meditations/White Bison 31/05 | More…
The Fellowship keeps us grounded in the current moment. We learn to live today. The idea of living one day at a time makes sense to us. Our Program teaches us that life is not about to happen, it is happening, and each moment is important. Recovery is about today and living life in the present. Since I no longer have to manage the universe, I have only myself to worry about today. I can let my Higher Power take care of tomorrow. — Easy Does It | More…
The Golden Key
Whenever trouble arises, the first thing to do is to turn it over to our Higher Power. We can take all necessary practical steps to solve a problem, but we don’t need to decide what the answer may be. Do this, and you’ll soon be out of your difficulty. This is essentially the formula of the Golden Key as taught by Emmet Fox. It is also the core idea of Steps Three and Eleven. It is a manner of living one’s life with the constant knowledge that a Higher Power is always part of it. Nothing depends on our being “spiritual” or “saintly” or perfect in behavior. With all our shortcomings, we are and ever will be children of God. — Walk in Dry Places/Mel B. | More…
Time teaches us about the twofold connection of suffering and wisdom. We learn that some pains can’t be healed, but instead must be endured until they run their course. Sometimes the only hope we have is the deep knowledge that our Higher Power will give us no more than we can handle today. –Body, Mind, and Spirit | More…
The Twelve Steps are a progressive recovery process. Recovery is an ongoing process and we are never cured. The more we use this process, the more we’ll trust it, for we can see the results. We go from anger and resentment to forgiveness, from denial to honesty and acceptance, and from pain to serenity. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight, and ours will never be complete. However each day brings new healing and the hope for more tomorrow. –Just For Today | More…
The trees are the Elders of the Earth. Just being in the presence of an old tree, you will feel more calm. Old trees know more, have heard more, and are the Elders of the Earth.
We must ensure these trees live so we can learn from them. – Elders Meditations | More…
All of us feel helpless at times to change our vision of life. Discouragement and self-pity become comfortable, and we fear that discarding them will leave us vulnerable. Seeing the glass as half empty is a sign that our attitude is holding us back. Unfortunately, a bad attitude is seductive. It’s then that we need the warmth of loving friends, and it’s no accident that we are surrounded by them in this fellowship. — A Woman’s Spirit/Karen Casey | More…
Our relationship to the Great Spirit determines how we perceive the meanings we put to places, people, institutions, and things. We need to let the Creator tell us and guide our thoughts about these relationships. Any relationship we have that is causing problems means we need to pray for a new point of view. –Elders Meditations | More…
Managing desires is one of the most crucial elements of being an adult. Our spiritual development includes learning how to regard our desires and how to manage them. Life continuously points us in directions we hadn’t expected. Disappointment can serve to reset our lives. Not getting our desires, if we keep our eyes open, points us in directions that can be better than what we had imagined for ourselves. — Wisdom to Know | More…
Honesty is a quality that is developed through practice. It isn’t always easy to be totally truthful, but when we begin with our Higher Power, we find it easier to extend our honesty to others. –Just For Today | More…
Keep doing the things that got it good, not the things that got good –Wisdom Of The Rooms | More…
Step Six helps me develop a sense of intuition that I can truly count on. –Grapevine, Forth Myers, Florida,/Step by Step
The Medicine Wheel teaches about change. It says that which is created will fall apart; that which is loose, will be used to create new. In other words, everything on Earth is participating in a constant change that is being directed by an order of laws and principles which were originated by the Great Spirit. We need to know ourselves and we need to know how we work inside to enable us to change naturally. –Elders Meditations | More…
The way to build our self-esteem is not to tear others down, but to build them up through love and positive concern. To help us with this, we can ask ourselves if we are contributing to the problem or to the solution. Today, we can choose to build instead of destroy. –Just For Today | More…
KEEP COMING BACK
After some time in NA, we find that more than our minds have arrived in our meeting rooms. More importantly, our hearts have arrived, too. After that happens, the miracles really begin! –Just For Today | More…
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Over the years I’ve found that this program is much easier to work if/when I quit making it so complicated. And the way I do that is by still trying to force my will on things. I now know it’s much simpler when I evaluate my motives, seek truly to be of service, and ask for God’s will, not mine to be done. This truly is the easier, softer way. –Wisdom of the Rooms | More…
From time to time we wonder if we’re “doing it right” Are we attending enough meetings? Are we using our sponsor, or working the steps, or speaking, or reading, or living the “right” way?
We value the fellowship of others in recovery and don’t know what we’d do without it. What if the way we’re practicing our program is “wrong”? Does that make us “bad” members? We can settle our insecurities by reviewing our Third Tradition, which assures us that “the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking/using.” There aren’t any rules. It’s true that, if we want the kind of recovery we see in members we respect, we’ll want to practice the kind of program that’s made their recovery possible. We work the program the best way for us, not for someone else. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking/using. –Just For Today | More…
The place to start in achieving an informed group conscience is with myself. –“We’ve Made a Decision-Don’t Confuse Us with the Facts,” –Grapevine, Alamogordo, New Mexico, February 1985,
In the Spiritual World there is a spiritual Law. The Law says; like attracts like. Whatever mental picture we hold inside our minds we will attract from the Universe. The Law always works. A doubting vision will not materialize what we want. A vision without doubt will always happen. This is a spiritual Law. –Elders Meditations | More…
We find honest friends in recovery. We are not alone anymore. We are honest with each other about character defects and work to help each other have better, ever-closer relationships. — God Grant Me | More…
It’s hard for many of us to believe in ourselves. But when someone loves us unconditionally, offering support no matter how many times we’ve relapsed, recovery becomes a little more real for us. –Just For Today | More…
The best cure for loneliness is to begin a relationship with a Higher Power that can help fill the emptiness of our heart. We find that when we have a belief in a Higher Power, we never have to feel lonely. We can be alone more comfortably when we have a conscious contact with a God of our understanding. –Just For Today | More…
Today, our lives are much fuller. We enjoy activities with others in recovery. We have time for our families. And we’ve discovered many other pursuits that give us pleasure. What a change from the past! We can live life just as fully as the “normal” people we once scorned. Enjoyment has returned to our lives, a gift of recovery. –Just For Today | More…
Native people say the Earth is sacred. Some places on Earth feel more sacred than others. You can often feel the sacredness of these places because of what has happened on them. The Earth is sacred and these special places are sacred spots. Elders Meditations | More…
When you’re angry at people, you make them part of your life. Problems with anger and our problems in relationships go hand in hand. It isn’t possible to be close to someone without being angry at times. We can expressing our anger openly, directly, and respectfully to others – or by hearing them when they are angry. Then, with dialogue, we can let it go and grow in dealing with anger. –Touchstones | More…
Lost dreams awaken and new possibilities arise. We used to put most of our energy into spinning excuses and rationalizations for our failures. Today, we go forward and make use of the many opportunities life presents to us. We may be amazed at what we’re capable of. With our foundation of recovery, success, fulfilment, and satisfaction are within our reach at last. –Just For Today | More…
We begin to find a peace that we never imagined possible. We work the steps because we want to grow spiritually. In recovery, our motives have changed. We want to do things for the right reason, not just for personal benefit. –Just For Today | More…
Women have access to special powers. The Earth Mother gives her love in a special way to the Woman. The Moon also gives special powers to the Woman. She uses these powers to nurture, heal, and guide the people. –Elders Meditations | More…
Harry slipped ten times before he made it. What is overlooked is that the last time Jack slipped, he slipped into a coffin. The last time Bob slipped, his baby son burned to death in a crib because of Bob’s negligence. The last time Ann slipped, she got strychnine poisoning and became blind. And the last time Jim slipped, he tried to kill his wife and nearly did. We’re not playing games here. This is a matter of life and death. — Day by Day | More…
We give strength to minimizing attitudes when we use minimizing words. We deserve better. –Days of Healing, Days of Joy | More…
The discovery or invention or harnessing of fire was one of the great scientific and technological discoveries in all of human history. Fire to a great extent made human civilization possible. There was no Bronze Age without fire, no Iron Age without fire, no industrial revolution without fire. The advances of science and technology are greatly dependent on the human ability and capacity to take fire and use it for human good. Fire makes it possible for us to text and tweet and email and Instagram and Facebook and socially be dysfunctional with each other. If humanity ever captures the energy of love, it will be the second time in history that we have discovered fire. –Bishop Michael Currie | More…
Many of our Elders live in prayer. They talk to the Creator like the Creator is their best friend. It is easiest to do this if we pray in the morning and ask the Great Spirit to direct our thinking. When the Creator is involved in guiding our lives, we will have less stress, anxiety, and tension. –Elders Meditations | More…
Spring is the season of love. Spring is the season of new life, new relationships. It is the springtime that really reacts to the new position of Father Sun. Life is abundant. New cycles are created. Mother Earth changes colours, the flowers are abundant. It is the time for us humans to let ourselves renew. We should let go of the feeling of Winter. We should be joyful and energetic. Elders Meditations | More…
The leaves that return to the Earth are the future trees. So inside the Mother Earth are the future forests. The human, when finished with its life on the Earth, will return to the Earth. So in the Earth are our future grandchildren. We should be respectful of the place where our future generations live. –Elders Meditations | More…
Even though now recovered, we are never too far removed from the possibility of fresh personal disaster. Each knows he must observe a high degree of honesty, humility, and tolerance, or else drink again.–Grapevine, Bill W 1947
SOFT VOICE DISORDER
A soft or quiet voice can obviously inhibit communication. If someone can’t hear what you’re saying, they can’t give you a proper response. When some people meet a quiet talker, they may find it too much trouble to always have to try to make out what they’re saying. Instead, they’ll move on to someone they have an easier time understanding. If you want to speak in a group conversation, it’s a lot harder to draw attention to yourself if you are soft spoken. Speaking volume is a very important part of oral communication in every language. When speaking one must be able to speak loudly enough so that the audience hears you comfortably. Soft Speaking Disorder (in program-talk) may have something to do with one’s current level of ‘self-esteem’ Speaking softly is an effective management (control) strategy, and medically, speaking in a quieter tone of voice and eventually developing into a flatter-sounding monotone voice could be an indication of Parkinson’s Disease. –ELA
Anger as a response to injustice is spiritually healthy. A theology of anger invites us to shake off the shackles of denial, resignation, and nihilism. It can help us construct healthy boundaries. –Barbara Holmes
THE SACRED WAY
If we are fault finding, putting one another down, being selfish, being violent to our spouses or children, if we are cheating and being dishonest, then we are not living the Sacred Way. The Sacred Way is about respect, love, forgiveness and sharing. –Elders Meditations | More…
We can create love every day. It grows in each of us as we take actions that affirm our respect and caring for others and ourselves. Love extends to our daily relationships with other people. Love is not in scarce supply. Our acts of kindness and service and our practice of genuine tolerance renew love in the world and in our hearts. — If You Want What We Have | More…
Many of us cling to our fears, doubts, self-loathing, or hatred because there is a certain distorted security in familiar pain. Our minds manufacture a hundred excuses for remaining right where we are, afraid to try something new. When the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of changing, we will change. We find that most of our pain comes not from change but from resistance to change. Change is how we move forward in our lives. With new things in our lives, we find new joys and loves. –Just For Today | More…
If you want to be happy, go to a meeting. If you want to be twice as happy, go to two meetings –Grapevine
Focus on Being, not doing. After all, we are human beings not human doings. The main purpose is to serve the needs of others. Everyone is a teacher. We should try to live this way; humble, patient, honouring the Earth and listening to our teachers. –Elders Meditations | More…
When you sing a song and play the drum, your mind, body, and spirit will react. Everything becomes calm and joyful. Our bodies love the songs. Songs allow us to touch the hand of the Creator. When we sing and touch the Great Spirit’s hand, He gives us power. Songs are another way to pray. –Elders Meditations | More…
To complete a multitude of nameless amends we made restitution to our communities. We focused our service efforts on helping the still-suffering addict. In this manner, we found a way to give back to society. Today, with the love and guidance of members in the program, we are giving back to the world around us rather than taking. We are making our communities better places to live by carrying the message of recovery to those we encounter in our daily lives. –Just For Today | More…
We have to keep looking for something better than dullness, better than average living, better than mediocre spirituality. –Grapevine
The surest way to unhappiness is to concentrate only on ourselves. Extreme self-centeredness brings alienation from God, from our friends, and loved ones. The surest remedy is to pray, not for our own comfort, but for God to bless someone else. We always get help for the blues by offering a hand to another or accepting a hand ourselves. | In God’s Care/Karen Casey | More…
Life on life’s terms is often anything but funny. How often have we allowed ourselves to be upset by incidents that, taken with a bit of humour, are not all that intolerable? When we become annoyed with people and events, a search for the humour in the situation can put things in a brighter perspective. An ability to find humour in a difficult situation is a gift to develop. –Just For Today | More…
In recovery, we can be trusted again. We can again live and love ourselves. We do this by finding our spiritual center. This is the place inside of us where our Higher Power lives. We turn our will and our lives over to this spiritual center. We do as our spiritual center tells us. And from our spiritual center, we’ll find our values. We’ll live better lives. We’ll come to trust ourselves again. — Keep It Simple | More…
Getting mad at someone, is normal. Everybody gets mad sometimes. Forgiving the people we’re mad at works like magic. We don’t even have to forgive them out loud. We can forgive them in our own minds. The result is the same. When we’re mad, we are the ones who suffer most. — Today’s Gift | More…
Every season, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, has gifts that it gives to all creatures. The animals will develop thicker furs just before Winter and will shed this fur in the Spring. Squirrels will store their food in the Fall; other animals build up fat so they can hibernate during the Winter. We can watch all forms of nature and see all creatures work in harmony with the seasons. The secret for us is to learn by observing nature. Watch the trees. Learn from them. We human beings need to learn the gifts and blessings of the seasons. –Elders Meditations | More…
Surrender, we thought, brought only defeat and humiliation. The inspiration of the program brings us possibilities that cannot originate from within. When we surrender, we are no longer captives within our skins. We are actually restored to a more natural state as people in community with others, who literally cannot survive as isolated individuals. – Touchstones | More…
It’s relatively easy to accept the things we like—it’s the things we don’t like that are hard to accept. In recovery we’ve found that what needed changing was our own attitude and our own actions, not the people, places, and things around us. In recovery, we pray for wisdom to know the difference between what can and can’t be changed. Then, once we see the truth of our situation, we pray for the willingness to change ourselves. Grant me the wisdom to know the difference between what can be changed and what I must accept. –Just For Today | More…
All of Nature has the wisdom to follow the Natural Laws. All of Nature knows how to live in harmony and use this wisdom in a good way, with exception of the human being. Often we misuse this wisdom. Wisdom always remains with those who use it in the proper way. Nature has used this wisdom well, so now we need to go to Her so we humans can relearn and change our lives. –Elders Meditations | More…
Respect should be given those indigenous nations who still carry on their ceremonies; still following the ancient laws of nature with songs and ceremonies. This is the strength of the people. The ancient Wisdom and Knowledge of ancient Laws are hidden in the ceremonies and songs. We should seek out these songs and ceremonies. –Elders Meditations | More…
God is not a cosmic bellboy. We have to laugh when we look back at the times we treated God like our servant. We don’t expect God to work miracles every time we’d like one. We’re asking our Higher Power to lead us. After all, who knows what is best for us – our Higher Power or us? — Keep It Simple | More…
Give all your problems to God – He’ll be up all night anyway! As I progressed in recovery, I learned the definition of faith is believing what you cannot see, and the reward of faith is seeing what you believe. Through faith and a developing practice of turning situations, people and problems over to God, I’ve been rewarded with a life that is, for the most part, happy joyous and free. –Wisdom of the Rooms | More…
For some, prayer is asking for God’s help; meditation is listening for God’s answer…. Quieting the mind through meditation brings an inner peace that brings us into contact with the God within us. Be patient when you’re learning to meditate, it takes practice to know what to ‘listen’ for. Practice “listening” for knowledge of God’s will –Just For Today | More…
If we maintain our spiritual condition daily, we find it easier to deal with the pain and confusion. Even after we come to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, our old ideas can come back to haunt us. Major setbacks in our lives and the insecurity such events can trigger may give rise to the return of our old, inadequate ideas about God. When this happens, we need to assure ourselves that our Higher Power has not abandoned us but is waiting to help us make it through the hard times in our recovery. No matter how painful our loss may be, we will survive our setback and continue to grow if we maintain the faith our program has given us. –Just For Today | More…
The Creator designed all life to happen in a circle. The cycle of life for the human being is Baby, Youth, Adult, Elder, then we die. The trees and the leaves happen in a circle; the leaves bud, then the leaves mature, next the leaves change colour, and at last they fall off the tree to return to the Mother Earth. The birds bear their young, raise their young, then they die. The salmon are born, swim to the ocean, live their lives, swim back to the spawning grounds, then die. All aspects of the Life Cycle should be honoured. –Elders Meditations | More…
Harbouring resentment isn’t the solution. If it were, our resentment list would be like a telephone directory. Deal with your feelings. Learn whatever lesson is at hand. Then let the feelings go. Resentments are a coping behavior, a tool of someone settling for survival in life. They’re a form or revenge. The problem is, no matter whom we’re resenting, the anger is ultimately directed against ourselves. Take a moment. Search your heart. Have you tricked yourself into harbouring resentment? If you have, take another moment and let that resentment go.
God, grant me the serenity that acceptance brings. — More Language of Letting Go | More…
We need to be loved and to love. 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. –Elders Meditations | More…
When we reach a maximum in understanding, we know how very much we shall never understand. –Grapevine
It is said when we walk on the Earth, we are walking on our ancestors and our unborn children. This is the relationship Native People have with the Earth. It is this relationship which gives insight into the Earth’s rhythm and heartbeat and creates the feeling of belonging. If you feel you belong to something, you’ll treat it with respect. If you feel you are above something, you’ll treat it with disrespect. Indian Spirituality is tied to the Earth. We belong to the Earth along with all other creatures on the Earth. We must align to this realization. –Elders Meditations | More…
If we lose old pain, we lose all that we learned. We may repeat our mistakes, or make even worse ones next time. Dwelling on the past is equally dangerous. We began recovery to build a better life. A healthy mind in a healthy body is free to find God. And, with God’s help, we can learn to recognize and forgive our past mistakes, while we keep the lessons we learned from life. With our remembering, with our inventory, we can truly experience the repentance that frees us from regret and remorse. When we acknowledge our mistakes, we can learn from them and come to forgive ourselves. — Body, Mind, and Spirit | More…
Honesty, means more than just not lying, and is truly indispensable in recovery. In our dysfunctional thinking, we created a storm of self-deception and rationalization, a whirlwind of lies in which the small, quiet voice of self-honesty could not be heard. To become honest with ourselves, we first must stop lying to ourselves. In our Eleventh Step meditations, we must become quiet. Then, in the resulting stillness, we must listen for truth. When we become silent, self-honesty will be there for us to find. –Just For Today | More…
We will make mistakes. We are born with the right to make mistakes. There is no shame in that. There is wisdom in the motto ‘Keep coming back.’ The motto refers to returning to our standards. Rather than to strive constantly for higher and higher perfection, our goal is to always return to the rules we live by. We will veer off the path When we do, we make repairs, pay our dues, and hold our place as full-fledged members of the human race. — Wisdom to Know | More…
It is tempting to believe that we will be happy when we have something outside ourselves, which will make us happy. But happiness is not something we have to find outside; the seeds are in our hearts already. — Today’s Gift | More…
Newcomers hear us carry a message of hope to them. They tend to see us through “rose-coloured glasses.” They don’t always recognize our struggle with a particular character defect or our difficulties with improving our conscious contact with our Higher Power. It takes them time to realize that we, the “oldtimers” with three or six or ten years clean, often place personalities before principles or suffer from some other unsightly character defects. –Just For Today | More…
Put down the magnifying glass and pick up the mirror. Once I put the focus on me, I regain power to influence and direct my life and happiness. –Wisdom of the Rooms | More…
It’s difficult to give away what we fear we don’t have; yet, paradoxically, that’s the key to our salvation. As we give others our love, we’ll likewise experience a greater measure of it. And it need not come from outside. It will, instead, well up from within. We each have the power of personal salvation. All we must do is love. — Worthy of Love | More…
As we recover, we gain a new outlook on being clean…. Life can become a new adventure for us. As we work the Twelve Steps, we discover another kind of clean. It’s the clean that comes from admitting the truth about our addiction rather than hiding or denying our disease. It’s the freshness that comes from owning up to our wrongs and making amends for them. It’s the vitality that comes from the new set of values we develop as we seek a Higher Power’s will for us. When we practice the principles of our program in all our affairs, we have no reason to feel dirty about our lives or our lifestyles. –Just For Today | More…
Power is here all the time. It is continuous, and nobody controls it. There are certain powers that the human being has no choice but to obey. We cannot negotiate or barter with this power. Our choice is either to conform or to live out of harmony. Whatever our choice, it will be the end result in our lives that we notice. So it is with the powers of the Earth which produce life. The Earth has the life force power. If anyone plants a seed, the seed will grow. The Earth treats everyone equally. The human cannot interfere, only obey. We should all show great respect for the Earth and Her powers. –Elders Meditations |More…
What I do with my mind and my time is important. What I do with my mind is my inner life. What I do with my time is my outer life. Together they define who I am. We’ve been giving our minds to whatever is on the radio, television, or the gossip grapevine at work or school. That’s why it’s good to spend part of each day thinking about things we truly think are important and worthwhile. — God Grant Me | More…
The god that people reject is not the true god, it is a god they have conjured up separate/apart from proper education, and understanding. Inside of every person – man, woman, and child – is the knowledge that there is a Supreme Being. The Elders teach us that the Creator is a loving and forgiving God. He loves us during our good days and He loves us during our bad days. He doesn’t know how to do anything but love. If I really want to find out about the true God, I only need to ask in prayer. There is one thing that God cannot do and that is refuse help to one of His children who asks. –Elders Meditations | More…
The first 3 digits of barcode indicate the code of the country where a product originated. Barcodes are as follows; 00 to 13: United States and Canada, 30 to 37: France, 40 to 44: Germany, 49: Japan, 50: Great Britain, 57: Denmark, 64: Finland, 76: Switzerland and Liechtenstein, 471: Taiwan, 628: Saudi Arabia, 629: United Arab Emirates, 690 to 695: China, 480 489: Philippines.
Imperfection offers me the freedom of a million potentials. –Grapevine
The place to start in achieving an informed group conscience is with myself. –“We’ve Made a Decision-Don’t Confuse Us with the Facts,” –Grapevine, heartbeat of AA
Self-centeredness we cultivated in our addiction has distorted our perceptions of life. It is difficult to let go of our expectations and accept life as it is. We learn to accept our lives by working the Twelve Steps. We discover how to change our attitudes and let go of character defects. We no longer need to distort the truth or to run from situations. The more we practice the Steps, the easier it becomes to accept life exactly as it comes to us. –Just For Today | More…
With the Creator in our lives, we are everything. Without the Creator, we are nothing. When the Creator is in our life, suddenly the impossible becomes possible. The extraordinary becomes ordinary. Things we thought could never happen start to happen. Talents we never know we had, start to blossom. Resources appear. Help arrives to give us guidance and direction. We become happy. We have peace of mind and confidence. –Elders Meditations | More…
Faith is belief without evidence. We must have faith that others can help us. We can only be helped if we want to be helped. Because Program People know how to help – that is only one half of it. The other half is up to us. We must have faith that the program has power to help. –Elders Meditations | More…
We have found tolerance to be a principle that strengthens not only our own recovery, but also our relationships with individuals who are a source of irritation to us. Strive to accept others as they are. Try not to judge others, focus on the principles of love and acceptance. –Just For Today | More…
I am still amazed at the aura around AA meetings… No matter what our immediate problems, fears, or resentments, we come to a halt when the meeting begins and focus on our primary purpose –Grapevine
The process of coming to believe restores us to sanity. The strength to move into action comes from this belief. Coming to believe is a process that stems from personal experience. Coming to believe involves a willingness to recognize miracles for what they are. When we can look back at the evidence of a loving Higher Power acting on our behalf, it becomes possible to trust that this Higher Power will continue to help us in the future. And trust offers us the strength to move forward. –Just For Today | More…
We are created by God to be vision people. If we create within ourselves a picture or vision and we hold that picture or vision in our mind, whatever we picture will show up in our reality.
If we can see ourselves being educated, then schools and teachers will show up in our lives. If we picture in our mind a positive, spiritual person to be in our lives, we will attract this type of person in our relationships. How big can our dreams be?–Elders Meditations | More…
If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. Before recovery, I had a lot of plans. Years later all the things I was sure I needed to be happy had not materialized, But I realized I had received a lot more. I was comfortable in my own skin, and I knew peace and even serenity at times. I realized that I was finally happy and that my life had meaning. And that’s when I finally understood the saying, ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.’ –Wisdon of The Rooms | More…
Our mistakes of yesterday can be stepping stones for tomorrow if we do something about them today. –Grapevine, “Patience Helps,” New York, NY, September 1947
Before we can be of any use to anybody else, we must find the beginnings of the answer for ourselves. –Grapevien, Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Friend of AA, October 1955
In order for the Creator to do His work on this earth, He needs the human being to do it. How He guides us is through our eyes, ears, hands, nose, mouth, arms legs and feet. We are instruments of the Creator. We are His keepers of the earth. We are the keepers of our brothers. We are to teach His children. We are to respect the things He has made. We are to take care of ourselves and treat our bodies and our minds with respect. We are to do respectful things. We are to walk the Sacred Path. We should have good thoughts. We should do only things that we think the Creator would have us do. What an honor to be a human being. What an honor that He would talk to us and guide us to perform His wonders. –Elders Meditation | More…
When someone points out a shortcoming, our first reaction may be defensive. There will always be room for growth. Letting go of our defences opens the door to change, growth, and new freedom. Each day in the recovery process will bring an opportunity for further change and growth. –Just For Today | More…
Our Traditions were written first in our hearts, instinctively I think. We are but caretakers to preserve the spiritual quality of our Fellowship. –Grapevine AA Co-Founder, Bill W., November 1950, “AA Is Not Big Business”
Step Four asks us to admit our character defects. The founders of the Twelve Steps were wise men who understood the value of self-assessment. None of us is without problems, many of which we cause ourselves because of behavior we need to change. But until we can stand back from ourselves and see our part in our troubles, we’ll not have the data we need to make a change in our lives. This program is designed to help us change. Its goal for us is greater peace, but we must do our part. — A Life of My Own | More…
Each of the four directions has special powers. These powers or Grandfathers are there to help us. The powers are from the East, the South, the West, and the North. To call upon the power we need to stand in the center and face each of the directions and honor all forms of life in each direction. Facing the East we honor all the two legged, four legged, winged ones, plants’ nation and the animals. We repeat this prayer in each of the four directions. This allows us to become centered. When we are centered, then we are ready to call the helpers. It is said, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. If we are to be ready, we need to remember to always get quiet first. We do this by honouring and praying to the four directions. –Elders Meditations | More…
Encouragement is one of the greatest gifts we can give one another. No conversation is without purpose. Even those exchanges that seem meaningless offer us opportunities for bettering someone else’s opinion of themselves. What greater offerings have we to make than to be loving and helpful to someone traveling this path with us? If we haven’t given much attention to this part of our assignment before, let’s begin now. The homework will make all of us feel much better. — Keepers of the Wisdom | More…
Our fears are lessened and faith begins to grow as we learn the true meaning of surrender. We are no longer fighting fear, anger, guilt, self-pity, or depression. Surrender can be difficult, still, it’s easier to trust God, a Power capable of managing our lives, than to trust only ourselves, whose lives are unmanageable. And the more we surrender, the easier it gets. –Just For Today | More…
In order for us to use our power well, we must become a hollow bone. We must prepare ourselves to become a channel. Our channel must be clean before we can use our power well. We must be free of resentments, guilt, shame, anger, self-pity and fear. If these things are in us, we cannot be hollow bones. These things block us from our power. The cleaner we are, the more power we move. We must become a hollow bone so the Creator can use us to do what he wants us to do. –Elders Meditations
We have all had mentors. The process of mentoring is how most of us learn, ultimately. We are not through living yet, thus we are not through mentoring either. Every encounter we have with someone is mentoring in action. What we can control, is the content of our own mentoring. Are we satisfied that we’ve done our best? — Keepers of the Wisdom | More…
A broader definition of employment gives every one of us a chance to put in a productive day. Knowing that our presence, our words, our willingness to listen to someone else has made life better for them makes it better for us, too. — Keepers of the Wisdom | More…
Most of the pain we experience comes from fighting, not surrendering. In fact, when we surrender, the pain ends and hope takes its place. We begin to believe that all will be well and, after some time, realize that our lives are much better as a result. We feel the same way we did when we gave up the illusion that we could control our using. –Just For Today | More…
Hurting someone thoughtlessly just to lift our own guilt is not a proper Step Nine. Amends are for rebuilding the burned bridges in our lives. The point in every amends attempt is to take responsibility for what we did and express our regrets. Couple this with changed behavior, and our relationships will improve immediately. — A Life of My Own | More…
Whenever we pick plants or herbs, we should leave an offering. We should talk to the plants and ask their permission to use them. The plants will feel honoured to be of service, for each of them knows they are here to serve. Each of them knows they carry a special medicine and this medicine is about continuing the cycle of life. We need always to be grateful to our brothers and sisters. Creator, thank you for the opportunity of life _Elders Meditations | More…
Being involved in service makes me feel worthwhile.
At thirty days clean, some members will tell us that what we can do best is listen.
Service is something that is our unique gift—something that no one can take away from us. We give, –Just For Today | More…
There is one thing more than anything else that will defeat us in our recovery;
This is an attitude of indifference or intolerance toward spiritual principles.
We didn’t necessarily accept every single spiritual idea we heard.
But we started thinking, if these principles had worked for others, just maybe they’d work for us, too. For a beginning, that willingness was enough. –Just For Today | More…
Think only about what is holy. Empty your mind
If we let our minds wander, we will come up with a lot of junk.
We cannot stop thinking, but we can choose what to think about.
The Elders say we move towards what we think about.
That’s why they say, ‘Think about what is holy, and think about good’. –Elders Meditations | More…
Abandoning the old attitude of “all or nothing” we learn to settle for very gradual progress, punctuated occasionally by very heavy setbacks. –A Day at a Time | More…
In time, we can relax and enjoy the atmosphere of recovery.
We learn to lighten up in recovery.
We laugh at the absurdity of our addiction.
Our meetings—those rooms filled with the lively, happy sounds of percolating coffee, clattering chairs, and laughing addicts—are the gathering places where we first welcome our newcomers and let them know that, yes, we’re having fun now. –Just For Today | More…
Every person needs to conscientiously think about how they respect the Earth.
Do we dump our garbage out of the car? Do we poison the water? Do we poison the air?
Am I taking on the responsibility of being a caretaker of the Earth? –Elders Meditations | More…
Slow down or stop – depending on how fast you’re going.
Look – see where you are, whom you’re with, what you’re doing.
Give whatever you’re doing your attention.
Listen – as much as possible, quell your anxiety, cease your mental chatter, and just listen to nature, to other people, to God, and to yourself. –52 Weeks of Conscious Contact/Melody Beattie | More…
The most spiritual thing you can do is to help someone
It is the way out of the prison of self, and it always sets our spirits free. –Wisdom of the Rooms | More…
It is our experience as alcoholics that makes us of unique value…
We can approach sufferers as no one else can. –“A United Message of Recovery,” Decatur, Georgia, May 1994/AA Grapevine
When we are centered on our spiritual path, we can respond to our fears with peace. And by living peaceably ourselves, we invite a spirit of peace to enter our world. We can affect positive change by doing our best to practice the principles of our program. –Just For Today | More…
All AA progress can be reckoned in terms of just two words: humility and responsibility. –Bill W., January 1966, “The Guidance of AA’s World Affairs”/The Language of the Heart
If every day is an awakening, you will never grow old.
You will just keep growing. -Gail Sheehy
Native Spirituality is full of life. When we seek it we become alive.
If we look outside ourselves, we will not find life; if we look inside, we will find life.
Anytime we choose to change our lives, we only need to look inside. –Elders Meditations | More…
To keep growing and to keep building character, we need to rehearse kindness, patience, and love.
We need to practice awareness of our Higher Power in our lives –Day by Day | More…
Good things increase in direct proportion to my willingness to become teachable. –AA Grapevine
We have learned that it is okay to not know all the answers For then we are teachable and can learn to live our new life successfully. As recovering addicts and as human beings, we have much to learn. Other addicts—and other humans—have much to teach us about what works and what doesn’t. As long as we remain teachable, we can take advantage of the experience of others. –Just For Today | More…
Hello, I am Your Disease
I hate meetings.
I hate your higher power.
I hate anyone who has a program.
To all who come in contact with me,
I wish you suffering and death.
Allow me to introduce myself…
I am the disease of addiction.
Alcoholism, drugs and eating disorders.
I am cunning, baffling and powerful. That’s me!
I’ve killed millions and enjoyed doing it.
I love to catch you by surprise.
I love pretending I’m your friend and lover.
I’ve given you comfort.
Wasn’t I there when you were lonely?
When you wanted to die, didn’t you call on me?
I love to make you hurt.
I love to make you cry. Better yet…
I love it when I make you so numb,
You can’t hurt and you can’t cry.
You feel nothing at all.
I give you instant gratification.
All I ask for in return is long term suffering.
I’ve always been there for you.
When things were going right, you invited me back.
You said you didn’t deserve to be happy.
I agreed with you.
Together we were able to destroy your life.
People don’t take me seriously.
They take strokes seriously.
They take heart attacks seriously.
Even diabetes, they take seriously.
Yet, without my help, these things wouldn’t be possible.
I’m such a hated disease, yet I don’t come uninvited.
You choose to have me.
Many have chosen me, instead of love and peace.
I hate all of you who work a 12 step program.
Your program, your meetings, and your higher power weaken me.
I can’t function in the manner I am accustomed to.
I am your disease.
For now I must lie here quietly.
You don’t see me, but I’m growing more powerful every day.
When you settle for mere existence, I thrive.
When you feel fully alive, I weaken.
But I’m always here waiting for you.
Until we meet again,
I wish you continued suffering and death.
Author Unknown –In The Sunlight | More…
(Definition: a deterioration in someone’s state of health after a temporary improvement.)
The Top 14 Symptoms of A Relapse
1. Exhaustion: Becoming overly tired – heads up, workaholics.
2. Dishonesty: Little lies and deceits – making excuses.
3. Impatience: Things do not happen fast enough – others not doing what they should. Road rage and driving dangerously are signs also.
4. Argumentativeness: Arguing ridiculous points of view – looking for an excuse to drink, use drugs, gamble, or other “acting-out” addictions.
5. Depression: Unreasonable despair – Problems not being talked out.
6. Frustration: At people and things that may not be going your way.
7. Self-pity: Why do these things only happen to me? Why am I like I am? (Hint: Even if you do know why you are as you are – it does not change anything. You have to make changes.)
8. Over-Confident: Thinking you have got-it-made – you no longer fear your addiction – and you take risks getting involved with people, places, and things that you know are high risk.
9. Complacency: Thinking everything is ok, and “forgetting” about past negative consequences. Cruising on yesterday’s recovery.
10. Expecting too much from others: “I have changed, why hasn’t everyone else started to trust me, reward me, etc…”
11. Abuse of Over The Counter Medicines: Rather than your “drug of choice” or mood altering substances.
12. Personal expectations set too high: Setting goals that are unattainable, or that take time and effort to obtain and not willing to be patient and put in the hard work. “Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.”
13. Selective Memory: Forgetting what you were like when you were using, abusing or deep into your addiction. Learn to be grateful each day, even if the world seems a little less colorful to you – it will get better.
14. Not rewarding yourself in healthy ways: Still thinking that substance use is a reward, or something that you deserve. Most people, who have gotten to the point where their substance use could be considered abuse, or that they were or are addicted or dependent, cannot really go back to controlled use. Like it or not, for many it is a fact of life. So, to deal with thinking a drink or using a drug is a good thing – play the tape to the end and remember where it got you, and it started out by using just once. Stop the process before it gets started. Do not take chances, and remind yourself that there are so many better rewards in life when you remain clean and sober! ~By Bruce “The Gazette Guy” Huberman
When we used, we usually had an open mind when it came to finding ways and means to get more drugs.
If we can apply this same principle of open-mindedness to our recovery, we may surprise ourselves by how easily we begin to grasp the program. Our best thinking, it is often said, got us into the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous.
If we are willing to go to any lengths, follow directions, and stay open-minded, we can stay clean. –Just For Today | More…
Many of us understand God to be simply whatever force keeps us clean.
Starting over in recovery means we can start over in our spiritual life, too. If we’re not comfortable with what we learned when we were growing up, we can try a different approach to our spirituality.
We don’t have to understand everything all at once or find the answers to all our questions right away.
Sometimes it’s enough just to know that other members believe and that their belief helps keep them clean. –Just For Today | More…
(Definition: the choice, judgement, or control of when something should be done.)
The old ones say two things must be present for a miracle to take place.
One, the right time. Two, the right place.
This is why we need to honor our ceremonies.
Ceremonies are done in an order. –Elders Meditations | More…
(Definition: revered due to sanctity; connected with God or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration.)
Without a sacred center, no one knows right from wrong.
In the center of the circle is where the powers reside.
These powers are called love, principle, justice, spiritual knowledge, life, forgiveness and truth. We access these powers by being still, quieting the mind.
Only in this way do we know right from wrong. –Elders Meditations| More…
We can implement the Serenity Prayer, accepting what we can’t change and changing what we can.
Emotional pain may call for a therapist or friend, and spiritual distress may indicate the need for more prayer and meditation, closer contact with a Higher Power.
We can accept responsibility for our feelings, become willing to go to any lengths to get well, and choose not to be miserable. –Inner Harvest/Elisabeth L | More…
Nervous and Mental dis-ease
Of, resembling, or produced by apoplexy
Unconsciousness or incapacity resulting from a cerebral haemorrhage or stroke.
From Ancient Greek ἀποπληξία, meaning ‘a striking away’
Any sudden death that began with a sudden loss of consciousness
Apoplexy was sometimes used to refer to the symptom of sudden loss of consciousness immediately preceding death.
The state of intense and almost uncontrollable anger
Overcome with anger; furious.
As soon as you step into the light, all fear and pain go away.
When we stand in the power, fear cannot exist.
How do we find this place of power? We pray our way into it.
When we get to that place, we will feel the fear go away. –Elders Meditations | More…
Patience is needed with everyone, but first of all with ourselves.
We forget to allow ourselves to fail, even though our growth up to now has been a series of failures that we’ve learned from.
With patience, we allow ourselves to take chances we might not otherwise explore, and we widen our world of possibilities.
Life has been patient with us so far, now it’s our turn. –Today’s Gift | More…
Becoming entirely ready to have our defects of character removed can be a long process, often taking place over the course of a lifetime. Our state of readiness grows in direct proportion to our awareness of these defects and the destruction they cause.
As we let go of our shortcomings and find their influence waning, we’ll notice that a loving God replaces those defects with quality attributes. Where we were fearful, we find courage.
Where we were selfish, we find generosity. Our delusions about ourselves will disappear to be replaced by self-honesty and self-acceptance. –Just for Today | More…
What a relief we feel as we make sense out of our fear and begin to talk with each other.
We let go of secrets between us and work toward mutual understanding.
As we communicate, the knot in our stomach loosens and light reappears in our relationship. –The More We Find in Each Other | More…
WRITE IT DOWN
The rewards we find through the simple action of writing are many.
Clarity of thought, keys to locked places inside of us, and the voice of conscience are but a few.
Writing helps us be more honest with ourselves.
We sit down, quiet our thoughts, and listen to our hearts.
What we hear in the stillness are the truths that we put down on paper. –Just For Today | More…
Only mutual trust can be the foundation for great love — each of us for the other, and all of us for God. –AA Co-Founder, Bill W., 1960, “Freedom Under God: The Choice Is Ours”/The Language of the Heart
If we look closely and with love toward the people so carefully placed in our midst,
we’ll discover many hearts, like our own, searching for acceptance. –Worthy of Love | More…
As we continue our recovery journey, we can get side-tracked by complacency, intolerance, or dishonesty. When we do, we need to recognize the signs quickly and get back on our path—the open road to freedom and growth. –Just For Today | More…
PEACE OF MIND
When we make decisions or experience conflict we need to look at the greater whole.
The end result we want to accomplish is peace of mind.
A good question to ask ourselves is, “would I rather be right or happy?” –Elders Meditations | More…
THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER
Don’t sweat the small stuff, and remember, it’s all small stuff.
Drinking didn’t cause my problems, living did.
The practicing alcoholic is the only person in the world who can lie in the gutter and still look down on others.
AA meetings are the jumper cables God uses to get love flowing from one alcoholic to another –My Mind is Out to Get Me | More…
The Old People would gather words as they walked a sacred path across the Earth, leaving nothing behind but prayers and offerings.”
Whenever we walk on the Earth, we should pay attention to what is going on.
If we are aware as we walk, we will gather words for our lives, the lessons to help our children; we will gather feelings of interconnectedness and calmness.
When we experience this, we should say or think thoughts of gratitude. –Elders Meditations | More…
To stay clean, we must find the willingness to change our old ways of thinking.
What has worked for others can work for us—but we must be willing to try it.
We must trade in our old cynical doubts for new affirmations of hope.
When we do, we’ll find it’s worth the risk. –Just For Today | More…
The rewards of asking for help – increased humility, connection, and trust – are well worth the effort. –‘H-E-L-P,’ Phoenix, Arizona, April 2011/AA Grapevine
Inside every human being is a need to dance. We dance to music.
Have you ever wondered why people are moved when they hear a Drum?
The drum is the heartbeat of the Mother Earth.
The beat of the drum makes our bodies, minds, and spirits join together in harmony.
It allows us to connect to Mother Earth and to each other.
The dance aligns our minds to think spiritual thoughts.
Dancing to the drum is healthy. –Elders Meditations | More…
It’s healthy, wise, and loving to be considerate and responsive to the feelings and needs of others.
That’s different from caretaking. Caretaking is a self-defeating and a relationship defeating behavior Caretaking is a behavior that backfires and can cause us to feel resentful and victimized
Because ultimately, what we feel, want, and need will come to the surface.
We do not have to feel responsible for others.
We do not have to feel guilty about not feeling responsible for others.
We can learn to let ourselves feel good about taking responsibility for our needs and feelings. –The Language of Letting | More…
In my heart, I know that meetings benefit me in all kinds of ways.
Today, I want what’s good for me. I will attend a meeting. –Just For Today | More…
Our hearts work like a tuning fork.
When the heart feels completely in tune with a decision or thought or action in our lives, then we know it is the right one for us.
We can actually feel the harmony inside our bodies. –Today’s Gift | More…
How do people with a long stretch of recovery learn to live without relapse?
Many of them mention sponsoring and being sponsored.
Sponsorship is one of the great gifts of the Twelve Step program, bearing an extraordinary power to turn a person’s life around. | More…
To believe that every tree, plant, and insect can talk takes an open mind.
Go by yourself into nature and sit quietly.
Then pick up a rock and listen to your thoughts.
After a while, put that rock down and pick up another rock.
Your thoughts will change.
These are the voices and wisdom of the Stone People. –Elders Meditations | More…
We think that by ‘doing it right’, we will get rid of the shame,” observed psychologist Carol Travilla.
Some of us may be motivated to perfectionism by our toxic shame
The inner message we hear is: “Shame on you! You are needy. You are human.”
It’s fake guilt; and it’s poisonous.
We don’t have to be hooked into listening to these self-defeating messages.
God wants to release us from the overwhelming burden of perfectionism.
We can forget the false shame and relax.
God knows our human needs and he accepts and likes us anyway. –NAC/Joan C, Webb | More…
Hope is about the future.
It may be oriented to the next hour, or the next day, or the next month or year or decade.
But hope is always about anticipation.
Those of us who like to control things often find hope difficult because we do not control the future. Many of us are compulsive makers-of-plans.
We need to remind ourselves regularly, therefore, that God’s vision for the future is better than our own.
God has been clear about our future.
It is God’s intention to give us a hope and a future.
This is not a promise of a trouble-free life.
It is not a promise of immunity from struggle.
But it is a promise of hope.
God has been with us in the past.
God is with us in the present. And God will be with us in the future.
Thank you for paying attention to my future, Lord.
Thank you for making plans.
Help me today to rest in the thought that your plans for me include blessing.
Open my heart today to the hope and the future you have prepared for me. –NAC/D&J Ryan | 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. –“Learning to Handle Sobriety,” Connecticut, March 1975/Grapevine
In working our program, we are given many indirect indications of a Higher Power’s presence in our lives. The clean feeling that comes to so many of us in taking our Fifth Step –Just For Today | More…
We care most about what we’re involved in directly. If we’re not personally involved, we’re not very enthusiastic. It’s our stake in something that makes it important. To feel more alive, we must be more alive. Caring is life and involvement is growth. –Days of Healing, Days of Joy/Earnie & Carol Larsen | More…
If we keep showing up at meetings and staying clean, life gets… well, different.
The continual search for answers to life’s ups and downs can lead us to question all aspects of our lives.
Life isn’t always pleasant. This is when we must turn to our Higher Power with even more faith.
Sometimes all we can do is hold on tight, believing that things will get better.
In time, our faith will produce understanding.
We will begin to see the “bigger picture” of our lives.
As our relationship with our Higher Power unfolds and deepens, acceptance becomes almost second-nature.
No matter what happens as we walk through recovery, we rely on our faith in a loving Higher Power and continue onward. –Just For Today | More…
WORRY & STRESS
A cause of unnecessary stress in planning results comes from our ingrained habit of regarding ourselves as inadequate. Thus, we quit too soon and rationalize our resignation with a “Why bother to try?” attitude.
I can make plans but not plan results. I can work out my plan, one day at a time, knowing that my past performance is NOT an infallible indicator of my present or future success. I can look forward with hope, not despair. –The Reflecting Pond/Liane Cordes | More…
Sometimes what we think is a setback is really a setup for God to do something great –Joel Osteen
Quiet suggests a different quality of interaction with God, a quality of being that incorporates elements of solitude, silence and stillness. Elements that are interwoven in historical practices. Many of us are constantly plugged into the Internet, email and social media leading to digital addiction and an inability to be present to the here and now of our life.
If your heart is full of other things you cannot hear the voice of God –Mother Teresa
Contemplative prayer practice incorporates some degree of solitude, silence and stillness. To support your journey in contemplative spirituality, we are encouraged to explore these nine practices. Each one will vary in its degree of solitude, silence and stillness. Each practice teaches more about its history, methodology and impact –Gravity – More…
SOLITUDE, SILENCE and STILLNESS.
Do yourself a favour and make room for solitude, silence and stillness
We must learn how to be alone—how to be alone with ourselves and with God.
Scripture reveals that Jesus “often withdrew to places of solitude to pray.” (Luke 5:16) In solitude, we learn to be present. We learn to be present to our self, to God and to one another. As we let God heal our hidden neediness, anxiety and pain, we experience more authentic connection to our self, to God and to others.
Most of us don’t know how to be quiet. We do not truly listen. We can’t listen if we’re not quiet. And to get quiet, really quiet from the inside out, we need to practice Silence. Practicing silence helps us develop the ability to listen and discern God’s voice and leading.
Practicing stillness teaches us impulse control or restraint. Restraining us from the impulses of our human nature that are secretly out of control. We may not recognize these compulsions enslave us. These unconscious impulses feed our hidden obsessive need for affirmation, control and security. And keep us from freely giving of our highest and truest self to make our world a better place.
There are three types of digital addiction which include phone addiction, internet addiction and social media addiction. Internet, email and social media lead us to digital addiction and an inability to be present to the here and now of our life.
Why is this? The answer has to do with limbic resonance, which cannot be found in adequate supply through online interactions.
We must dare to detach from our digital appendages and deal with the anxiety it produces in us.
Phone addiction is a dependence syndrome and a clinical addiction where users are affected by smartphone overuse which impacts their daily lives in a negative way. Addiction expert and therapist Paul Hokemeyer explains that this addiction can be a result of underlying behavioral health and personality issues. Those who do suffer with this addiction could have underlying issues like depression, anxiety and a socially challenged personality, causing them to constantly use their devices for comfort. —More…
Social media addiction is easy to define. If you spend far too much time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to the point where you document each and every aspect of your life on any/all of the platform, you could be a social media addict. Although there’s no medical recognition of social media addiction, the term itself has become subject to research and investigation within recent years and overuse of Facebook in itself has been proven to be linked to a decrease in feelings of satisfaction and happiness. —More…
Internet addiction is defined as an impulse control disorder, also known as pathological internet use, where some may find it difficult to differentiate between the virtual world and reality. Sufferers tend to spend excessive amounts of time online, not only eating up time but also causing a higher risk of overspending by getting involved in online gambling and gaming. —More…
Prayer is the best answer to all of the trials that face us.
Without prayer, even if we succeed in accomplishing some great goal in the eyes of men, we have failed in our sacred responsibilities.
Thus we have failed in what is truly important.
What are our sacred responsibilities?
One is to be of maximum service to the Creator, and two is to serve the people.
In a way, it’s like the Great Spirit is the employer and we are the employees.
Working for the Creator is better than working for a human being.
Each night we can talk to the Creator and ask Him, “Well, how did I do today?”.
He answers back each night, “I’m proud of you, my child; sleep well, and in the morning I’ll give you a new set of growing experiences.”. –Elders Meditations | More…
Learning to live means learning to manage all our daily responsibilities.
If we can’t keep our clothes clean, take out the garbage, or get up on time, how can we expect to handle promotions, marriages, and crises?
Daily effort may seem inconsequential, but our big break is the result of all our todays well lived. –Day by Day | More…
What we really need to learn is how to live life.
Nature is the greatest university when we want to learn about balance, harmony, the Natural Laws and how to live life.
We will never learn unless we spend time in the “living university.”
Nature will help with Medicine, knowledge, and healing. –Elders Meditations | More…
Do we remember that we are fortunate just to be alive?
When we dwell in the “if onlys,” we get stuck in yesterday.
But what we have to work with today are “today’s tools,” and if we use them well, we’ll have no need for the “if onlys.” –Day by Day | More…
The story of the shipwrecked Robinson family is a lesson in patience. Today might have been one of those days where we felt our prayers weren’t answered. But we need to remember our prayers are heard. Now it is up to us to Let Go and Let God. –Night Light/Amy E. Dean | More…
We learned the hard way that serenity comes only from working the steps.
A new car comes from showing up on the job every day and trying to “practice these principles in all our affairs,” including our employment.
Healthy relationships come as a result of lots of hard work and a new willingness to communicate.
Friendship with our sponsor comes as a result of reaching out during the good times as well as the bad.
In AA we have found the path to a better way of life.
To reach our destination, however, we must do the footwork. –Just For Today | More…
The Twelve Steps are given to us as a “suggested” program of recovery.
It is a program that works because it takes us out of our rigid ways.
We are continually made new. That is the vitality of the spiritual life. –Touchstones | More…
Mistakes are a very vital and important part of being human.
For particularly stubborn people (such as addicts), mistakes are often our best teachers.
There is no shame in making mistakes.
In fact, making new mistakes often shows our willingness to take risks and grow. –Just For Today | More…
As we approach this step, most of us are afraid that there is a monster inside of us that, if released, will destroy us. We can only change what we acknowledge and understand.
Rather than continuing to fear what’s buried inside us, we can bring it out into the open.
We’ll no longer be frightened, and our recovery will flourish in the full light of self-awareness. –Just For Today | More…
A religious, or spiritual experience, is the act of giving up reliance on one’s own omnipotence. –Dr. Harry Tiebout, September 1944, Comments on Wylie Ideas/The Language of the Heart
We must have respect and understanding for women and all female life.
The Woman has a powerful position in the Unseen World.
She has the special ability to bring forth life.
They told us to start showing Her respect and to look upon her in a sacred manner.
We must start this today. –Elders Meditations | More…
May I make no decision; engineer no change in the course of my life stream, without calling upon my Higher Power.
May I have faith that God’s plan for me is better than any scheme I could devise for myself. –A Day at a Time | More…
The Twelve Steps are a path to spiritual awakening.
When we open our hearts wide enough to sense our Higher Power’s guidance, we feel a calm serenity.
This peace is the beacon that guides us through our troubled feelings, providing clear direction when our minds are busy and confused.
Fear or doubt may plague us when we attempt to carry out our Higher Power’s will, but we’ve learned to trust the moment of clarity.
Our greatest happiness lies in following the will of our loving God. –Just For Today | More…
How do we begin having more fun?
The first step is deciding to leave the past behind.
Having more fun is clearly a decision that is coupled with action.
Any one of us can do it as well as we want to. –Keepers of the Wisdom /Karen Casey | More…
The Elders tell us change occurs in two directions.
That which is built is constantly being destroyed; and that which is loose is being used to build the new.
In other words, change is constantly going on.
The Great Spirit designed people with change abilities such as visioning, imagery and imagination.
We need to learn to use these tools and then we’ll look forward to change. –Elders Meditations | More…
My spirituality has a lot to do with the way I use my life energy.
The key is never let our recovery become “dead in the water.”
We keep a good direction by working the Steps.
Working the Steps tells us what we need to be doing and where we need to go in our recovery.
Our sponsor helps us with this and helps us stay on course. –God Grant Me. . . | More…
The Old People would gather words as they walked a sacred path across the Earth, leaving nothing behind but prayers and offerings.”
Whenever we walk on the Earth, we should pay attention to what is going on.
If we are aware as we walk, we will gather words for our lives, the lessons to help our children; we will gather feelings of interconnectedness and calmness.
When we experience this, we should say or think thoughts of gratitude. –Elders Meditations | More…
I need to remember how humiliated, confused, insecure and frightened I felt at my first meeting, and compare that to how I feel today. –“Know Thyself!” Poughkeepsie, New York, July 2011/AA Grapevine
After taking the Fifth Step, one by one, we examined our character defects.
And were we entirely ready to have God remove all of them. –Just For Today | More…
THE TIME IS NOW
If not now, when? If not me. who?
You must be the person who prays and meditates.
You must be the person who will sacrifice.
You must decide to be a peaceful Warrior.
What will you decide today? –Elders Meditations | More…
When the miracle happens, the wants and needs of the ego are limited and short sighted.
God’s will is vast and includes infinite possibilities for happiness and fulfilment.
By developing the faith to truly seek God’s will, I’ve been able to let go of controlling others, be of service, and to let go of expectations. –Wisdom Of The Rooms | More…
Making amends is simple. We approach the person we have harmed and say, “I was wrong.”
To make effective amends, we have to keep it simple: we admit our part, and leave it at that.
After all, we were the ones in the wrong. We have done our part; the rest is out of our hands. –Just For Today | More…
Why dwell on what you can’t do? … Why not concentrate on what you can do and do it? –“If You Can’t Live or Die, Make Coffee!” Freeport, New York, September 1988/The Home Group: Heartbeat of AA/Grapevine
Hope is about the future.
It may be oriented to the next hour, or the next day, or the next month or year or decade.
But hope is always about anticipation.
Those of us who like to control things often find hope difficult because we do not control the future.
Many of us are compulsive makers-of-plans.
We need to remind ourselves regularly, therefore, that God’s vision for the future is better than our own.
God has been clear about our future.
It is God’s intention to give us a hope and a future.
This is not a promise of a trouble-free life.
It is not a promise of immunity from struggle.
But it is a promise of hope.
God has been with us in the past.
God is with us in the present.
And God will be with us in the future.
Thank you for paying attention to my future, Lord.
Thank you for making plans.
Help me today to rest in the thought that your plans for me include blessing.
Open my heart today to the hope and the future you have prepared for me. –NAC/D&J Ryan | More…
In AA we aim not only for sobriety – we try again to become citizens of the world that we rejected, and of the world that once rejected us. –AA Co-Founder, Bill W.,/AA Grapevine
Pray to the East every morning.
Your mind will expand and you will experience oneness with the Great Spirit.
You’ll realize how much the Creator loves you! Just try it! –Elders Meditations | More…
The gifts we receive are meant to be shared.
When I am willing to share the gifts I have received, I always have enough,
because what I give comes back to me. –Inner Harvest/Elisabeth L. | More…
We can practice forgiveness each day.
Resentments have a way of creeping back into my psyche
When I remember that my track record is far from perfect,
I realize I could use some daily forgiveness, both from others and from myself.
I can let go of resentments and forgive.
If resentments come back, I can forgive again. –Inner Harvest/Elisabeth L. | More…
The steps lead to an awakening of a spiritual nature. This awakening is evidenced by changes in our lives.
Just as the disease of addiction is evidenced by definite symptoms, so is a spiritual awakening made manifest by certain obvious signs in a recovering addict. Such as,
Thinking and acting spontaneously, loss of interest in judging, unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment, and frequent attacks of smiling. –Just For Today | More…
When we lose sight of interconnectedness, separation, possessiveness and infighting results.
At an individual level, if we don’t believe we are connected to all things we get self-centered and have self-seeking motives.
We must think in harmony, balance and integrity.
We must see our relationship to the great whole and conduct ourselves accordingly. –Elders Meditations | More…
We want to be free of our guilt, but we don’t wish to do so at the expense of anyone else.
The Ninth Step is not about easing our guilty consciences; it’s about taking responsibility for the wrongs we’ve done.
We are not just seeking freedom from remorse—we are seeking freedom from our defects. –Just For Today | More…
Worry is a terrible waste of the imagination
Today I use my imagination to envision my life and world as God would have it be,
Rather than worry that it might not turn out the way I would have it. –Wisdom of the Rooms | More…
I build today the road I travel tomorrow. –“Short Takes,” Binghamton, New York, July 1967/AA Grapevine
There is a relationship between thought and reality.
Every thought is alive, and as soon as you think it, a result occurs immediately.
This occurs because the Laws of the Great Spirit act immediately.
When you tell a lie, you immediately experience fear.
When you tell the truth, you immediately experience freedom.
To the Creator, there is no time.
For us to experience the meaning of this requires us to act on faith.
Faith is belief without evidence. –Elders Meditations | More…
The night time is full of life, full of song, and full of beauty.
At night all our senses change their roles.
Because we can’t see, our hearing is much stronger, our smell is even more enhanced, our sight is different.
We can close our eyes and experience interconnectedness in a different way. –Elders Meditations | More…
We will still have daydreams … But they will be constructive dreams, rather than mere flights of fancy. –New York, NY, August 1948./Grapevine
The most relaxing activities may be the ones in which we do absolutely nothing.
If we can do nothing amid the sounds of nature – birds chirping, water bubbling in a brook, the wind rustling in the trees – so much the better.
The point is to slow down, to hear our own thoughts.
When we remember nature, we remember – our bodies remember – that we are a part of nature, part of something greater than ourselves. –Body, Mind, and Spirit | More…
Attaching value judgments to our emotional reactions ties us to our old ways of thinking.
We can change the way we think about the incidents of everyday life, viewing them as opportunities for growth.
We can search for lessons rather than assigning value. When we do this, we learn something from each day.
Our daily Tenth Step is an excellent tool for evaluating the day’s events and learning from both success and failure. –Just For Today | More…
You move toward and become like that which you think about.
If we think about secret things, these secret things will come to pass.
Our visions are very powerful. Visions determine our direction, our lives.
We should think about our visions to make sure they include the Great Spirit in every area. –Elders Meditations | More…
Hidden in ceremonies are many truths, principles, guidelines for living — access to the Unseen World, healing and visions.
We need to go to the Elders and learn the ceremonies so we can pass them on to our children. –Elders Meditations | More…
Simplicity, devotion, steadfastness, and loyalty; these, were the hallmarks of character which Dr. Bob had well implanted in so many of us. –Bill W., September 1950/”We Came of Age,”/The Language of the Heart
When we concentrate on loving those we think are unlovable, we find out how expansive love is. –North Hollywood, California, September 1988/Grapevine
There is a concept that says you move toward and become that which you think about.
We all need to pray and meditate on this.
We need to understand the property of unity. –Elders Meditations | More…
Happiness in recovery and in society depends on our honesty. There is no such thing as too much honesty.
When we practice honesty in all our affairs, we discover the reason for being honest is not because it is expected of us, but because we find that honesty avoids problems and makes our life happier. –Easy Does It | More…
In the Twelve Steps, AA offers an historical record of how more than 25,000 [now over 2,000,000] alcoholics achieved sobriety.–“A Way of Life,” Chicago, Illinois, July 1946/Grapevine
We examined our lives and discovered who we really are.
To be truly humble is to accept and honestly try to be ourselves.|
Once we began our recovery, we entered a new and different life.
We couldn’t be ourselves because we didn’t know who we were anymore.
The Twelve Steps give us a simple method for finding out who we really are
The real healing begins when we understand that if our Higher Power created us this way, it must be okay to be who we really are.
By working the steps we can experience the freedom to be ourselves, the person our Higher Power intended us to be. –Just For Today | More…
The spirit world is sometimes hard to believe in because we can’t see it.
We need to believe that the Unseen World exists and the Unseen World is guided by principles, laws, and values.
If we have doubts, we can pray to the Great Spirit to remove the doubt.
He’s always ready to help us during our doubtful times.
We are lucky to have such an understanding and helpful Father.–Elders Meditations | More…
The best help we can get or give is that which enables us to do things without it.
Only when we are each strong enough to stand on our own can we really share the kind of help, which allows both the helped and the helper to be independent. –Today’s Gift | More…
We’ve found the tools we need to successfully meet any challenge.
We’ve taken action to improve our conscious contact with a Higher Power, through the steps
Each day, we are faced with new challenges.
And each day, through working our program of recovery, we are given the grace to meet those challenges. –Just For Today | More…
Human beings come and go, but principles go on and on. –‘People and Principles,’ Jackson, Michigan, October 1971/Grapevine
When I’m in fear, maybe I should get a bigger God. –“A Bigger God,” Los Angeles, Calif., March 2002/Beginners’ Book: Getting and Staying Sober/Grapevine
Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are;
1, something to do,
2, something to love,
3, something to hope for.
Happiness is our birth-right so long as we live fully and love truly. –Worthy of Love/Karen Casey | More…
Today, we are too greedy and selfish. We are cheating our children, grandchildren, and the children unborn.
The Creator made the Earth to support life so that life would continue to reproduce, everything would support one another, and future generations would have the same benefits of supply and beauty as the generations the proceeded them.
This cycle will only continue to the degree that we make choices and decisions for the future generations. –Elders Meditations | More…
Changing ourselves, allowing ourselves to grow while others seek their own path, is how we have the most beneficial impact on people we love. –The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie | More…
Letting go and letting God does not mean that I do not have to put any effort into the Program.
It is up to me to work the Twelve Steps, to learn what may be an entirely new thing with me – honesty. –A Day at a Time | More…
By opening ourselves to others, we risk becoming vulnerable, but that risk is well worth the rewards.
With the help of others, we learn how to express our feelings honestly and openly.
In turn, we become nourished and encouraged by the unconditional love of our companions.
As we practice spiritual principles, we find strength and freedom, both in ourselves and in those around us.
We are set free to be ourselves and to enjoy the company of our fellows. –Just For Today | More…
Meetings offer us identification with where we’ve been and where we can go—identification we can’t do without and can’t get anywhere else. That keeps us coming back. –Just For Today | More…
Mother Teresa turned her life and will over to God, and her work was what she believed to be God’s will for her.
Because of this, she was devoted to the task itself, not to the completion of it. –Days of Healing, Days of Joy | More…
We believe that our Higher Power will take care of us.
As we progress in our recovery, we are sure to greet the difficult times with a sense of hope, despite the pain we may be in.
We need not despair, for we know that our Higher Power’s care will carry us through when we can’t walk on our own. –Just For Today | More…
Whatever strengthens the spirituality of the group strengthens my spirituality, and vice versa. –“Tradition Five: What a Group ‘Ought’ to Be,” May 2006/Grapevine
Two definitions of humility are; one, being aware of one’s own defects of character, and two, giving credit where credit is due.
This means if you do something and are successful because God gave you certain talents, give credit to God when someone tells you how well you did; this is being humble.
If you are successful at something, but had help from friends, spouse, neighbours, give credit to those who helped you; this is being humble.
If you have done a task and you alone accomplished it, give credit to yourself; this is being humble. –Elders Meditation | More…
Anger as a response to injustice is spiritually healthy.
A theology of anger invites us to shake off the shackles of denial, resignation, and nihilism.
It can help us construct healthy boundaries.–Barbara Holmes
The East, South, West, and North are the powers of the four directions.
The Creator makes these powers available to do things.
We pray to the Creator to give us the power to do these things.
Often, we are given these powers for a while, then these powers disappear.
Power is given and taken from us by the Great Spirit, the source of power.
During the time we have this power, we should be responsible and use the power in a good way.
Many good things can be accomplished when we realize where this power really comes from. –Elders Meditations | More…
The White Man’s way is to possess, control, and divide.
It has always been difficult for Indian people to understand this.
There are certain things we cannot own that must be shared.
The Land is one of these things.
We do not own the Earth; the Earth owns us.
Today, let us ponder the true relationship between the Earth and ourselves. –Elders Meditations | More…
Procrastination is the thief of time. When we have a problem and put things off, we add to our troubles
Whether we are putting off an important task or letting little undone jobs accumulate, we can ask ourselves for the spiritual message in our actions.
Perhaps we need some quiet time to do absolutely nothing. Maybe our perfectionism is paralyzing us.
Is an “all or nothing” attitude telling us if we can’t do the whole job right away, there is no point in beginning?
Unexpressed anger may be blocking us from doing what we need to do.
When we find ourselves doing things that seem irrational we can ask, “What is the message from my Higher Power in this behavior?”
This question will carry us much further toward spiritual growth than the mental criticism we are tempted to do. –Touchstones | More…
I pray I may continue to grow in unselfishness, enough to care about the lives of all alcoholics, wherever they may be — those that are with us and those yet to come. –“You Call This Unity!” Piscataway, New Jersey, January 1992/AA Grapevine
FIRST THINGS FIRST
When we stop living in the here and now, our problems become magnified unreasonably.
We don’t have to fix everything at once. Solving a single problem seems possible, so we take them one at a time.
We take care of each moment as it comes, and then take care of the next moment as it comes.
We learn to stay clean just for today, and we approach our problems the same way.
When we live life in each moment, it’s not such a terrifying prospect. One breath at a time, we can stay clean and learn to live. –Just For Today | More…
Truly transforming spiritual experiences are nearly always founded on calamity and collapse. –AA Co-Founder, Bill W., August 1957, “The Physicians”/The Language of the Heart
We need to be careful about judging the old ones when we talk.
When they speak, listen very carefully.
Often it will take weeks or maybe even years before we understand what they are really saying.
This is the way of Wisdom.
We need to listen, listen, listen. –Elders Meditations | More…
There is no power greater than the Natural Laws.
These powers were set up by the Great Spirit in such a way that the human being has no access to it, except by obeying.
If we choose not to follow the Natural Laws, our lives will be filled with confusion, tension, anxiety and stress.
If we poison the Earth, we poison ourselves. If we poison the Water of the Earth, we poison ourselves.
As we do to the Earth, we do to ourselves and our children, even the children unborn. –Elders Meditations | More…
What we are destined to learn in this life will keep presenting itself until “contact” has been made.
The Steps coach us through every situation
And they never shame us for needing reminders of our lessons. –A Woman’s Spirit/Karen Casey | More…
‘Love’ by Bishop Michael Curry; Presiding bishop of the American Episcopal Church, presented a magnificent sermon at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markel on 19 May 2018 at Windsor in the U.K.
The Text of the Sermon
And now in the name of our loving liberating and life giving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, amen.
From the Song of Solomon in the Bible: Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is as strong as death, passion as fierce as the grave, its flashes of flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it out
The late Dr. Martin Luther King once said, and I quote: we must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love, and when we do that we will make of this old world a new world. For love is the only way.
There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it. There’s power, power in love. If you don’t believe me, think about a time when you first fell in love. The whole world seemed to center around you and your beloved. There’s power, power in love.
Not just in its romantic forms but any form, any shape of love. There’s a certain sense in which when you are loved and you know it, when someone cares for you and you know it, when you love and you show it, it actually feels right. There’s something right about it.
And there’s a reason for it. The reason has to do with the source. We were made by a power of love. And our lives were meant and are meant to be lived in that love. That’s why we are here.
Ultimately the source of love is God himself, the source of all of our lives. There’s an old medieval poem that says, “where true love is found, God himself is there.”
The New Testament says it this way, “beloved, let us love one another because love is of God and those who love are born of God and know God, those who do not love do not know God. Why? For God is love. There’s power in love. There’s power in love to help and heal when nothing else can. There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will. There’s power in love to show us the way to live. Set me as a seal on your heart. A seal on your arm. For love it’s strong as death.
But love is not only about a young couple. Now the power of love is demonstrated by the fact that we are all here. Two young people fell in love and we all showed up. But it’s not just for and about a young couple who we rejoice with.
It’s more than that. Jesus of Nazareth on one occasion was asked by a lawyer to sum up the essence of the teachings of Moses. He went back and reached back into the Hebrew scriptures, to Deuteronomy and Leviticus, and Jesus said you shall love the lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.
This is the first and great commandment and the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself. And then in Matthew’s version, he added, he said, on these two Love of God and Love of Neighbor, hang all the law, all the prophets, everything that Moses wrote, everything in the holy prophets, everything in the scriptures, everything that God has been trying to tell the world. Love God, love your neighbors, and while you’re at it, love yourself.
Now someone once said that Jesus began the most revolutionary movement in all of human history, a movement grounded in the unconditional love of God for the world. A movement mandating people to live that love. And in so doing, to change not only their lives but the very life of the world itself.
I’m talking about some power, real power. Power to change the world. If you don’t believe me, well, there were some old slaves in America’s antebellum south who explained the dynamic power of love and why it has the power to transform. They explained it this way. They sang a spiritual, even in the midst of their captivity, it’s one that says there’s a balm in Gilead. A healing balm, something that can makes things right.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole. There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul. One of the stanzas actually explains why: they said, If you cannot preach like Peter and you cannot pray like Paul, you just tell the love of Jesus how he died to save us all. Oh that’s the balm in Gilead. This way of love is the way of life. They got it, he died to save us all. He didn’t die for anything he could get out of it. Jesus did not get an honorary doctorate for dying. He wasn’t getting anything out of it. He gave up his life, he sacrificed his life for the good of the others, for the good of the other, for the well-being of the world. For us, that’s what love is.
Love is not selfish and self-centered. Love can be sacrificial. And in so doing, becomes redemptive, and that way of unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive love, changes lives. And it can change this world. If you don’t believe me, just stop and think or imagine. Think and imagine, well, think and imagine a world where love is the way. Imagine our homes and families when love is the way. Imagine neighborhoods and communities where love is the way. Imagine governments and nations where love is the way. Imagine business and commerce when love is the way. Imagine this tired old world when love is the way, unselfish, sacrificial redemptive. When love is the way, then no child will go to bed hungry in this world ever again. When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an everflowing brook. When love is the way, poverty will become history. When love is the way, the earth will be a sanctuary. When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields down, down by the riverside to study war no more. When love is the way, there’s plenty good room, plenty good room, for all of God’s children. Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other, well, like we are actually family. When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all and we are brothers and sisters, children of God. My brothers and sisters, that’s a new heaven, a new earth, a new world, a new human family. And let me tell you something, old Solomon was right in the Old Testament, that’s fire.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and with this, I will sit you down. We’ve got to get you all married.
French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was arguably one of the great minds, one of the great spirits of the 20th century. A Jesuit, Roman Catholic priest, scientist, a scholar, a mystic. In some of his writings, he said from his scientific background as well as his theological one. In some of his writings, he said as others have, that the discovery or invention or harnessing of fire was one of the great scientific and technological discoveries in all of human history. Fire to a great extent made human civilization possible. Fire made it possible to cook food and to provide sanitary ways of eating which reduced the spread of disease in its time. Fire made it possible to heat warm environments and thereby made human migration around the world a possibility, even into colder climates. Fire made it possible, there was no Bronze Age without fire, no Iron Age without fire, no industrial revolution without fire. The advances of science and technology are greatly dependent on the human ability and capacity to take fire and use it for human good.
Anybody get here in a car today? An automobile? Nod your heads if you did, I’m guessing, I know there were some carriages. But those of us who came in cars, the controlled harnessed fire made that possible. I know that the Bible says, and I believe it, that Jesus walked on the water, but I have to tell you I didn’t walk across the Atlantic Ocean to get here. Controlled fire in that plane got me here. Fire makes it possible for us to text and tweet and email and Instagram and Facebook and socially be dysfunctional with each other. Fire makes all of that possible and de Chardin said that fire was one of the greatest discoveries in all of human history. And he then went on to say that if humanity every harnesses the energy of fire again, if humanity ever captures the energy of love, it will be the second time in history that we have discovered fire.
Dr. King was right, we must discover love. The redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world. My brother, my sister, God love you. God bless you. And may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.