Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 8-27-2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015
Today's Gift

Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you're going to do about it. —Kathleen Casey Theisen

Life experiences offer us courage to make choices about the events of our lives. Passive compliance with whatever is occurring need no longer dominate our pattern of behavior. Powerlessly watching our lives go by was common for many of us, and our feelings of powerlessness escalated the more idle we were.

Today, action is called for, thoughtful action in response to the situations begging for our attention. On of Life's greatest gift is the courage to take action, to make decisions that will benefit us as well as the people who are close to us. Courage is the byproduct of our spiritual progress, courage to accept what we cannot change, believing that all will be well, courage to change in ourselves what we do have control over.

An exhilaration about life accompanies the taking of action. The spell that idleness casts over us is broken, and subsequent actions are even easier to take. Clearly, making a choice and acting on it is healthful. Life has given us the tools to do both.

Decisions will be called for today. I will be patient with myself, and thoughtful. I will listen closely to the guidance that comes from those around me.



From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey ©



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Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Keep It Simple


Things do not change, we do. ---Henry David Thoreau

There are still as many bars as there were when we were drinking. There are still lots of drugs around. The world hasn’t changed. What’s changed is that we now live a different way of life.
We’ve learned that, for us, alcohol and other drugs are poison.

For us, there are now two worlds: the world we left behind, and our new world of recovery. In our old world, we’d try to get everyone else to change. We had the right. In our new world, we look for ways we can change for the better. In our new life, we’re willing to change.

Prayer for the Day: I pray that I may be like a mighty river, always changing.
Action for the Day: I will list changes I need to make in my new life

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One Day At A Time


Change
In one form or another, many of my character defects appear daily:
self-condemnation, anger, running away, being prideful, wanting to get even,
or acting out of grandiosity.
Attempting half measures to eliminate these defects merely paralyzes my efforts to change.
It is only when I ask God for help, with complete abandon, then I become willing -- and able -- to change.
Daily Reflections, p. 15

Thought to Ponder . . .
If nothing changes, nothing changes.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A B C =
Acceptance, Belief, Change.


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Daily Motivation

So much good you can do

Stop worrying about how difficult it will be. Start discovering how well you can handle it.

Don’t hesitate for another moment, because your hesitation works against you. Get up, get going, and get it done.

Rest for a while when you are weary. But don’t rest for so long that you lose all your momentum.

What will energize you is taking action. What will ease your weariness is doing something useful to make positive, meaningful progress.

There are plenty of excuses, and none of them will do you any good. Leave them all behind and feel the exhilaration as you take control of your own destiny.

Starting right now, there is so much good you can do. Get up, get moving in the direction of your dreams, and enjoy all the greatness you are meant to create.

— Ralph Marston

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 8-26-2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Today's Gift

... I cannot see
The love you offer.
—Emily Dickinson


How can we make love and compassion visible; how can we give it eyes? We can make love and compassion a present, wrap it carefully as if it were a beautiful thing. We can make love and compassion a favor nobody foresaw; we can fill a cup, prepare a meal, run an errand with our love. We can make love and compassion out of real words - in a letter, a note, a simple unrhymed poem. And we can make our love visible with our eyes by making our eyes meet those of the people we love.

When we turn feelings like love and compassion into an act, we share it with those around us, and they are encouraged to return the favor, and in this way, the world's storehouse of love ans compassion increases.

How can I show the love and compassion I feel today?

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. Oscar Wilde

There’s a big difference between being self-centered and having self love. We’re self-centered when we think we don’t need people. We might think, “I’m more important than others.” Being self-centered ends up hurting us.

It makes us lonely. It keeps us from our Higher Power. Addiction is about being self-centered.

Recovery and the Twelve Steps are about self-love. If we love ourselves, we say, “We’re all equal and in need of each other.” Self-love includes having good relationships.

It includes trusting that they we’ll do what is best, with the help of our Higher Power. We must believe in ourselves to trust others.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me love myself as You love me. Help me take good care of myself.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list three things I like about myself. I’ll talk with a friend and share these things. I’ll ask my friend what he or she likes about me.

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One Day At A Time

Awakening
That which had been impossible before
-- a trust in something or someone other than myself -- had now become possible.
In other words, I had been undergoing a spiritual experience without knowing it.
My confused questioning about a Higher Power, my changed mental attitude, and even my physical recovery had all been part of a spiritual awakening.
~ The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 2], p. 193

Thought to Ponder . . .
A spiritual awakening is our greatest gift.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
H O W =
Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness.

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Daily Motivation

Kindness can

Somewhere, somehow, the kindness of another person has changed your life for the better. You already know by direct experience that kindness has the power to reach far, far beyond itself.

Even a small kindness can make a big impact. For once a kindness is offered, it takes on a life of its own.

Kindness can bring a blessed light to the darkest of times. Kindness can give comfort, direction, inspiration and hope where there was none before.

Kindness can reach into the most cynical, hardened hearts. Kindness can be a testament to life’s goodness that is impossible to refute or deny.

Kindness can melt away anxiety and build up confidence. Genuine kindness is a positive force that cannot be ignored.

If you wish to make a positive contribution to life, kindness will take you far. Always, when it seems that nothing will make a difference, kindness can.

— Ralph Marston

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 8-25-2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Today's Gift

In soloing--as in other activities--it is far easier to start something than it is to finish it. —Amelia Earhart

Procrastination plagues us all, at one time or another. But any activity that is worthy of our effort should be tackled by bits and pieces, one day at a time. We are too easily overwhelmed when we set our sights only on the accomplished goal. We need to focus, instead, on the individual elements and then on just one element at a time. A book is written word-by-word. A house is built timber-by-timber. A college degree is attained course-by-course.

At this point in our life, most of us had accumulated a checkered past, much of which we wanted to deny or forget. And the weight of our past can stand in the way of the many possibilities in the present.

Our past need not determine what we set out to do today. However, we must be realistic: We can't change a behavior pattern overnight. But we can begin the process. We can decide on a reasonable, manageable objective for this 24-hour period. Enough days committed to the completion of enough small objectives will bring us to the attainment of any goal, large or small.

I can finish any task I set my sights on, when I take it one day at a time. Today is before me. I can move forward in a small way.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

To know oneself, one should assert oneself. —Albert Camus

We learn about ourselves by bumping up against something solid. By throwing ourselves into a project, meeting an obstacle we can't overcome, perhaps making some mistakes, we learn what we are capable of and what we are not. We are not here to live a comfortable and placid life. Our task is to grow and learn, to make a contribution, and to have some tranquility while we do. The only way we can achieve those goals is to assert ourselves, find out where the solid limits are, and assert our right to make mistakes in the process.

When we first learn to drive a car, we over steer and hit the brakes too hard or too softly. In the process we learn how to feel what is just right. When we are learning to ask for what we need and to make a place for ourselves, we may ask too demandingly at times. That is not bad. It is how we will learn to do it well.

Action for the day: Today, I will have opportunities to assert myself. I will take the risks required to learn.

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One Day At A Time

The Impossible Dream
I had to free myself from the impossible dream of a perfect world in order to love and accept the real world.
Judged by human standards, life is not perfect; to demand perfection of it is asking the impossible. . .
Paradoxically, there would be no perfection without imperfection. . .
Thank God, as a result of AA and sobriety, I am liberated from dreaming the impossible dream and free, finally, to start living the possible dream.
The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 1], pp. 60-61

Thought to Ponder . . .
Life will take on new meaning.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
H J F =
Happy, Joyous, Free.

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Daily Motivation

What a beautiful thing

It is wonderful when you discover you don’t have to prove you’re right. It is exhilarating to know there’s no need to worry.

The deep, resounding peace that comes when you truly forgive, can make the world a whole different place. The joy of giving, when you have no other agenda, is incomparable.

Life can surely get difficult, complicated and wearisome. And yet, it can just as surely get better, much better.

In an instant you can realize you don’t have to strive. The goodness you seek is there, and has always been.

What a beautiful thing it is that you can offer encouragement and by so doing, be encouraged. You can offer a helping hand, and end up greatly helping yourself.

The world is filled today with more good possibilities than ever. How nice it always is to enjoy the experience of bringing them to life.

— Ralph Marston


Monday, August 24, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 8-24-2015

Monday, August 24, 2015
Today's Gift

There is no greater weakness than stubbornness. If you cannot yield, if you cannot learn that there must be compromise in life - you lose. —Maxwell Maltz

Glass is very hard, but fragile. By contrast, leather is tough and resilient. A blow to a glass dish will break it, but a blow to a shoe will just be absorbed. Our program leads us to avoid the folly of being hard like glass, and we become tougher like leather. We must endure surprises, pressures, and blows from the world as a normal part of life. The more able we are to absorb the blows, the stronger and more whole we are as men.

A friend who has a different opinion from ours can be listened to and his ideas considered. There is no need to compete with him or prove that we are right. When our plan for a project at work gets set aside, we will feel the frustration but we need not come apart over it. Perhaps our Higher Power is leading us to a better plan. Frustrations with spouses or friends can be turned over to our Higher Power. We do not have a rigid recipe for life, and we must be open to more learning.

I will surrender my fragile stubbornness in exchange for the toughness I can learn in compromise.

From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

There were many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream--whatever that dream might be. --Pearl S. Buck

No new door is opened without the inner urge for growth. Dreams guide us, encourage us, stretch us to new heights--and leave us momentarily empty when they are dashed.

Recovery has given us resilience and a multitude of reasons for living. We have come to understand that when one dream serves us no longer, it is making way for an even better one. Our dreams are our teachers. When the student is ready, a new one comes into focus.

Dreams in our earlier years often come to naught. They couldn't compete for our attention as effectively as the self-pity. The direction they offered was lost. Each day that we look forward with positive anticipation, we put the wreckage of the past farther from our minds.

Our dreams are like the rest areas on a cross-country trip. They refresh us, help us to gauge the distance we've come, and give us a chance to consider our destination.

Action for the Day:  Today's dreams and experiences are points on the road map of my life. I won't let them pass, unnoticed.

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One Day At A Time


Adversity
I learned to be grateful for my alcoholism, addiction and the program of recovery they forced me into, for all the things that had happened to me and for me, for a life today
that transcends and far exceeds anything I had previously known.
I could not have that today if I had not experienced all the yesterdays. . .
Adversity truly introduces us to ourselves.
~ Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 529-530

Thought to Ponder . . .
There is no education like adversity.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A A = A
chieve Anything.


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Daily Motivation

For the first time

See the world for the first time today, fresh and new and full of hope. Marvel at the power of your own living spirit, as if you’ve never encountered it before.

Open yourself to the miracle that is your own existence in this moment. Let the truth that springs from every reality sink warmly into your soul.

Wake from the slumber of your past and feel the crisp breeze of awareness, as it heightens your senses and stirs your curiosity. Drink in the wonder of now as it flows through every step you take.

Delight in uncovering new ways to love what you’ve always loved. Realize that it is all good, and that you can make it more so.

Time is your friend and is coming to you now. This is your chance to show each moment your appreciation by filling it with your own special beauty.

Life is all in this moment, and really is as new and fresh and inspiring as you think it is. See the world for the first time today, and give all the joy you’ve been so eager to give.

— Ralph Marston




Friday, August 21, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 8-21-2015

Friday, August 21, 2015
Today's Gift

With each new day I put away the past and discover the new beginnings I have been given. —Angela L. Wozniak


We can't recapture what is no more. And the minutes or hours we spend dwelling on what was or should have been only steal away from all that presently is. Today stands before us with promise. The opportunities for growth are guaranteed, as is all the spiritual help we need to handle any situation the day offers.

If today offers us a challenge, we can be grateful. Our challenges are gifts. They mean we are ready to move ahead to new awarenesses, to a new sense of our adulthood. Challenges force us to think creatively; they force us to turn to others; they demand that we change. Without challenges, we'd stagnate, enjoying life little, offering life nothing.

We each are making a special contribution, one that only we can make; each time we confront a new situation with courage. Each time we dare to open a new door. What we need to do today is to close the door on yesterday. Then we can stand ready and willing to go forward.

This day awaits my full presence. I will be the recipient of its gifts.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

Beauty is not caused. It is.--- Emily Dickinson

Probably, there have been many times when we thought we weren’t beautiful. We thought we were ugly. We thought we were bad people. This is a natural part of addiction. Our program tells us we’re good, we’re beautiful. Do we believe this? Do we accept this part of the program?

Beauty is an attitude, just as self-hate is an attitude. We need to keep the attitude that we’re beautiful. We owe it to ourselves and to those around us. And, yes, it’s true that you must love yourself before you can love others. Remember, ours is a selfish program. We have to love and see ourselves as beautiful, before we can give it to others.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me claim my beauty. Help me to see that, sometimes, I have to be selfish to grow.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll work at falling in love with myself.


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One Day At A Time

Change
Before AA it didn't matter how good things got -- I always had a feeling that something was wrong.
Since AA, it doesn't matter how bad things get -- I always have a feeling that everything is going to be all right.
In working the Twelve Steps, my life and my old way of thinking have changed.
Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 381

Thought to Ponder . . .
When I change the way I look at things, the things I look at change.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A B C =
Acceptance, Belief, Change.


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Daily Motivation

Eventually, it will

You don’t have to get the desired result from every single effort. Even if just a small percentage of your efforts pay off, you can achieve spectacular success.

There’s no need to get dejected when you take an action and it fails to produce results. Just do it again, and again, until it does bring a positive, valuable outcome.

Often, the way to succeed is to fail enough times. The way to get it right is to get it wrong enough times.

Those who enjoy the most success are also those who have endured a lot of disappointing results. Even when you fall short of the goal, you’re closer to that goal than you were before.

Certainly there’s no reason to purposely seek out disappointing results. But there’s also no reason to let them get you down.

So go ahead, make the effort, even if you’re not sure whether it will produce results. Because eventually, it will.

— Ralph Marston




Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 8-20-2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015
Today's Gift

Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change. So suffering must become love. That is the mystery. —Katherine Mansfield

Acceptance of those conditions that at times plague us changes not only the conditions but, in the process, ourselves. Perhaps this latter change is the more crucial. As each changes, as we all change into more accepting people, life's struggles ease. When we accept all the circumstances that we can't control, we are more peaceful. Smiles more easily fill us up.

It's almost as though life's eternal lesson is acceptance, and with it comes life's eternal blessings.

Every day offers me many opportunities to grow in acceptance and thus blessings. I can accept any condition today and understand it as an opportunity to take another step toward serenity, eternal and whole.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

Every human being is a problem in search of a solution. --Ashley Montagu

Each of us is a strong and fragile creature. We're always subject to forces outside our control, and we're learning steps for living that helps us cope and rise above these problems. Our particular situation might seem special to us but in another sense, everyone's situation is a unique problem. Spiritual growth is the result of coming face to face with our own situation, feeling the brunt of our own puzzlement, recognizing no recipe will apply completely, and then trusting our Higher Power as we make unsure responses.

No school or parent can ever teach us enough to smooth our search for solutions. We become complete human beings by living through the muddle, by truly trusting our connections with our Higher Power and other people to carry us along until we find clarity again. We progress into adulthood when we meet our own particular life crises. We learn to see we have this process in common with every human being. Rather than resist our problems, we band together with others and pool our strength to find solutions.

Action for the Day: My problems today are opportunities for spiritual growth.

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One Day At A Time

Laughter
I began to see the miracles that happen only in AA.
People who would nearly crawl in the doors, sick and broken, and who in a few weeks of meetings and not drinking or drugging one day at a time would get their health back, find a little job and friends who really cared, and then discover a Higher Power in their lives.
But the most compelling part of AA, the part that made me want to try this sober thing,
was the laughter, the pure joy of the laughter that I heard only from sober alcoholics and addicts.
~ Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 333

Thought to Ponder . . .
Laughter is the sound of recovery.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
H J F =
Happy, Joyous, Free.

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Daily Motivation

Don’t ignore the obvious

Sometimes what you’re searching for does not really need to be searched for. It’s right in front of you.

Sometimes the best answer is the most obvious one. Often, when something seems too simple and obvious and unsophisticated, that’s because it is exactly the right approach.

It’s important to think carefully about whatever you do. Yet it’s just as important not to over think it to the point that you fail to take action.

A complex approach might seem shrewd. Yet a direct approach may be much more effective.

Your dreams deserve your best efforts, and it could just be that the most obvious effort is the best effort. The reason common sense is so common is because it has been proven, again and again, to work.

Look in all the out-of-the-way spots, look for the hidden meanings, but also look at what’s right in front of you. Just because it’s obvious doesn’t make it worthless.

— Ralph Marston


The Work-In: Daily Motivation 8-19-2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Today's Gift

The most exhausting thing in life is being insincere. —Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Many of us grew up in situations that required us to be constantly on our guard. We became so keenly attuned to the people around us and how to please them or avoid their anger that we lost contact with our inner messages. Rather than developing skills for drawing upon our inner resources, we developed skills for looking outward and reacting to whatever confronted us. This method of survival may have been necessary in the past while we were under stress, but it doesn't allow us any rest or the possibility of simply following what we know and feel is right.

We are learning to know what we think and feel and to express it, even if it isn't always what others want to hear. We can be spontaneous now because we have room for mistakes in our lives. Our relationships are more reliable, and we have more energy from sincerity than from always striving to make a good appearance.

Today, it is more important for me to be sincere than to be on my guard.


From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©198




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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

I value myself today. I value everything about me. I am finding people who value me as much as I value myself. I am attracting people who treat with me with love and respect. --Ruth Fishel

Letting Go of Shame
Shame is that dark, powerful feeling that holds us back. Yes, shame can stop us from acting inappropriately. But many of us have learned to attach shame to healthy behaviors that are in our best interest.

In dysfunctional families, shame can be tagged to healthy behaviors such as talking about feelings, making choices, taking care of ourselves, having fun, being successful, or even feeling good about ourselves.

Shame may have been attached to asking for what we want and need, to communicating directly and honestly, and to giving and receiving love.

Sometimes shame disguises itself as fear, rage, indifference, or a need to run and hide, wrote Stephanie E. But if it feels dark and makes us feel bad about being who we are, it's probably shame.

In recovery, we are learning to identify shame. When we can recognize it, we can begin to let go of it. We can love and accept ourselves - starting now.

We have a right to be, to be here, and to be who we are. And we don't ever have to let shame tell us any differently.

Action for the Day: Today, I will attack and conquer the shame in my life.

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One Day At A Time

Prayer and Meditation
Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us.
We no longer live in a completely hostile world.
We are no longer lost and frightened and purposeless.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 105

Thought to Ponder . . .
Prayer asks the question. Meditation listens for the answer.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
P U S H = P
ray Until Something Happens.


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Daily Motivation

This particular spot

There are worlds to be imagined. Let them captivate you.

There are discoveries to be made. Allow your curiosity to push you constantly into them.

Life is being newly born in every moment. Enjoy the experience of its freshness again and again.

Today is a gift you’ve never been given before. Explore, investigate, laugh, learn, love, build, renew, and live to the fullest the unique experience it offers.

You’ve never before been in this particular spot in space and time. Grab its wonder and dive into its possibilities.

You’ve traveled a long way to get here now. This is your chance to make the moment worth all the effort, and more.

— Ralph Marston