Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 7-1-2015

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Today's Gift

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a person when they go for a walk. —Raymond Inmon

We all seek creative ideas from time to time - perhaps when we have a problem resting heavily on our minds, or when we are simply in a bad mood. We need to refresh ourselves at those times. Refreshment doesn't solve a problem, but it can revitalize our thinking. Sometimes when we are feeling hopeless, we neglect to care for ourselves, forgetting a better environment will give us a stronger attitude, even toward the most difficult problems.

We must learn our own best methods for being refreshed - ways that allow angels to whisper to us. They should be simple, inexpensive, and accessible daily. Going for a walk is a very good example. Daily reading and study is another possibility. Observing nature, doing handicrafts or hobbies are refreshing for some men. These activities allow us to temporarily set aside our tasks and concerns and open us to creative ideas.

Today, I will give myself a creative break from the concerns I am facing.

From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. --Rachel Carson

Beauty is everywhere. It is in the daisies, in the lavender wildflowers, in the new green grass of spring. As we walk through life, noticing such beauty strengthens us. It reminds us of the spiritual creative force alive in this world On better days, we can feel our own creativity gaining power from such beauty. On harder days, nature's sunset can help us step out of our suffering for a moment to be comforted and inspired by its splendor.

Even storms, in their wild and angry way, show us a power greater than ourselves. Such awesome beauty is beyond our understanding, and yet it is part of the earth we live on.

Action for the DayI will make time for nature to teach me today.

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One Day At A Time

Humility
It was only at the end of a long road, marked by successive defeats and humiliations,
and the final crushing of our self-sufficiency,
that we began to feel humility as something more than a condition of groveling despair.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 72

Thought to Ponder . . .
Learning is the very essence of humility; the two walk hand in hand.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A R T =
Always Remain Teachable.


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Daily Motivation

Choose the next step

Just because you’ve been disappointed once, or twice, or a hundred times, is no reason to give up. On the contrary, it is a reason to give more to the effort.

Just because you’ve been criticized is no reason to think that the whole world is against you. Actually, it is a valuable opportunity to improve.

Life can throw a lot of discouraging things your way. What’s really beautiful, though, is that you don’t have to be discouraged.

You have a choice, no matter what has happened, no matter where you’ve been or where you are. You can choose the next step, and you can choose to make it a positive one.

You can choose to make the next step the most effective, loving, meaningful thing you’ve ever done. Nothing outside you has the power to stop you from making this your best moment yet.

Throw off the disappointment, breeze cheerfully past the naysayers, and exercise your power to choose. The next step is yours to choose, and you can choose to make it great.

— Ralph Marston



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 6-30-2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Today's Gift

Doing nothing, that hurts you. --John Arnold

Doing nothing as a steady diet would wear thin after a while, but doing nothing once in a while is good therapy. We need to let our minds and bodies rest. Being always booked for an activity gives us too little time for reflection about our lives. We have come a long way. Taking the time to appreciate that during our quiet spaces will enhance our self-perception.

Not a one of us has had an unsuccessful life. We may not have accomplished every goal we've set for ourselves but we can believe that we did what really needed to be done by us. There has been a divine plan at work even though we were unaware of it. The same continues to be true. We will be nudged to pursue hobbies or volunteer activities or jobs if that's the plan for us. This certainly takes the guesswork out of our lives. It makes us know we are pretty special, too.

I'll do whatever calls to me today. As long as it's not something that will hurt another person, it will be right.

From the book Keepers of the Wisdom by Karen Casey


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

Cultivate your garden. Let it take root in you until your thousand eyes open like violets to morning light. --Nancy Paddock

In our imaginations we can mix images and ideas from all over the world--imagine the thousand eyes of a peacock growing among the purple violets, or babies that grow on trees! In our imaginations we can also nurture feelings of love, affection, self-esteem.

All of us--not just writers--can learn to see the images in our own minds. We can do this by breathing slowly, relaxing, and looking at the movie in our minds. We may see a field of wildflowers, or find ourselves wading across a stream in the mountains. We might see happiness as wildflowers and grass coming up through the sidewalk, breaking the concrete into chunks and sand, growing so slowly yet with such great power. It may help us appreciate our growth today to look at it this way.

Action for the Day: Can I visualize my happiness right now? What does it look like?

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One Day At A Time

Defects
At the very least, we shall have to come to grips with some of our worst character defects
and take action toward their removal as quickly as we can.
The moment we say, "No, never!" our minds close against the grace of our Higher Power.
Delay is dangerous, and rebellion may be fatal.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 69

Thought to Ponder . . .
If I want my Higher Power to remove my character defects, I'll have to stop doing them.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
N O W =
No Other Way.

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Daily Motivation

Step beyond the limitations

Don’t take refuge in seeing yourself as a victim. Take pride in getting yourself to do good and valuable things.

Everybody has problems and limitations and extenuating circumstances. Yet progress is always possible no matter what.

Sure, there is unfairness and there is injustice in the world. Work to right those wrongs but don’t fall into the trap of using them as excuses.

When you choose to move forward, there are all kinds of things that could go wrong. But that is no reason to hide from life or to remain stuck where you are.

You don’t have to be defined by your disappointments, injuries or limitations. Choose instead to define yourself by your highest visions, your dreams, goals and ambitions.

You are a unique, creative bundle of positive possibilities, so live your life that way. There is so very much good you can do, so let go of the excuses, step beyond the limitations, and make more of the goodness happen today.

— Ralph Marston



Monday, June 29, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 6-29-2015

Monday, June 29, 2015
Today's Gift

Let us open our natures, throw wide the doors of our hearts and let in the sunshine of good will and kindness. —O. S. Marden

Kindness is among the gifts we can most easily spread among others. The more we give of kind words and deeds, the more we discover that kindness is like a burning candle which lights many other candles without losing a trace of its own brightness. Our kindnesses are assets, which return unexpected dividends when we invest them in the happiness of others. Kindness is the very basis of love. It softens the most severe anger and gladdens the hardest hearts.

No kindness is too small to win and hold the affection of others because it is made up of gentleness, love, generosity, unselfishness, and caring.

What kindness do I have to offer today?

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Walk In Dry Places

Unselfishness.

Have I ever been helped?
Sometimes we hear hard luck stories by people who claim they never "had a single helping hand." Everybody was against them.

It's true that certain people have had more than their share of abuse and abandonment. But it's hard to believe that helping hands haven't been extended... acts of kindness, often made by selfless but ordinary people.

Our problem has been in recognizing such helping hands. Lost in self-pity, we could hardly have recognized help when it was given. Nor were we capable of giving constructive assistance to others.

Furthermore, if people were against us, we may have provoked it. Our task is to change our thinking about the past and to be grateful for the people who were kind to us.

Action for the Day: I realize that there are kind and decent people who have helped me. There are many such people in the world, and today I will be one of them.

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One Day At A Time

Meditation
Meditation belongs and grows with daily life and daily growth,
for it is in daily life that analytical thought binds us into the dilemma of opposites
and consequently into sorrow, pleasure-seeking, and loss of freedom.
In a life that may often seem onerous, boring and senseless, meditation can free us
to its beauty, its joy beyond pleasure, its passion beyond sorrow.
- The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 1], p. 172

Thought to Ponder . . .
Stillness is a jewel with many facets; that stillness is also joy, and it is love.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
T H I N K =
The Happiness I Never Knew.

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Daily Motivation

Act with kindness

Kindness is one of the most powerful tools available to you. Kindness can positively transform your world in a way that nothing else can.

When your heart is filled with kindness, your thoughts and actions are driven by a positive, creative force. Instead of being needlessly distracted by anger, envy or despair, your eyes are more fully open to the many valuable possibilities.

Act with kindness toward others. You’ll create an atmosphere of understanding and cooperation in which amazing things can be accomplished.

Be kind to yourself. You’ll make it possible to clearly focus your considerable creative energy on achieving the highest and best of your dreams.

Choose to act with kindness, and you free yourself from the heavy burden of negativity. Persist in your kindness, and you rise to higher and higher levels of true, meaningful accomplishment.

Kindness transforms profoundly and spreads quickly. Let kindness freely flow from you, and it will surely change your world.

— Ralph Marston



Friday, June 26, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 6-26-2015

Friday, June 26, 2015
Today's Gift

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one, which has been opened for us. --Helen Keller

In the game of musical chairs, everyone walks around a circle of chairs. When the music stops, they scramble for the nearest open chair. If we were playing this game and found the nearest chairs taken, wouldn't we quickly look around for the next open one? To remain immobilized, angry that the chair we wanted was taken, would undoubtedly lose our place in the game.

Sometimes in life, we set our sights on a particular chair. Perhaps there is an award we want to win, or we want to be the high scorer on our team. Perhaps there is a promotion or a job we would like to get. When we do not get what we want, it is easy to keep looking at what we didn't get instead of seeing all we have.

It is important to be grateful for what we have--for the open doors and empty chairs waiting and inviting our attention. Loss and disappointment are a part of life--but the music will play again and our lives can move on.

What is available to me today?

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

Often out Higher Power shuts a door in our face, and then subsequently opens the door through which we need to go. --Catherine Marshall

We try and try to control the events of our lives. And not seldom the events in others' lives, too. The occasions are frequent when our will conflicts with our Higher Power's. Then for a time we feel at a loss. Our direction is uncertain. But always, always, another door opens. A better way beckons. How stubborn we are! And how simple life would be were we to daily, fully, turn our will and our lives over to the care of our Power. Our Higher Power's help and direction in all things are always available. Turning a deaf ear is like trying to find a seat in a darkened movie theater unaided by the usher.

Every experience is softened when we face it accompanied by our higher power. Any past struggle, any present fear, is a testament to our attempts to do it alone. Too frequently we forge ahead, alone, only to have our way blocked. The detours need never be there. No door closes unless there is a better way. Divine order will prevail.

Action for the Day: There is no need to struggle, today. I will breathe deeply and take my higher power with me, wherever I go. And the doors will be open for as far as I can see.

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One Day At A Time

Overcoming Self-will
I feel myself a useful member of the human race at last.
I have something to contribute to humanity, since I am peculiarly qualified, as a fellow-sufferer, to give aid and comfort to those who have stumbled and fallen over this business of meeting life. . .
I believe that my once over-weening self-will has finally found its proper place,
for I can say many times daily, "Thy will be done, not mine" . . . and mean it.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, p. 229

Thought to Ponder . . .
I can't do His will my way.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
F A I T H =
Facing All, Intuitively Trusting Him.

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Daily Motivation

Joy in every effort

Want to actually make this a great day instead of just wishing for one? Then destroy all remnants of the misconception that effort is something to be avoided.

The truth is, effort can create the utmost enjoyment. Firmly imprint this truth in your awareness as you push yourself joyfully from one task to the next.

The main thing that makes good, productive effort distasteful is your attitude toward it. Improve your attitude about your efforts and you can radically improve the quality of your life.

You have the power to see every effort as a joy, so step right up and activate that power. Pack this day to the brim with useful activity, and delight in the unique pleasure of filling your world with richness.

Seize the opportunity that exists in whatever must be done. Marvel at your good fortune in being well positioned to make a difference.

Flood your world with brilliant achievements by eagerly taking on challenges and transforming them into value. See for yourself that the more effort you make, and the more joyfully you make it, the better life becomes.

— Ralph Marston



Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 6-25-2015

Thursday, June 25, 2015
Today's Gift

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of good luck. --H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Managing desires is one of the most crucial elements of being an adult. Children want many things that aren't good for them, and their impulses can often get them into trouble. They need loving, caring adults to protect them from the harm that can come from getting what they want. As adults, our spiritual development includes learning how to regard our desires and how to manage them. On the one hand, it isn't healthy to become so controlled and repressed that we never let ourselves have fun, and on the other hand, we know that indulging every desire will kill us.

Sometimes we want something very badly and when we don't get it, we feel desperate or very disappointed. However, 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.

Today I will be open to the new directions that life points me toward.

From the book Wisdom to Know by Anonymous


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

I have a simple philosophy. Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. And scratch where it itches. --Alice Roosevelt Longworth

All too often, we complicate our lives. We can wonder and worry our way into confusion; obsession or preoccupation it's often called. "What if?" "Will he?" "Should I?" "What do you think?" We seldom stop trying to figure out what to do, where to do it, how to meet a challenge, until someone reminds us to "keep it simple."

What we each discover, again and again, is that the solution to any problem becomes apparent when we stop searching for it. The guidance we need for handling any difficulty, great or small, can only come into focus when we remove the barriers to it, and the greatest barrier is our frantic effort to personally solve the problem. We clutter our minds; we pray for an answer and yet don't become quiet enough, for long enough, to become aware of the direction to go, or the steps to take. And they are always there.

Inherent in every problem or challenge is its solution. Our greatest lesson in life may be to keep it simple, to know that no problem stands in our way because no solution eludes a quiet, expectant mind.

Action for the Day: I make opportunities every day to still my mind. And the messages I need will come quietly. My answers are within me, now.

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One Day At A Time

Balance
Today, independence and healthy relationships form a dynamic balance,
which I maintain by striving for the serenity to accept the things I can't change,
the willingness to turn things over, and the courage to put my time and energy into things I can change.
That is the wisdom to know the difference.
- The AA Grapevine, July 2011, p. 30

Thought to Ponder . . .
Wisdom is knowing the right path to take; integrity is taking it.

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

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Daily Motivation

Allowing ability to blossom

Progress is made by those who have the courage to be wrong and the persistence to find how to get it right. Great achievements are crafted into existence by those who, when they begin, are not sure exactly how they’ll do it.

Don’t wait until you know how to do everything before you have the confidence to do anything. Find confidence in the authenticity of your desire and the goodness of your purpose.

You don’t have to already be an expert to gain expertise. You just have to get busy.

If you should stumble a lot at first, get back up each time and apply what you’ve just learned. Even when you stumble going forward, you’re still moving ahead.

Don’t wait for confidence to somehow come to you. Get out there and create it for yourself.

You are worthy, and able to reach the goals that truly mean something for you. Get yourself going, and enjoy the experience of allowing your ability to blossom.

— Ralph Marston


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 6-24-2015

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Today's Gift

Self-image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment. —Maxwell Maltz

The way we think about ourselves determines how we behave and who we become. If Eileen believes she is good at baseball, she will swing the bat more confidently and catch fly balls more easily. And her extra effort will generally pay off. At math, Steve thinks he's a whiz and it makes him proud. He studies so he'll continue to be a whiz.

The image we have of ourselves is like the blueprint the contractor follows when building a house. When we see ourselves sad or angry, our behavior and personality will match it. When we see ourselves withdrawn and afraid, we seem to avoid activities that involve others. How wonderful that we can change our behavior and thus ourselves by changing the picture we carry in our minds.

Do I have a good picture of myself today?

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©


























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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

Beauty is gift of God.---Aristotle

In our addiction, we often went after what was ugly in life. Maybe we hung out in bad places.
Maybe we saw people's defects instead of their beauty. Addiction is ugly, painful disease. The worst part of addiction is how it doesn't let us see beauty in the world.

There is much beauty in each of us. Recovery is beautiful. Our stories are beautiful. The way we help each other is beautiful. The way we become loving family members is beautiful. But sometimes, we may still see the world as ugly. At these times, we need to turn to our program.

Maybe we need to help someone by working Step Twelve. Maybe we need ask to give the Step at our meeting. Maybe we just need to read the Big Book. Whatever we do, one thing is sure--- if we turn to our program, we'll see how beautiful the world is.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me see beautiful today. Help me be beautiful today.

Action for the Day: Today I'll let myself feel beautiful. I'll see recovery as beautiful.


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One Day At A Time

Pass It On
I'll never forget the first time I met Bill Wilson.
I was a couple of months sober and so thrilled to meet the co-founder
that I gushed all over him with what my sobriety meant to me and my undying gratitude for his starting AA.
When I ran down, he took my hand in his and said simply, "Pass it on."
- 'Pass It On,' Preface

Thought to Ponder . . .
Let it begin with me.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
H O P E =
Helping Other People Every day.


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Daily Motivation

Open yourself

Open yourself to life’s great possibilities. Let go of doubt, hesitation, fear and mistrust, and let new richness unfold through you.

Be willing to do good and valuable things that you’ll never get credit for. Each time you do, you invite more achievement into your world.

Begin each day with gratitude for all that is. And by the end of the day, you will have discovered all kinds of new things for which to be thankful.

Give yourself permission to not get it perfect, to look a little foolish, to laugh, to cry and to admit you don’t know. Give yourself a constant push to act on your intentions, to actually do what you’ve decided to do, and know you must.

Be thankful that you don’t know it all, and always eager to learn more. Be generous with your time, your efforts, your ideas, your genuine praise and encouragement.

You are immersed in an endless sea of possibilities. Be open, sincere, thankful and willing, and craft those possibilities into a rich and fulfilling life.

— Ralph Marston