Monday, May 25, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 5-25-2015

Monday, May 25, 2015
Today's Gift

One is happy as a result of one's own efforts, once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness - simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and above all, a clear conscience. Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain. —George Sand

We are as happy as we make up our minds to be, so goes the saying. But happiness is the result of right actions. We prepare for it daily. We chart our course. Many of us have to first determine where we want to go before we can decide on the chart. We have perhaps passively floated along for years. But now the time is right to navigate, to move toward a goal.

We may have fears about moving ahead. We can be courageous, however. Strength is at hand, always, if we but ask for it. We can make a small beginning today. And every day, we can do at least one thing we need to do to bring us closer to our goal. Accomplishment, however small, nurtures good feelings. Happiness is the byproduct.

Today is wide open. I will decide on a course of action and move ahead. All around me help is available for the asking.

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

In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me.---Virginia Satir

Let's keep this in mind: each of us is special in our own way. Often, we're hard on ourselves because we're different. Our Twelve Step groups pull our differences together. We listen and learn from our differences.
We learn to see that each one of us is different---and this is important. Our program and the Steps stay alive for us, because each new person brings a different way of seeing things. Let's celebrate our differences instead of trying to be alike.

Prayer for the Day: Today, is a day to celebrate that, in all of the world, there is only one me. Thank-you, Higher Power, and help me see clearly how special I am.

Action for the Day: I'll make a list of what makes me special. I'll share this with a friend or my sponsor and my Higher Power.

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One Day At A Time

DecisionIf you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it -- then you are ready to take certain steps.
At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.
With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58

Thought to Ponder . . .
While it isn't always easy, if I keep it simple, it works.

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

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Daily Motivation

Get yourself feeling great

There are countless things you can do to change the way you feel. So there is never any reason to feel less than your best.

If you are feeling unmotivated, it’s because you have chosen that feeling. When you are feeling joyful, it’s because you have chosen to.

Yes, the world around you shakes and shudders into and out of various conditions. Yet the way you feel about whatever happens, and your place in it, is ultimately up to you.

Feel confident and successful, and you’ll find yourself acting just like a confident, successful person would act. Decide to feel creative, and you’ll soon be expressing your creativity.

If you don’t feel like doing whatever you must do, change the way you feel. And get the task done.

Think an empowering thought, listen to uplifting music, go to an inspiring place, or do whatever it takes to get yourself feeling great about life. Then enjoy the process of transforming that feeling into reality.

— Ralph Marston




Friday, May 22, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 5-22-2015

Friday, May 22, 2015
Today's Gift

The change of one simple behavior can affect other behaviors and thus change many things. —Jean Baer

Our behavior tells others and ourselves, who we are. Frequently, we find ourselves behaving in ways that keep us stuck or embarrass us. Or we may feel deep shame for our behavior in a certain instance. Our behavior will never totally please us. But deciding we want to change some behavior is a first step.

Remember, imperfections are human and very acceptable. However, changing a particular behavior, maybe deciding to take a walk every morning rather than sleeping 30 extra minutes, will change how we feel about ourselves. And a minor change such as this can have a remarkable effect on our outlook, our attitudes.

The dilemma for many of us for so long was the fear we couldn't change. But we can. And we can help each other change, too.

One small change today - a smile at the first person I meet - meditation before dinner - a few minutes of exercise - will help me chart a new course. I will encourage another person to join me in this effort too, and I will be on my 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

If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself. —Rollo May

Those of us who go around trying to be right and do everything right are likely to betray ourselves. We stifle our impulses and control our intuition because we can't be certain that we are correct. As a spiritual exercise, we could stop now and listen to our inner selves and state our own ideas. What comes out may break the illusion of perfection and free us to proceed with life.

We all have original ideas if we just notice them. What images come to mind while listening to music? What do our dreams tell us? New insights sometimes come by physical activity. Conversation with a friend can help lead us to our wisdom. Our growing strength requires that we listen to our own messages and then take some risks to express them.

Action for the Day: Today, I will take risks by stating my ideas. I will stand up for myself by listening to my intuition.

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One Day At A Time

Honesty
The perverse wish to hide a bad motive underneath a good one permeates human affairs from top to bottom.
This subtle and elusive kind of self-righteousness can underlie he smallest act or thought.
Learning daily to spot, admit, and correct these flaws is the essence of character-building, and good living.
- As Bill Sees It, p. 17

Thought to Ponder . . .
Honesty is the absence of the intent to deceive.

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

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Daily Motivation

Increase the abundance

If you wish to make an impression on people, don’t tell them how good you are. Show them how good they are.

If you wish to increase your wealth, don’t focus on the question of how to make money. Put your time and energy into creating and delivering unique value.

If you wish to learn more about something, teach it to someone else. If you wish to be loved, appreciated and respected, then offer your love, appreciation and respect.

The way to get whatever you wish is not to greedily grab for it. The way to get what you wish to have is to attract it by the way you live.

You cannot receive anything of real value without giving real value. Sincerely give of yourself, and you cannot help but receive meaningful value as you do.

Life’s abundance has no limit, and is always increasing. Be someone who furthers that increase, and experience the best of the abundance you are helping to create.

— Ralph Marston




Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 5-21-2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015
Today's Gift

To have our needs met, to love, to be loved, to feel safe in this world and to each know our purpose, is a simple matter of creating those blessings for others. ― Bryant McGill

Getting Needs Met

I want to change careers . . . I need a friend . . .I'm ready to be in a relationship . . .

Regularly, we become aware of new needs. We may need to change our behavior with our children. We may need a new couch, love and nurturing, a dollar, or help.

Do not be afraid to recognize a want or need. The birth of a want or need, the temporary frustration from acknowledging a need before it's met, is the start of the cycle of receiving what we want. We follow this by letting go, then receiving that which we want and need. Identifying our needs is preparation for good things to come.

Acknowledging our needs means we are being prepared and drawn to that which will meet them. We can have faith to stand in that place in between.

Today, I will let go of my belief that my needs never get met. I will acknowledge my wants and needs, and then turn them over to my Higher Power. My Higher Power cares, sometimes about the silliest little things, if I do. My wants and needs are not an accident.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

Be not afraid of growing slowing, be afraid only of standing still. ---Chinese proverb

All of us are a little afraid of growth. We wonder how growth will change our lives. Who will we be? Will our friend still love us? Can't we grow up and get in over with? Why does it take so long?

All of us have a need to keep growing. There is no age when we're "all grown up" and all done learning. But we don't need to rush our growth. Like a child on a too-big bicycle, at times we'll find ourselves out of control. We'll tip over. We can grow at our own pace, but we must grow. We must make changes. Or else, like an athlete on a too-small bicycle, we won't get far. We'll tip over too!

Action for the Day: Today I look beyond the immediate moment of satisfaction and decide what is good for me in the larger picture of my life. Today I have faith and patience and make loving and positive choices.

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One Day At A Time

Prayer
My sponsor said, "Pray if you can." Having no faith whatever,
thinking that prayer must be some kind of autohypnotic play-acting, alone in my apartment
I got down on my knees like a little child and prayed to the unknown God.
I said, "God, take away my compulsion to drink."
And my compulsion to drink was removed, and it has not returned from that day to this.
Without knowing how I had done it, I had surrendered to the Power,
and the Power did for me what I could not do of my own will.
- Came To Believe . . ., p. 98

Thought to Ponder . . .
Trying to pray is praying.

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

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Daily Motivation

Lifting life up

If the bad stuff is getting to you too much, create more good stuff. Nothing can bring you down when you’re busy lifting life up.

Don’t fight the negativity, because that will just draw you in deeper. Instead, overwhelm negativity with positive substance.

Constantly complaining makes you more invested in whatever you are complaining about. Resist the temptation to complain, and find a positive response.

Let the negativity be, then let it go. Free yourself from its grip and with that freedom, move forward.

You don’t have to be naive to be positive. Though the negative things are still there, you can choose to focus all of your energy on creating new goodness.

No matter how difficult things are, there is always something good you can do. Lift up life, and put more of the power of positive living in your world.

— Ralph Marston



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 5-20-2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Today's Gift

It only takes one person to change your life - you. —Ruth Casey

Change is not easy, but it's absolutely unavoidable. Doors will close. Barriers will surface. Frustrations will mount. Nothing stays the same forever, and it's such folly to wish otherwise. Growth accompanies positive change; determining to risk the outcome resulting from a changed behavior or attitude will enhance our self-perceptions. We will have moved forward; in every instance our lives will be influenced by making a change that only each of us can make.

We have all dreaded the changes we knew we had to make. Perhaps even now we fear some impending changes. Where might they take us? It's difficult accepting that the outcome is not ours to control. Only the effort is ours. The solace is that positive changes, which we know are right for us and other people in our lives, are never going to take us astray. In fact, they are necessary for the smooth path just beyond this stumbling block.

When we are troubled by circumstances in our lives, a change is called for, a change that we must initiate. When we reflect on our recent as well as distant past, we will remember that the changes we most dreaded again and again have positively influenced our lives in untold ways.

Change ushers in glad, not bad, tidings.

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

Difficulties, opposition, criticism--these things are meant to be overcome, and there is a special joy in facing them and in coming out on top. It is only when there is nothing but praise that life loses its charm, and I begin to wonder what I should do about it. --Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

To be alive means to experience difficulties, conflicts, challenges from many directions. What we do with adverse conditions both determines and is determined by who we are. Resistance, most of us have learned, heightens the adversity. Acceptance of the condition, trusting all the while the lesson it offers us is for our benefit, ensures that we'll "come out on top."

Difficulties are opportunities for advancement, for increased self-awareness, for self-fulfillment. So often we hear and remind one another, that we grow through pain. We can face any situation knowing we have the strength of the program to shore us up. Strangely, we need challenges in order to grow; without growth we wither. Happiness is the bounty for facing the momentarily unhappy conditions.

Any difficulty I meet today offers me a chance for even greater happiness; it guarantees my growth.

Action for the Day: I will look at today as an adventure with my Higher Power. I will list the fears I'll need to let go of.

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One Day At A Time

Contact
I had been undergoing a spiritual experience without knowing it. My continued questioning about a Higher Power, my changed mental attitude, and even my physical recovery had all been a part of a spiritual awakening.
Without knowing it, I had been in contact with the source of life, whatever or whoever that may be.
- The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 2], p. 193

Thought to Ponder . . .
New ideals and new attitudes bring a new life.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A A = A
ltered Attitudes.

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Daily Motivation

You are ready

If you’ve been waiting until you’re ready, the wait is over. You are ready.

You are ready, so go ahead and get started. You know enough, you have enough, you’re inspired and purposeful and creative enough to take the first step, now.

Though you have many questions, and maybe even some doubts, you are ready. Go ahead, grab the opportunity of this moment, and make your life come to life.

Achievement is never the result of figuring everything out in advance. Achievement comes when you start where you are and keep going.

Make more than mere plans, have more than just intentions, experience more than empty wishes. You are ready to follow where your passions lead and make life more amazing than it already is.

You are ready to take action. Now is the time and this is the place.

— Ralph Marston




Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 5-19-2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Today's Gift

As we learn we always change, and so our perception. This changed perception then becomes a new Teacher inside each of us. —Hyemeyohsts Storm

Hyemeyohsts Storm's book, Seven Arrows, tells the stories of one of the Indian tribes in this country before most of its members were killed. They believed that change was important for growth. Change is sometimes frightening. We usually prefer the familiar, no matter how uncomfortable, over taking a chance on the unknown.

When fear gets in the way of making healthy changes, we talk to fear, inviting it along with us on our course of action. Getting to know fear allows us to ask it for a gift: the courage to walk with fear by our side and learn from it as we go. It allows us to learn which fear is blocking our progress and which fear is healthy - cautioning us against actions that might be harmful.

What fear might I make a friend of today?

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.---Marcus Aurelius

The struggles of life teach us a lot. They challenge our beliefs. As we struggle, we come to believe that our friends, family, and Higher Power will be there for us in hard times. But we must do our part. We need to call and honestly let people know how we are doing. We need to pray and ask our Higher Power for help. If we do these things, we'll come to respect and learn from hard times.

Prayer for the Day: I pray for the wisdom to see that struggles are part of live. Higher Power, I pray for Your help in not taking struggles too personally.

Action for the Day: I'll list four times I've struggled and what I learned from each stuggle. I'll share this with a friend.

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One Day At A Time

Overcoming Fear
When I took the Fifth Step with all the thoroughness I could muster, that part of me I feared the most no longer frightened me.
I suddenly realized that my Higher Power loves me just as I am.
- The AA Grapevine, July 1980 "Short Takes"

Thought to Ponder . . .
A fear faced is a fear erased.

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

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Daily Motivation

Possibilities abound

Sunlight drops its golden paint on the quiet surface of a mountain stream, and a new day is born. What a shame it would be to let this day pass without putting fresh goodness into it.

From rocky ledges to cool valleys, in the countryside and in cities across the globe, possibilities abound. Life is here to be lived, and now is the time to do it.

Like water swiftly flowing, the opportunities of this day will soon be nothing more than memories. Now is your one and only chance to make them positive, satisfying memories by making full use of the opportunities.

Now is your chance to make new value where none existed before. Now, when you are inspired to let go of the excuses and to cast off any thought of procrastination, is when you can act.

Though the challenges are great and the circumstances less than perfect, today’s possibilities beg you to seize them. To the extent you do, your life and your world will benefit.

This is your day to do what you can, and you can indeed do much, if you will. Say yes to life, to the possibilities that abound, and get going.

— Ralph Marston



Monday, May 18, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 5-18-2015

Monday, May 18, 2015
Today's Gift

One should learn to enjoy the neighbor's garden, however small; the roses straggling over the fence, the scent of lilacs drifting across the road. —Henry Van Dyke

There are many gifts around us which we overlook when we're busy dealing with our anxieties and obligations. We talk about burning out from our high-intensity lifestyles. We act as though nothing would get done if we didn't do it ourselves. We get so engrossed in fighting with the frustrations of life that we fail to see the good things coming our way that took no effort on our part.

As we look around us this very moment, what good things do we find? Has a friend given a warm hello? Is the sun shining? The rain falling? Has the traffic flowed smoothly? We have no claim on these generous events, and we can't say the universe smiles on us when we have them or it frowns when we don't. We can say there are always generous forces coming our way, which comfort and heal us. We only need to take time to enjoy them.

Today, I will take some quiet moments to notice the good things coming my way. I will be grateful for them.

From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.---Sydney J. Harris

Relaxing is one of the little joys of life. We can learn to take time from our busy day to chat with a friend, take a hot bath, or spend a few moments sitting alone under a tree. The busier we are, the more we need to take time to relax.

When we rest, we stop fussing about the outside world. We find out how we're doing inside. While relaxing, we can best listen to our Higher Power. Our minds calm down. We put busy thoughts aside. Sometimes, we can almost hear our Higher Power say, "Stay quiet and listen! I have something to tell you!"

Action for the Day: Today, I will take time to relax and let myself enjoy what is good.  

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One Day At A Time

Belonging
There is no more aloneness, with that awful ache, so deep in the heart of every alcoholic and addict, that nothing, before, could ever reach it.
That ache is gone and never need return again.
Now there is a sense of belonging, of being wanted and needed and loved.
In return for a bottle and a hangover, we have been given the Keys of the Kingdom.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 276

Thought to Ponder . . .
The sense of belonging is tremendously exciting.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
Y A N A =
You Are Not Alone.

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Daily Motivation

Reacquainted with life

Do something you’re not good at, and you’ll get better. Instead of excusing yourself because you don’t know how, challenge yourself to learn and to do.

Go someplace you’ve never been, and your eyes will be opened to new possibilities. Seeing life from a new place can make your overall perspective more valuable.

Get to know people you’ve never known before. They will give you ideas you’ve never considered before.

If you feel stuck, or bored, tired, dismayed or depleted, the answer is not to withdraw from life. Those feelings are urging you to re-introduce yourself to life.

You are capable of creating great new things and forging new connections, capable of learning, of going, of seeing, of taking action. And you won’t be fully satisfied unless you’re putting all you have into doing so.

Take a deep breath and feel the fresh possibilities of this day. Now, go forth, get reacquainted with the wonders of life, and make the most of all you have.

— Ralph Marston




Friday, May 15, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 5-15-2015

Friday, May 15, 2015
Today's Gift

Those do dare take risks, shall fulfill their passions. ― Lailah Gifty Akita

Take a risk. Take a chance.

We do not have to indulge in obviously foolhardy or self-defeating risks, but we can allow ourselves to take positive risks in life. We cannot afford to keep ourselves paralyzed.

We do not have to keep ourselves stymied and trapped out of fear of making a mistake or failing. Naturally, we will make mistakes and fail from time to time. That's part of being fully alive. There are no guarantees. If we are waiting for guaranteed courses of action, we may spend much of our life waiting.

We do not have to shame ourselves or accept shame from anyone else for making mistakes. The goal is not to live life perfectly. The goal is to live, learn our lessons, and make overall progress.

Take a risk. Do not always wait for a guarantee. We don't have to listen to "I told you so." Dust yourself off after a mistake, and then move on to the success.

Higher Power, help me begin to take healthy risks. Help me let go of my fear of failure, and help me let go of my fear of success. Help me let go of my fear of fully living my life, and help me start experiencing all parts of this journey.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©















********************************
Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

Difficulties, opposition, criticism--these things are meant to be overcome, and there is a special joy in facing them and in coming out on top. It is only when there is nothing but praise that life loses its charm, and I begin to wonder what I should do about it. --Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

To be alive means to experience difficulties, conflicts, challenges from many directions. What we do with adverse conditions both determines and is determined by who we are. Resistance, most of us have learned, heightens the adversity. Acceptance of the condition, trusting all the while the lesson it offers us is for our benefit, ensures that we'll "come out on top."

Difficulties are opportunities for advancement, for increased self-awareness, for self-fulfillment. So often we hear and remind one another, that we grow through pain. We can face any situation knowing we have the strength of the program to shore us up. Strangely, we need challenges in order to grow; without growth we wither. Happiness is the bounty for facing the momentarily unhappy conditions.

Action for the Day: Today I will remember that any difficulty I meet today offers me a chance for even greater happiness; it guarantees my growth.

************************
One Day At A Time

A New Meaning
My intelligence, instead of drawing me further away from spiritual faith, is bringing me closer to it.
I no longer react in quite the same way when my will and desires are apparently frustrated.
The simple words "Thy Will Be Done" and the simple ideas of honesty and of helping others are taking on a new meaning for me.
- Experience, Strength and Hope, p. 127

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

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
F A I T H =
Finding Answers In The Heart.


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Daily Motivation

Now is golden

Now is golden, with great value available to be created. Direct your focus and your energy into what you can do with now.

Right now there are possibilities and resources you can tap into. Now, there is the opportunity to make things happen and to make a difference.

Don’t compromise the value of now by using it to obsess over past events that cannot be changed. Don’t give up the chance to be effective right now by worrying about what might happen in the future.

This is the time you can use to take action. This is the time you can use to move your world in a positive direction.

This moment right now is worth whatever you wish to put into it. Yet if you fail to make use of now while it is here, it quickly becomes worthless and irretrievable to you.

Now is golden, so grab its value by taking positive, effective action. Now is yours, so live it well.

— Ralph Marston