Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Daily Motivation 10-1-2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Today's Gift

It was football time, apple time, harvest time, hunting time, and school time. Footsteps quickened. It was exciting to be in transition. It seemed more like the beginning of something than like the end of it. —Paul Gruchow

Some days seem filled with the exciting energy of change. They are like walking on a bridge from one time period to the next. In the fall, our senses are filled with messages of change. Trees tell us it is happening. So do football games, and the cool chill in the morning air.

As summer wanes and winter approaches, we may need to grieve for what we leave behind before greeting what comes next. The changes we experience in life bring similar responses. We are able to grieve our losses because we accept them. We have chosen them. Now we move to the next season of our lives.

As I experience the circle of seasons outside me, I am grateful for the ongoing flow of change within.

From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Walk In Dry Places


The Test Of My Ideas
Early in its existence, the AA fellowship tended to resist new ideas, yet did
accept many good purpose, because it screened out practices that could have
destroyed the fellowship.

But other, new ideas have been accepted and have benefited the fellowship.
How can we test a new idea before we decide to accept it?

Whatever the idea, it should be beneficial in promoting personal recovery.
If it is somehow harmful to those seeking recovery, it should not be accepted.
If this simple test is applied honestly and with fairness, new ideas can be
considered on their own merits and can usually be discussed in an atmosphere
of reason and understanding. The AA traditions will support most sound ideas.

Action for the Day: Knowing that our Higher Power is the source of new ideas, we can be open to additional guides that can help us along the way. I'll be on the lookout today for any helpful ideas.

One Day At A Time

For all its usual destructiveness, we have found that fear can be the starting point for better things.
Fear can be a stepping-stone to prudence and to a decent respect for others.
It can point the path to justice, as well as to hate. And the more we have of respect and justice,
the more we shall begin to find the love which can suffer much, and yet be freely given.
So fear need not always be destructive, because the lessons of its consequences can lead us to positive values.
- The Language of the Heart, p. 265

Thought to Ponder . . .
What I fear I create.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
alse Evidence Appearing Real

Daily Motivation

Don’t blame

Don’t blame your situation. Accept it, deal with it, transcend it and create something more positive.

Don’t blame anyone else. Embrace responsibility, and put yourself in position to make a difference.

When you look for someone or something to blame, you have to look backwards. You’re much better off looking at the way forward.

Raise everyone’s expectations by moving beyond the question of blame. Look for ways to make progress instead of ways to make excuses.

You now have an opportunity to do something positive. Rather than blaming someone, you can benefit everyone.

Put your energy where it will do the most good. Make the smart choice to leave the blame behind as you lead your whole world forward.

— Ralph Marston

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-30-2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Today's Gift

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them? —Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

We choose the lives we lead. We choose sadness or happiness; success for failure; dread or excited anticipation. Whether or not we are conscious of our choices, we are making them every moment.

Accepting full responsibility for our actions is one of the requirements of maturity. Not always the easiest thing to do, but necessary to our further development. An unexpected benefit of accepting our responsibility is that it heightens our awareness of personal power. Our well being is within our power. Happiness is within our power. Our attitude about any condition, present or future, is within our power, if we take it.

Life is "doing unto us" only what we allow. And it will favor us with whatever we choose. If we look for excitement, we'll find it. We can search out the positive in any experience. All situations present seeds of new understanding, if we are open to them. Our responses to the events around us determine whatever meaning life offers. We are in control of our outlook. And our outlook decides our future.

This day is mine, fully, to delight in - or to dread. The decision is always mine.

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

The wisdom of all ages and cultures emphasizes the tremendous power our thoughts have over our character and circumstances. --Liane Cordes

"As we think, so we are." We are gifted with the personal power to make thoughtful
choices and thus decide whom we are. Our actions and choices combine to create our
character, and our character influences the circumstances of our lives.

Our personal mind power will work to our advantage when we think positively, or it
will contribute to our disadvantage. Imagining our good fortunes will prepare us for
them. Imagining the successful completion of a task heightens and strengthens the
commitment we must make daily to it. Imagining the steps necessary to the successful
accomplishment of any goal directs our efforts so we don't falter along the way. Our
minds work powerfully for our good. And just as powerfully to our detriment, when
fears intrude on all our thoughts.

Action for the Day: The universe has given me positive personal power; it lies in the relationship I have with my higher power. My outlook and attitude toward life reveals the strength of my connection with my Higher Power. I will work with my Higher Power and imagine my good fortune today.

One Day At A Time

I have never been and never can be perfect. As that realization became a part of me -- and it took time -- it brought me one of the greatest of the many blessings that have come to me from life.
I learned to accept myself as a fallible human being. I do not have to strive for perfection. Mistakes are permissible.
I have the right to be wrong. And what a comfort that thought is to me, as I make my bemused way through life, one foot in a bucket, pushing on doors marked "Pull."
- The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 2], pp. 167-168

Thought to Ponder . . .
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A A =
Always Awesome.

Daily Motivation

Good enough

If you don’t have time to get it all done, get some of it done. If you’re not able to do it perfectly, do it the best you can.

It’s great to visualize an ideal world. Always keep in mind, though, that you must live in the real world as it is.

Conditions are never going to be perfect, so stop waiting endlessly for them to be. The fact is, you can arrange for conditions to be good enough, and then go forward with what you have.

Aim for perfection, but don’t let that stop you from working with reality. Live according to your highest vision, and also with practical, common sense.

Climb to the top of the mountain and get a clear view of the big picture. Then commit yourself to taking care of all the little details, filling that big picture with living richness.

See life as the best it can be, and live life as it comes to you. That will keep you always moving in a positive, fulfilling direction.

— Ralph Marston

Monday, September 29, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-29-2014

Monday, September 29, 2014
Today's Gift

All the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is our life. --M. C. Richards

What you do for a living is not who you are. You are more, much more, than that.

It's easy to get so caught up in what we do that we're only identifying ourselves through our daily tasks. I am a mechanic. I am a social worker. I am a doctor. I am a server. When we link ourselves too closely to our jobs, we deny ourselves the chance to ever be anything else.

Our Higher Power gave us the power to change. You're more than what you do. You're a vital vibrant soul that came here to experience, grow, and change. Make a masterpiece out of your life.

Higher Power, help me realize the glory of my soul. Thank you for my mortality and for the ability to learn and grow.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Walk In Dry Places


When should I be Grateful?
One spiritual writer believed that our only reason for gratitude should
be that we are part of our Higher Power's universe. Others point out that gratitude
helps us, not our Higher Power or the other people to whom we are grateful.
Their point is that it's not very uplifting simply to tie our gratitude to
certain gifts or benefits. Such gratitude is fairly shallow and is almost
no more than good manners. 

The best reason for gratitude is the outlook it creates as we cultivate it
within ourselves. We will actually feel mentally and physically uplifted if
we know true gratitude. This is the true spiritual way of life.

Action for the Day: I'll find ways to practice gratitude today without letting 
others know what I'm doing.

One Day At A Time

One Day At A Time
The 24-hour plan is very flexible. We can start it afresh at any time, wherever we are.
At home, at work, in a bar or in a hospital room, at 4:00 p.m. or at 3:00 a.m.,
we can decide right then not to take a drink or drug during the forthcoming 24 hours or five minutes. . .
But today is always here. Life is daily; today is all we have; and anybody can go one day without drinking or drugging.
- Living Sober, p. 7

Thought to Ponder . . .
If I don't drink or drug today, I have the hope of a tomorrow.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
O D A A T =
One Day At A Time.

Daily Motivation

Get up and get going

Taking action is not as difficult as you imagine it to be. Get up now and get it done.

The comfort and ease of doing nothing are highly overrated, especially in the long run. Life is here, life is miraculously yours, so live it.

Live life fully by taking an active role in it. Feel your purpose, feel your desire, feel your dreams and follow them with all you have.

Make a commitment, voice your opinion, use your skills and put real, active substance into this day. Step forward, put forth the effort, follow through and contribute your own brand of richness to this beautiful world.

The possibilities are all around you. Great new value is begging to be created, and you’re in the fortunate position of being able to answer the call.

Remind yourself how effective you can be and then put that effectiveness to good use. Get up, get going and give your best to this great day.

— Ralph Marston

Friday, September 26, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-26-2014

Friday, September 26, 2014
Today's Gift

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. --D. H. Lawrence

Sometimes when we feel sorry for ourselves we will sit alone in our bedroom. We may even feel so down in the dumps that we decide to stay there, indulging in self-pity, thinking about how the world is against us.

However, if we use our imagination to step outside our own point of view for a moment, we might think differently. If we were deer in the forest, we would be thinking about keeping safe from the wolves, and where our next meal would be coming from.

The animals have no time to feel sorry for themselves, they are too busy doing what has to be done to survive, and each thing that happens presents a new survival problem to be solved.

When we feel blue, it helps to keep this in mind. If we have the time to feel down, and can get physically comfortable while doing it, how bad can the problem really be?

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

...we do not always like what is good for us in this world. 
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Most of us can look back and recall how we fought a particular change.
How certain we were that we wouldn't survive the upheaval! Perhaps we
lost a love or were forced to leave a home or a job. Retrospect allows
us to see the good of the change, and we can see the necessary part
each change has played in our development

We've had to change to cover the distances we've traveled. And
we'll have to continue changing.

The program and its structure, and our faith in that structure, can
ease the harsh consequences of change. Our higher power wants
only the best for us, of that we can be sure. However, the best may
not always "fit" when first we try it. Patience, trust, and prayer are a
winning combination when the time comes for us to accept a change.
We'll know when it's coming. Our present circumstances will begin to pinch.

Action for the Day: I am ready to move ahead-- I have "passed" the current test. 
Change means growth. It's a time for celebration, not dread. 

One Day At A Time

I cannot consider myself "different" in AA; if I do I isolate myself from others and from contact with my Higher Power.
If I feel isolated in AA, it is not something for which others are responsible.
It is something I've created by feeling I'm "different" in some way.
Today I practice being just another alcoholic in the worldwide Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.
- Daily Reflections, p. 58

Thought to Ponder . . .
I am unique, just like everyone else.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
W I S D O M = W
hen Into Self, Discover Our Motives.

Daily Motivation

Prison of your own making

Are you holding yourself in a prison of your own making? If so, today you can choose to set yourself free.

Worries, insecurities, outdated assumptions, and a negative self image can all prevent you from experiencing life at its best. You can let those limiting influences fall cleanly away from your life.

The obstacles that life sends your way will continually challenge you, and yet with intention and commitment you can move beyond them. Before you can do that, however, you must set yourself free of the self-imposed obstacles.

Raise your vision of yourself above any troubles and shortcomings that may have occurred in your past. This is now, and you owe it to yourself to maintain an empowering view of yourself.

If you’ve known a lot of disappointment, there’s no need to fear more disappointment or failure. Just accept that they will occasionally come, and look forward to the great satisfaction you’ll find in working your way beyond them.

Choose to set yourself free from defeating thoughts that have held you back. Knock down the walls you’ve built around you, and let the full richness of life come in.

— Ralph Marston

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-25-2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Today's Gift

Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own. -Harold Coffin 

William Shakespeare referred to envy as the "green sickness." There are only losers in the game of envy. When we envy someone else, we have judged ourselves and found something lacking.

Lack of self-love is the soil in which envy grows. Envious people are never satisfied. Self-pity is never sitting far from envy. We feel sorry for ourselves for what we don't have. Self-pity is like a swamp, the longer we stand in the muck, the more we stink.

Concentrating on what we do have is the perfect antidote for envy. Every one of us has our own special gifts and talents. We find these by looking at ourselves instead of looking at others. By becoming grateful for what we have, we can rejoice in ourselves.

Today let me be grateful for what I have.

From the book Our Best Days by Nancy Hull-Mast

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

Be thine own palace, or the world's thy jail. —John Donne

All of us have some difficult circumstances to face today. Some among us find ourselves in the hospital or in jail. Others are worried about pressures and frustrations at work. Tensions and concerns about war and the future of the world affect us all. We have many uncontrollable circumstances in our lives, but we don't have to give ourselves over to them. A man's body may be in jail while in his heart he is free.

We build a palace for our spirits by maintaining contact with our Higher Power. We are always within the circle of our Higher Power's love. Always! Knowing that helps us make peace with the limits on what we can do about our situations. Then we can go forth working to make peace in our relationships, accomplish what is possible in our lives, and make a contribution to others.

Action for the Day: Today, I will remember that the frustrations around me are not all of who I am. When I am at peace within, I live among spiritual riches.

One Day At A Time

Let Go
Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If 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. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58

Thought to Ponder . . .
When I struggle, I sink. When I let go, I float.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
N E W =
Nothing Else Worked.

Daily Motivation

A new you

If you’re stuck, you don’t have to be. If you’re weary, disappointed or unmotivated, you don’t have to be.

You can change, and you can make that change for the better. You can transform your thoughts, your perspective, your direction, your possibilities and your life.

Every moment, a new you is being born. You can simply let the new you be just like the old you, or you can choose to make improvements.

If your past has not lived up to your highest expectations and best possibilities, now is your opportunity to break with that past. A new you is being born, and you can fill that new you with new, positive energy, assumptions, expectations and actions.

Everything you’re disappointed about has already happened. This is the new you, with the opportunity to make much better things happen.

Right now there’s a new you, more knowledgeable, experienced, capable and inspired than ever before. Let the new you step forward and make life the best you can imagine.

— Ralph Marston

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-24-2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Today's Gift

Honoring our needs doesn't mean we are needy. --John Amodeo, PHD

We can accept ourselves as people who have needs - the need for comfort, love, understanding, friendship, and healthy touch. We need positive reinforcement, someone to listen to us, someone to give to us. We are not weak for needing these things. These needs make us human and healthy. Getting our needs met - believing we deserve to have them met - makes us happy.

There are times, too, when in addition to our regular needs, we become particularly needy. At these times, we need more than we have to give out. That is okay too.

We can accept and incorporate our needs, and our needy side, into the whole of us. We can take responsibility for our needs. That doesn't make us weak or deficient. It doesn't mean we are not properly recovering, nor does it mean we're being dependent in an unhealthy way. It makes our needs, and our needy side, manageable. Our needs stop controlling us, and we gain control.

And, our needs begin to get met.

Today, I will accept my needs and my needy side. I believe I deserve to get my needs met, and I will allow that to happen.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

It is better to be wanted too much than not a all.---Anonymous

It may seem that so many people want our time and love. Parents say we
don’t call often enough. Children demand our time. Our partners say we’re
gone to much. Our sponsor tells us to check in more often.

When we feel off balance by all these people, we need to stop and rest. We
need to remember how lonely we were when we were using. No one wanted
our time and love then! Now we’re important to others again.

You can handle all this by giving people what they need and ask for, within
reason---not what you think they need, which may be way too much. Maybe
you need Al-Anon, to learn to love others while taking care of yourself.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me put my time and energy to
best use today. Help me find the balance I need between work, play,
loving others, and self-care.

Action for the Day: When I feel I have to give too much today, I’ll stop
and ask my Higher Power for guidance.

One Day At A Time

I began to question my new beliefs too much -- I began to panic. I began to read beyond AA's literature for answers. . . before I had read too much about the subject of spiritual beliefs, I realized I was asking too much too soon. Wisely, I left the philosophy books to minds more capable than mine. I could not risk further mental confusion. I returned to the teachings of AA, which had already saved me from a life of torment.
- Came To Believe . . ., p. 120

Thought to Ponder . . .
Stop looking to find.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A A =
Answer Available.

Daily Motivation

Savor your time

If you rush through life, you miss the best parts. Take your time, enjoy your time, savor your time and make rich, meaningful use of it.

Instead of rushing to get as much as possible done, take the time to do things the best you possibly can. Instead of racing to finish, enjoy the journey as you create great value along the way.

Being effective is not the same as being busy. Just because something is urgent doesn’t mean it’s important.

There are many things that can be done quickly, yet have little value. It’s better to invest your time in one thing that really matters than to waste it on a dozen things that don’t.

Let go of the need to skim quickly along the surface. Allow yourself to dive deeply and meaningfully into life’s richness.

Your time is precious, so treat it with the respect it deserves. Rise above the anxious hurrying, and make every moment really mean something.

— Ralph Marston

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-23-2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Today's Gift

When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or the life of another. —Helen Keller

It is a great loss when we underestimate the importance of our efforts in the life of another. One man, who had to spend some time in a hospital, waited day after day to receive a card or a telephone call from those who cared. Some people, who he expected to call or write, did not. Others, who the man had not felt close to, and whom he did not expect to hear from, surprised him with their concern. He came to place greater value on those who had cared enough to call or send a card.

A little act, the best we have at that moment, makes a big difference to the person on the other end. Knowing this helps us make sure that all our acts, even the smallest, are as good as we can make them, because they all make a difference.

What small acts of those around me have made a difference to me?

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves.--- Will Durant

Sometimes we say bad things about others. When we do this, it makes us look
bad too.

Our friends worry what we might say about them behind their backs. They’re
afraid to trust us. We become known as gossips.

The things we say about other people tell a lot about us. We are kind or unkind.
We gossip or we don’t. This doesn’t mean we have to say everyone is wonderful
all the time. As we work to see ourselves better, we begin to see other
people more clearly too. We see their strong points and their weak points. But we
can know these things without gossiping about them.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me see others clearly, and in their best
light. Let me bring out the good in others.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list the people I’m closest to at work, school, and
home. I’ll think of how I talk about them to others. Am I kind?

One Day At A Time

Right Living
Service, gladly rendered, obligations squarely met, troubles well accepted or solved with our Higher Power's help, 
the knowledge that at home or in the world outside we are partners in a common effort, 
the well-understood fact that in God's sight all human beings are important,
the proof that love freely given surely brings a full return,
the certainty that we are no longer isolated and alone in self-constructed prisons,
the surety that we need no longer be square pegs in round holes but can fit and belong in our Higher Power's scheme of things --
these are the permanent and legitimate satisfactions of right living for which no amount of pomp and circumstance,
no heap of material possessions, could possibly be substitutes.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 124

Thought to Ponder . . .
A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

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

Daily Motivation

Reach forward

You might not reach your goal today. Yet you can reach a significant part of the way toward it.

You may not make as much progress today as you intend. Yet you will make some valuable progress.

Don’t you dare be discouraged by what you were not able to do. Instead, be inspired by what you have been able to get done, and by what you’re now in a position to achieve.

Even though you’re not able to reach all the way right now, reach. Go ahead, do what you can, now when you have the opportunity.

Get started, continue, make some progress, then do it again and again. Small efforts add up to big results when you repeat them often enough.

Reach forward, work forward and move forward. You’ve made some meaningful progress, and now is your chance to make even more.

— Ralph Marston

Monday, September 22, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-22-2014

Monday, September 22, 2014
Today's Gift

What difference does it make how I am treated by life? My real life is
within. --Angela L. Wozniak

It is said that we teach people how to treat us. How we treat others invites
similar treatment. Our response to the external conditions of our lives can
be greatly altered by our perceptions of those conditions. And we have
control of that perception. No experience has to demoralize us. Each
situation can be appreciated for its long-term contribution to our growth
as happy, secure persons.

No outside circumstances will offer us full time and forever the security
we all long for. And in like manner, none will adversely interfere with our
well being, except briefly and on occasion.

The life lessons offer us the awareness that our security, happiness, and
well being reside within. The uplifting moments of our lives may enhance
our security, but they can't guarantee that it will last. Only the relationship
we have with ourselves and our Higher Power within can promise the gift of security.

The ripples in my day are reminders to me to go within.

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

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
---Mark Twain

Sometimes it does no good to try to “deal” with your feelings. For the
moment, we’re stuck. We can only see things one way. No matter
what anyone says, we’re closed up. For the moment. But this puts our
sobriety at risk.

How do we stop self-pity? Focus on someone else. When we really want
to help someone else be happy, we'll ask our Higher Power’s help.
Then things start to change, because our good deeds come back to us.
Remember, service will always keep us sober.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, sometimes I get stuck in my old ways.
Help me change my focus at those times. Help me stay sober.

Action for the Day: I will think of a time when I was stuck in bad feelings.
How did I get out of that spot.

One Day At A Time

No Regrets
The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it. . .
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 83

Thought to Ponder . . .
Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.

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

Daily Motivation

Put passion

Put passion into what you do, whatever it is. Your passion confers great power, and engages your best abilities, and you can put it into anything.

There’s no need to search for, or wait for, or wonder about what will give you passion. Go ahead and give your passion to the moment you’re in.

What provides you with passion is your choice to live it. What gives you passion is your decision to allow it to flow into your thoughts, words and actions.

Live your life not as a bystander. Live in this world, on this day, at this place as an active participant.

Discover how empowering it feels to give authentic passion to the smallest of details. Experience for yourself how great it is to care without holding back.

Put passion in this day, in this task, and in this circumstance. Be rewarded with exceptional effectiveness and meaningful achievement.

— Ralph Marston

Friday, September 19, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-19-2014

Friday, September 19, 2014
Today's Gift

Young man, the secret of my success is that at an early age I discovered I was not God. —Oliver Wendell Holmes

Sometimes, in our families, we try to get parents or brothers or sisters to treat us the way we want them to, to do things we want them to. When they're upset or angry with us, we try to get them to stop, rather than allow them to be angry.

But our feelings are ours alone, and we are responsible only for how we feel. Those around us are not the cause of our feelings. We are.

This knowledge is a big responsibility, because we know we cannot blame others for our bad moods. But it is a fact. And this fact is also a wonderful freedom for us, for it means that we also have the power to make ourselves happy, no matter what goes on around us.

How can I make myself happy today?

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

Who's not sat tense before his own heart's curtain? —Rainer Maria Rilke

Meeting our Higher Power and ourselves is the universal spiritual process. Sitting before the curtain of our hearts may feel as awesome to us or as frightening as anything we will ever do. When we first admit to ourselves a deeper truth, we feel these overpowering tensions. For some of us, this is a necessary step, which leads to self-knowledge and inner peace. We feel unique, different, alone, and maybe even crazy. For the first time, we are listening to our inner truth rather than outside messages.

Let's think for a moment about today's tensions and strains. Are we really aware of their source? Perhaps they are created by the disturbing honesty of our hearts? We may find our spiritual growth in yielding to the truth. When we are cynical about spiritual experience or when we minimize the importance of our soft-spoken inner wisdom, we are avoiding the truth from our hearts. And we miss the possibility of becoming strong from within.

Action for the Day: Today, I will live through the tension and fear of my honesty to reach the point of peace with myself.

One Day At A Time

Emotional Sobriety
Tying our sobriety to someone we are emotionally involved with proves flatly disastrous.
"I'll stay sober if so-and-so does this or that" puts an unhealthy condition on our recovery.
We have to stay sober for ourselves, no matter what other people do or fail to do. . .
We need to cool any overboard feeling, lest it flip us back into the drink.
- Living Sober, p. 62

Thought to Ponder . . .
Formula for failure: try to please everyone.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
R E L A T I O N S H I P =

Really Exciting Love Affair Turns Into Outrageous Nightmare; Sobriety Hangs In Peril.

Daily Motivation

Expect better

Expect this day to be a richer, more fulfilling day than yesterday. Expect better, and your life will rise to meet those expectations.

Expect the most favorable outcome and you’ll discover ways to bring it about. Expect a positive experience and you’ll find the goodness in every situation.

The way you act is informed and influenced by what you expect. Choose to expect better and you’ll do better.

Expect to understand, to resonate and to forge deep connections with those around you, and you will. Expect to create value out of whatever you have to work with, and that value flows forth.

Expect to make a meaningful positive difference today. Expect peace, love, healing and goodness, and your efforts and energy will focus to bring them about.

Do yourself and your world a big favor, and expect better. Expect better, and find joy in the journey of making it so.

— Ralph Marston

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-18-2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014
Today's Gift

I will, I will accept myself
With hope and fear and wonder
And what I have joined together
Let no one put asunder.
—Dory Preven

There is a wonderful freedom in acceptance. When we accept ourselves, with all our imperfections, we can then begin to accept others just as they are. This is especially exciting when we apply this discovery to our own families. A family is like a bouquet of flowers arranged in a common vase. Each flower is different. One might be blue, one white, one a rose, one a chrysanthemum. But each adds to the beauty of the whole bouquet and enhances the vase that holds it.

It isn't important that we know why one flower is blue and one white. We don't have to understand how a rose becomes a rose to appreciate the arrangement. We just accept it for what it is. Acceptance of others does not mean agreement or approval. How boring if we only accepted those who reflected our own ideas and opinions! How dull to look upon a bouquet of exactly the same flowers.

Today, will I accept the differences between us as part of our beauty together?

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

There is no love apart from the deeds of love; no potentiality of love but that which is manifested in loving. --Jean-Paul Sartre

What exactly are we talking about when we talk about love? Many of us - and this was certainly true of me - have used this word primarily to describe a fantasy. We imagined that somewhere there was an ideal person who could meet all our needs and make us whole. Love meant rescue or a problem-free relationship. When we didn't find it, we bewailed our loneliness and bad luck.

Love is not something that is bestowed on us. We can create it, everyday. It grows in each of us as we take actions that affirm our respect and caring for others and ourselves. Love is not limited to romantic encounters, but extends to our daily relationships with other people, including our friends and members of our communities. 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.

Action for the Day: Today, I add to the abundance of many kinds of love in my life.

One Day At A Time

As I began to look more closely, I noticed serious flaws,
I was brimful of character defects.
But these were things that, in time and with help, could be dealt with.
No longer did I have to run with nightmarish terror from an inner monster.
I had seen the truth, and the truth had freed me to do less hiding and more seeking.
- The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 1], p. 134

Thought to Ponder . . .
I cannot mend if I bend the truth.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
hoosing Honesty Allows New Growth Everyday

Daily Motivation

What you need

You have what you need. Now go make something of it.

You have an abundance of possibilities. Now get busy fulfilling the best of them.

You have resources, abilities, interests, skills and passions. Now do something meaningful and enjoyable with them.

Don’t waste your time and energy wishing for more. Invest yourself in creating new richness in your own unique way.

Instead of obsessing over what you don’t have, imagine what you can create. Instead of getting hung up on the challenges, get excited about the possibilities.

You are connected to all of life’s abundance. Now do the work to create and to follow the path of your own special greatness.

— Ralph Marston