Recording for November 26, 2015

(week 204) 26 November 2015 12 Step Big Book All Addictions workshop

Send donations towards the upkeep of the website to:

Stephanie Whiting
PO Box 531
North Pembroke
MA 02358

If you are new and want to get the members list and be on it yourself and receive the weekly soul work e-mail:

Tuesdays 8am EST. ’Pass It On’ – Bill Wilson’s biography, a tremendous read. You learn so much about the Big Book. It is an intimate group and everybody is welcome.

Soul work
12 x 12 Step Six page 65 first paragraph, underline:

‘… we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible for us.’

Assignment – for the rest of your life.

Q1. Take a piece of paper and go to Quiet Time. Your agenda is: God show me what is blocking me from You and my brothers and sisters. Wait for God. Then write on the paper, for use as a reference, all your defects: self-centredness, jealousy, lack of humility, fear, etc.

Q2. Go to and for each shortcoming find its corresponding asset.
On a 3 x 5 card write the asset. Do not put the character defect on the card.
[We have spent a lifetime looking at ourselves and picking at ourselves. We are done with that. ‘Recovered’ means we are recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. The hopeless state of mind is the negativity you carry about yourself: no more! Now we are going to change from looking at ourselves under a microscope to seeing what is underneath. We are going to look at life as a half full glass.]

So on a 3 x 5 write the opposite to the defect. Say you’ve put ‘selfish’ on the paper. On the card you write ‘humble.’ Then you write: With your help God I am going to stop talking about me and my problems.
Selfishness means you are looking at yourself all the time: what are you going to do for me? So the opposite of selfish is: what can I do for you? What can I give you? It may only be a smile but it is a lot better than you expecting them to smile at you. It is a different attitude.
The nature of step six is an attitude change.

Q3. You take a card every day, write the date on the card and in your prayer time ask God: what does it look like to live in this character asset? All your life you have lived this selfishness. All day today you live in the solution. You have got to take God with you.

I am going to be humble and I am not going to talk about myself. I am going to ask: what I can bring to others? Today we are now going to bring humility – that is what your card is. All day you are going to ask God for help. Help me to be humble. Help me not to be centered on self. If anyone wants to know about your life, tell them the positive things. We are now in the solution.

Q4. Are you willing to do this exercise? If are not, ask God for the willingness.. If you are willing to put down the character defect, write the opposite asset on a 3 x 5 card, every day take one card and live in that asset then you are ready to say:

My Creator, I am now willing that you have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.

Every problem is an opportunity to work gratitude.


Recording for November 19, 2015

(week 203) 19 November 2015 12 Step Study Big Book All Addictions workshop

12 x 12 Tradition 5. page 153

Paragraph beginning ‘This really rocked him…’ until the end of the tradition.

Big Book of AA page 75 step six & seven.

Soul work
Look up: emphasize, indispensable.

Q1. Do you feel free?

[If the answer is yes then you have done what you needed to do].
If you say no I am not free around my marriage, job, in social situations, etc, then do a tenth step and you keep doing this every day bringing it to Quiet Time asking God to give you an action plan. So an inch by inch you will move towards resolution.

Q2 Have you tried to skip something either in your fourth or fifth step or just yesterday, that you are bringing into today because you don’t want to look at it?

Q.3 Are you now willing to let God remove from you all the things about you that are objectionable?

Q4. Can God now take them, everyone who ever hurt you? Is there anyone you are holding onto? Bring it to Quiet Time every day, write about it. Do an Action Plan.

Step Seven

When you are ready, kneel down and say:

‘My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.’

Don’t say this prayer unless you are in 100% integrity that God can have it all.

Go to search engine and put in: AA talk: Drop the Rock Sandy, Florida – excellent speaker on steps six and seven.

Step Six AA 12 x 12 page 63

Circle the word ‘all’ in line five: He goes on to explain that any person capable of enough willingness and honesty to try repeatedly Step Six on all his faults – without any reservations whatever – has indeed come a long way spiritually…’

Q5. Do you understand that there is no human being that is powerful enough to get rid of your shortcomings, fears, addiction, resentments, etc?


Recording for November 12, 2015

week 202) 12 November 2015 12-Step All Addictions Big Book Workshop

AA 12 x 12

Tradition Five:
Every group has but one primary purpose to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

From the beginning of the tradition on page 150 to end of the final paragraph on page 153:
‘From there we got along fine.’

Soul work

Write this down:
If somebody is ready for the message you cannot say anything wrong.
If somebody is not ready for the message you cannot say anything right.

Just remember it has nothing to do with you, except you are the messenger.

In the last paragraph on page 153, underline: ‘Humility was the main key to sobriety.’
[Stephanie’s definition of humility is:
‘Accepting who I am exactly as I am today, knowing that I am not God and that I need God.’]

Look up:
preservation, eloquence, self-seeking, neglect, unremitting, proselyting.
Draw a box around the words in your book that you look up.

’The very life of our Fellowship requires the preservation of this principle.’
Q1. Write on this. What does it mean?

‘It is one of the great paradoxes of A.A. that we know we can seldom keep the precious gift of sobriety unless we give it away.’
Q2. Write on this.

Q3a) Is a group of doctors being self-seeking when they know the cure for cancer and they don’t give it?

b) Are you going to be able to keep your sobriety?

Q4. What is the message of A.A.?
[If somebody came to you and said: ‘I am doing an exposition on the 12 steps’ what is the message what would you give?’]

Stephanie is concerned why people are no longer sharing with the group.
Q5a) Ask yourself, when there is time to share, why am I not doing so?
Is it my perfectionism or some other reason that I don’t want to share with group members?

b) How can we be a group if we do not share?


Recording for November 5, 2015

(week 201) 5 November 2015 12 Step Study Big Book All Addictions Workshop
Please send donations for the website upkeep and P O Box number to:
Stephanie Whiting
P O Box 536
North Pembroke MA 02358
AA 12 x 12 Step Five page 61 2nd paragraph, “Perhaps, though, your relation to him is such that you would only care to reveal….” through the end of page 62.

Soul work

look up: healing, tranquility

Question 1) Give a definition of Self-will. Give an example of something you’ve done this week that is a good use of your self-will. Give an example of you not using your self-will in a good place.

The book says on page 61 “The real tests of the situation are your own willingness to confide and your full confidence in the one with whom you share your first accurate self-survey.” (This is the 5th Step)

Question 2. If you have not done your 5th Step, how do you get the willingness to confide the 5th step, completely, holding nothing back? And what are the steps you’re taking to have full confidence in the one in whom you’re sharing your 5th step with?
If you have done your 5th step, this now becomes your 10th step. In the AA 12 and 12 sentence above, take out the word “first” and change it to: “you share your 10th accurate self-survey” Write on that sentence. Personalize that sentence.

Aligning your will power with God’s will is an act of will power. God, I can’t. You can. I’m going to align my will with You and together we’re going to do it. That’s an act of humility.

Question 3. Look at your willingness to be humble.

Page 61: “No one ought to say that the A.A. program requires no will power. Here is one place you may require all you’ve got.”

Question 4: Write on this.

Question 5: What do humility and serenity have to do with a 5th step?

Question 6: If you have done your 5th step, write about your experience with your Higher Power and how you felt the presence of God.

In Stephanie’s opinion, the 5th Step Promises are the greatest promises of the Big Book:

“Provided you hold back nothing, your sense of relief will mount minute to minute. The dammed up emotions of years break out of their confinement, and miraculously vanish as they are exposed. As the pain subsides, a healing tranquility takes its place. And when humility and serenity are so combined, something else of great moment is apt to occur. Many an A.A. once agnostic or atheistic, tells us that it was during this experience of Step 5 that he first actually felt the presence of God. And even those who had faith already, often became conscious of God as they never were before.

This feeling of being one with God and man, this emerging of isolation through the open and honest sharing of our terrible burden of guilt brings us to a resting place, where we may prepare ourselves for the following Steps toward a full and meaningful sobriety.”

October 29, 2015

(week 200) 29 October 2015 12 Step Study Big Book All Addictions Workshop

Please send donations for the website upkeep and P O Box number to:

Stephanie Whiting
P O Box 536
North Pembroke
MA 02358

AA 12 x 12 Step Five page 60 1st paragraph: ‘The second difficulty is…’ until end of 1st paragrph on page 61 ending ‘…Besides, your sponsor already has the advantage of knowing something about your case.’

Soul work

look up: deluded, prudence

What does ‘guidance’ mean to you? What did it mean in the past, today and what will it mean in the future for you?

2. Who are you going to for spiritual guidance? Do you need other ones. Do you really have the right people?

3. Are you going to God or are you going to people?

4. Finding someone to share your fifth step with and spiritual friends for guidance.
[When anyone says ‘you’ve got to’…run the other way].
Share a little and see what comes back. Don’t go into a phone call and tell your whole story. Too overwhelming. Share a little, get to know them and let them get to know you by sharing a little bit about yourself. Get to know how they are going to handle what you tell them. Go to Quiet Time.

What does this mean to you? Have you used it?
Do you think its a good way to confide in people and get spiritual guidance and friends?


Recording for October 22, 2015

(week 199) 22 October 2015 12 Step Study Big Book All Addictions Workshop

AA 12 x 12 Step Five Page 59
From start of paragraph beginning: ‘Hence it was most evident…

Sunday open study group: 11-12 noon EST 712 432 0800 pin 587213#

The meeting needs support. The two regulars are very serious about their recovery. The only requirement is if you go, say you are on the line.

soul work

Look up: garbled.

Fifth step instructions
Get somebody trustworthy. Make appointments that work for both of you. Find a safe place. Bring something that represents your higher power: a candle, picture of your higher power, something that is meaningful to you. Say 3rd step prayer and then read and read and read. Read the back of the page if that feels right for you. If it feels like too much information and it does not feel comfortable then don’t. You are in charge. You and God and another human being being honored by you revealing your work to God.
After doing the 5th step, go home, pick up your Big Book and read the first five steps then meditate for an hour. Only thing you meditate on is: have I skipped anything? Is there anybody else I have a resentment against any other fears, institutions etc.?

If you have only done five resentments ask: On the five that I have done, have I left anything out?
If you have written about everybody then ask about everybody. If only written one you ask: God have I skipped on this one person something you want me to know? .

If your Higher power says: ‘no you haven’t skipped anything’ then you read step six in the Big Book. Are the stones in place? Then do step six and then do step seven. We are not there as a group so you just rest there. We’ll get there, don’t worry. There’s no hurry. Just keep doing your quiet time Keep reading those paragraphs six and seven in the big book and ask God: from my resentments what are my character defects and assets? Be prepared. So when the group gets there you will be all ready. Not rushing ahead.

Then write an action plan for every day. God says you are impatient then you are gong to ask God give me an action plan. I am comfortable with God talking to me. I am not afraid of me any more. I always wanted somebody to tell me what to do. I have a lot of accountability because I can get off on a tangent. I am not afraid. I do hear from God and then I run it by people that I trust: Is this what God wants me to do?

That is the complete instructions for doing step five and six. We will get to six and we will get to seven much more formally when I am done with five. I am not in any hurry and I am doing this process the same way as you. No hurry.


Recording for October 15, 2015

(week 198) 15 October 2015 12-step Big Book All Addictions Workshop

AA 12 x 12 Step Five Page 57

When we reached AA, and for the first time in our lives stood among people who seemed to understand, the sense of belonging was tremendously exciting. We thought the isolation problem had been solved. But we soon discovered that while we weren’t alone any more in a social sense, we still suffered many of the old pangs of anxious apartness. Until we had talked with complete candor of our conflicts, and had listened to someone else do the same thing, we still didn’t belong. Step Five was the answer, It was the beginning of true kinship with man and God.

Soul work

look up: candor

Our moral inventory had persuaded us that all-round forgiveness was desirable, but it was only when we resolutely tackled Step Five that we inwardly knew we’d be able to receive forgiveness and give it too.

1. Circle: All-round forgiveness.

All-round doesn’t just mean God and ourselves, it means the other person. It includes everyone around the table.

2. Do you understand that the fifth step is not all about just forgiving yourself?
Really want you to ask yourself: do you understand the all-round forgiveness concept that you forgive yourself and God forgives you and then you forgive other people. Write on this.

[In seeing your mistakes and accepting them and forgiving yourself so you can extend that same concept of ‘I did not know I was making the mistake and hurting other people’ so I extend the same to others who hurt me. Similarly they did not know what they were doing].

In the fifth step it says: All-round complete forgiveness. Think about something round – there is no beginning there is no end. I need to forgive myself, others, God, the lack of knowledge, of being in an addiction. I needed to forgive all of it, all-round. That is why I had you write about that today because that is a different way of looking it.

It doesn’t nullify being hard on yourself and easy on others. My sponsor knew I needed Grace. It takes a lot of Grace to look at your past and forgive yourself. I needed to look at me with Grace, then I could look at others with Grace.

Unforgiveness has very very thick roots. When we have unforgiveness to someone we are still rooted. We cannot fly, we cannot get into other relationships because we are still rooted. When you forgive them because they do not know what they do, you are ready to fly in other areas and have other relationships, move on and have the freedom and be real. And not be wondering: is that person going to hurt me like that other person did?

Forgiveness is an inside job. It is not reconciliation. Forgiveness is the first step of reconciliation and you may want to be reconciled after you forgive yourself and they may and may not. We will talk more about that when we do Steps 8 and 9.

3. Write on a 3 x 5 card and carry it around, the AA definition of humility on page 58.

…humility amounts to a clear recognition of what and who we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be.

There is no humility until we realise what it was that we did to step on the toes of others.

We will write our defects and assets on cards

A deficiency is only an asset brought to an extreme.

4. Top of page 59: underline:
As we took inventory, we began to suspect how much trouble self-delusion had been causing us. This had bought a disturbing reflection. if all our lives we had more or less fooled ourselves, how could we now be so sure that we weren’t still self-deceived?

What are we going to do about it?

Go to Quiet Time. Read something you know will stretch you such as AA Reflections, As Bill Sees It, the Big Book or an Al-Anon book. Write a “Dear God” letter about what you learned from what you read. You won’t fool yourself if you write a letter to God. Then sit and ask God: what do you want me to concentrate on here? When you are done, make an Action Plan. You won’t live in self-deception.

For step five the most important thing is to find someone you trust implicitly.


Recording for October 8, 2015

(week 197) 8 October 2015 12-step Study All Addictions Big Book Workshop

Plug for Tuesday 8am EST meeting. Same number and pin as the Big Book workshop.
Playback Number: 641 715 3900 pin no. 298913#

We are reading Pass It On, Bill Wilson’s biography. Great small group and a good way to get to know others who are doing the Big Book process. We are probably about halfway through the book. Praying about whether or not to continue that group and if you think it is worthwhile. If it isn’t then let me know. After Bill Wilson want to do the rest of the Big Book after step 12. Want to do Working with Others and To the Wives and all the stories at the back. Not going to do it unless I have a group that wants to do it with me.

AA 12 x 12 Page 57

Step Five:
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Soul work

Look up:

1. Make your Big Book and 12 x 12 your own, along with the 3rd step prayer. Do not recite it by rote.

2. Next to the fifth line on page 57 write in the margin ‘promise’ :
We shall get rid of that terrible sense of isolation we’ve always had.

3. Write on this promise.

a) Why should we do a fifth step?

b) If you have already done a fifth step, write if this promise came true or has it not yet happened?

c) If you are in the middle of your fifth step, can you see a glimpse of the promise and want more?

4. ‘There was always that mysterious barrier we could neither surmount nor understand.’
Above the word ‘barrier’ (first paragraph page 57) write: pride and fear


After reading your fourth step, return home and spend an hour just sitting alone with God, asking is there anything else. Have a piece of paper and pencil and if God gives you your Aunt Tidy, your brother Keith, your first boss, whatever, you write it down. And then you go right back into meditation. If God gives you people you have not put on your list that you know really need to be there to clean up, then you write the resentment, or the fear or the sex inventory and then call back the person you did your fifth step and you say this came up when I did what Stephanie told me to do.

After this, again take down the Big Book, read the first five steps. Ask God is there anybody else? Sit with it for an hour. If nobody comes up you do the sixth step. And read those questions.

The foundations are in place. That means that you have completed: you have done the hour with God and God didn’t bring up anything. And if you can say ‘yes’ to the sixth step you go right onto the seventh. It doesn’t mean you have completed them but you go on. Then do the seventh step prayer and live in steps six and seven asking God to divulge your character defects.

All you have to do is go back to your fourth step and see your character defects and write each one on a separate 3 x 5 card (or whatever works for you) and then every day you take out one of those cards. You see the character defect and on the back you have written the opposite and an action plan on how you instigate the positive in your life. It is so simple and very effective. You work every day until all of us as a group have done steps six and seven. Then I will give you instructions for steps eight and nine.

If people want to go ahead, I ask: where are you going? What’s your hurry? In my opinion there is real value in staying with the group. People write to me all the time asking if they can go ahead. Of course. I will encourage you in whatever God is telling you to do. For myself, my sponsor encouraged me to stay with the group. And sixteen years later I am still doing it and I will for the rest of my life, one day at a time by the help of God.

When doing the fifth step get onto the other person’s schedule. They are doing you a favour. Bring something that represents your Higher Power: a picture, a rock, shell, etc. Bring a candle and light it when you say the 3rd step prayer. This is not in the book, it is what my sponsor did for me. It means a lot to me. We prayed together before I started reading and we always prayed at the end.


Recording for October 1, 2015

(week 196) 1 October 2015 12-Step Study Big Book All Addictions Workshop

AA 12 x 12 page 55-7 Step 5

We admitted to God to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

If you find yourself pointing a finger and gossiping and blaming someone else, look at yourself.

Soul work

look up: perilous.

Underline these words on page 56:
Some people are unable to stay sober at all. Others will relapse periodically until they really clean house.

Even A.A. oldtimers, sober for years, often pay dearly for skipping this Step.

1. Do you have long-term sobriety? Do you have peace of mind?

Most of us would declare that without a fearless admission of our defects to another human being we could not stay sober.

2. So what are you going to do about it?
This is why we are at step five. We have learnt how to inventory our character defects.
What are our character defects? Selfishness, self-centredness, dishonesty and fear.
All the other character defects and shortcomings come under one of those.Hope you are getting the very in-your-face answer to all your problems: its your character defects. My character defect causes my problem. And our character assets will give us the ability to live in peace and harmony with others.

So when you have a pressing problem look to your own character. What part of selfishness, self-centredness dishonesty or fear is rearing its head? There are 100 forms of fear, dishonesty, selfishness, self-seeking behaviour.

[When you are not in the fourth step it is called the 10th step or if you do it at night it is called the nightly review].

3. Where are you on the continuum? Are you holding back anything?
If you are, promise yourself that somebody will know about this before you go to bed tonight. Somebody, it doesn’t matter who it is. Go to a counsellor, priest, rabbi, etc. Do it.
There is nothing so freeing as telling God, yourself and another human being.


Recording for September 24, 2015

(week 195) 24 September 2015 12-step Big Book All Addictions Workshop

Big Book.Chapter 6: Into Action page 75:2

One of the most important things Stephanie’s sponsor said to her is: never pull anyone out of denial.

If you try and pull someone out of denial:
They will leave you because they won’t trust you
They might go crazy. People have said:’ don’t you see you are x y z? You are a liar, adulterer, etc.’ And they could not handle it and have committed suicide, gone into mental institutions. They are not ready. In telling them you would be doing God’s work. They will go through extreme negativity either about themselves or about you. They will have to make you or themselves a bad person. They may go off the deep end and they will lose trust in you..

Be an encourager.
People quit Big Book and quit recovery because they get discouraged. Think about a young child, who will blossom if you tell them they are doing a good job. We are all young kids. I am 65. God will tell me what I need. I need others to encourage me. We need to work together and call each other. Encourage one another and be each others’ cheerleader.

These are your instructions for the fifth step:

complete willingness
to learn what the solution is
to do the work

Page 75:3 Returning home we find a place where we can be quiet for an hour, quietly reviewing what we have done.
Very important. Tell your family. Plan your day. Give yourself a minimum of an hour (Stephanie took three). Carefully reviewing what you have done. And allowing yourself the magnitude of the feelings. Don’t discount this.

75:2 We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone and at perfect peace and ease. Our fears from use. We begin to feel a nearness to our Creator.

1. We thank God from the bottom of our heart that we know Him better.

2. Taking this book down from our shelf we turn to the page (page 59) which contains the twelve steps. Carefully reading the first five proposals we ask if we have omitted anything, for we are building an arch through which we shall walk a free man at last.

We ask if we have omitted anything. [You are building your foundation for the rest of your life and the remaining steps. ] ‘…for we are building an arch through which you will walk a free man at last. Is our work solid so far? Are the stones properly in place? Have we skimped on the cement put into the foundation? Have we tried to make mortar without sand?

soul work.

You might want to write out the Step Five promises on Page 75:2.

1. Write out your instructions on a piece of paper and put them with your Big Book.

2. If you have already done your fifth step and you have not yet written (or followed) these instructions, do this as soon as possible.

Page 76 If we can answer to our satisfaction, then we look at Step Six.

3. Over the weeks we are reading the AA 12 x 12 and Tradition Five go through your step four work and pick out the character defects. If you have already destroyed your step four then one option is to go to the website and find the list of character defects.

4. Use 3 x 5 cards and on the left side list a defect and the definition. Then write:
with God’s help and power I will live in …(and write the opposite characteristic and definition.

e.g. pride. Write the definition. The opposite of which is humility. Write a definition of humility.
Joining the two write: …with God’s help and power I will live in humility.

5. On the back of the card write an action plan.

For Stephanie pride is: “I know the answer myself and for others. I don’t.”

Her Action Plan for: ‘how can I be more humble?’:
1. Go to God
2 Admit that I need help
3. Listen more than I talk
4. Over and over again listen to God and to others.
5. God’s Action Plan will show me specifically how I can be more humble.
6. Don’t push, pull, prod or dominate. Always use the ‘I ‘statement and never assume to know the answer. Make suggestions that all the time only encourage.
“If I do those things I live in humility.”

If you are done with Step Five you need to be doing Steps Six and Seven.