Recording for July 24, 2014

Today’s reading:
Big Book p. 61 beginning of last paragraph THROUGH p.62 end of 1st whole paragraph:
“Our actor is self-centered—ego-centric, as people like to call it nowadays. ….Selfishness—self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, sel-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.”

Today’s Soul Work:

Look up: fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, self-pity, retaliate, provocation

Q1) Take the last paragraph on p. 61 of the Big Book and dissect it.
( “Our actor is self-centered…Whatever our protestations, are not most of us concerned with ourselves, our resentments, or our self-pity?”)
Take the businessman, politician, minister and the safe cracker and write how you used your addiction like they did to keep yourself alive.

“Selfishness—self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles.”
Q2) Write about the root of our problems in comparison to the root of a plant – which we learn, in biology, is what the whole living organism depends on — the root, that is.

“Driven by a hundred forms of fear…”
Q3) Write about the fear- that I am not going to get what I want.

“Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.”
Get down into your core and do soul-surgery on this selfishness and self-centeredness.
How can you recover?- via an Action Plan!

Ask God: How can I best serve thee?. Thy will not mine. God will show you action plans that will help you help others. And when you help others you will get the reward you were always looking for when you were demanding people give you everything.

Q4) Really look at your ‘hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking and self-pity’.
Look up these words and personalize them by listing your ‘hundred forms’ of each and going into them. Dig deep.

Once you realize that you have set the ball in motion to be hurt, take this statement:
‘I have set the ball in motion to be hurt’ and start getting into the habit of looking at yourself (instead of looking at others and thinking ‘ woe is me’). You will be so much better off.

Q5) What did you do to set the ball in motion? Was it your look, your action, your word (i.e. a slight)?

Stephanie doesn’t agree with many old timers’ belief that once recovered, the process of ‘recovery’ ends.
Says Stephanie: Recovery never ends. It just gets deeper, deeper, and deeper.
(Mark Houston and Joe Hawk said: ‘We learn and learn and learn’ throughout the 25 years they ran workshops.)

And she doesn’t want an overview anymore- which is what happens when you read a lot more pages (i.e. a whole chapter) of the Big Book at one meeting. She wants the real meat, which is why she’s happy to go slow, word by word- because every word has so much meaning.

Recording for July 17, 2014

(week 133) 17 July 2014 All Addictions Big Book Step Study workshop

Big Book last paragraph on page 61: Our actor is self-centred… until end of paragraph ‘…Are not most of us concerned with ourselves, our resentments, or our self-pity?’

12stepstudyworkshop.com for recording of this meeting. The playback number is: 641 715 3900 pin 95666#

Donations: All donations much appreciated as there are many monthly expenses for the website.

Stephanie Whiting P.O. Box 531 North Pembroke, MA 02358

Friday at noon (EST):“Awesome” Trust & Rely meeting on this same number and pin.

Playback number: 641 715 3900 pin 91904#

Soul work

Q1. Pages 60-62. Read them every day to really understand what our problems in life have been. They are powerful and very important providing the answer to any ‘why’ questions about our addictions and co-dependency.

Our actor is self-centred – ego-centric, as people like to call it nowadays.

Q2. If it is true (and its a tough statement to say about yourself) can you put your name over the word ‘actor’ ?

b) Do you feel comfortable doing that.

c) How does it make you react?

Q3. How are you with asking God for guidance versus trying to do things on your own willpower?

b) When you receive God’s guidance to go to the left (and know that going to the right would self-centred and egocentric) are you going to God for help or are you trying to do everything on willpower?

c) Do you even care when you are told by God that to go to the right is selfish and to go to the left is unselfish? You can really explore that. This is key as in the fourth step will write out whenever you went to the right: I am resentful at… then going to do a turn around and look at your own self-nature. It is the only way you can get recovery.

Q3a). Are you negative or positive? Do you look at life as a half empty glass like this retired businessman: complain and do nothing?

For example: Do you complain about your husband/children/job and do nothing to change yourself to be more loving?

Qb) Do you instead just say: Whatever happens I am going to handle it with a positive attitude?

Q4 Do you think there is anybody in your life (e.g. your spouse, psychologist, etc) or in your step one fellowship that you can jump on their back and things will be better?

[If you do, you have God as nothing. God is either everything or God is nothing. We cannot rest on somebody else doing our changing. If we see something that needs to be changed we have to do something. We cannot just sit back in an armchair and say it is wrong].

Q5. Fourth Step Preparation

Purchase a comfortable pen for all the writing you will be doing.

And a large (2.5-3 inches thick) three ring folder along with spare punched hole sheets and coloured dividers.

[Stephanie will be sending out lots of handouts. A spiral notebook will not work. And also need this format later as a document for your teaching others how to go through the steps.]

b) Print out the new member list and put it in the front of the folder.

[Will need these numbers to get encouragement for fourth step writing when feel resistant.]

Stephanie really believes Bill Wilson had a direct relationship with God when he wrote the Big Book and that the Big Book was meant to be adapted to all different forms of addictions.

She will help anybody with any addiction.

(But remember says Stephanie: Respect each Fellowship meeting’s particular singleness-of-purpose and speak only about that addiction for which they are grouped together.)

Ends

(week 132) 10 July 2014 12 Step Study All Addictions Big Book Workshop

Big Book 4th line of page 61:

‘In trying to make these arrangements our actor may be quite virtuous….

until end of next paragraph:

’Is he not, even in his best moment, a producer of confusion rather than harmony?’

Step 3 commitments:

Stephanie will keep taking Third Step commitments, one before 8am EST for those who can come on conference call a few minutes early and two commitments after the workshop. For those who cannot make the live meeting, you may commit privately by phone. Contact her to set this up. That said, Stephanie encourages whoever can to commit in front of the group as it is a powerful experience for the individual and the group.
stephaniew324@gmail.com or call or preferably text: : 617 774 7916

Trust and Rely meeting noon (EST) on the same number as today’s workshop.

Reading AA Reflections. All are encouraged to attend so we can get to know one another.

Dr Bob and the Good Oldtimers meeting on Tuesdays 8am (EST)

Soulwork

Draw a box around each word you look up in the Big Book.

This is so you will know you have the definition when going through it with a sponsee, so you can either tell them what it means or have them look it up.

Look up:

self-pity

agape

blame

delusion

What usually happens is the show usually doesn’t come off very well.

1a) Can you relate to that?

b) He begins to think life doesn’t treat him right. Can you relate to that?

He becomes angry, indignant, self-pitying.

Q2. Have you ever been self-piteous?

Q3a). Do you agree that: Attitude is 99.9 percent of life and .0.1 percent is what happens? Write about this.

b) Stephanie will go to any lengths to keep her attitude positive and out of the victim mentality. What about you?

Stephanie considers self-pity to be the Cancer of the Soul, the ultimate of selfishness and self-centeredness and teaches us that we must walk away in love, brotherly and sisterly (spiritual) love, also known as AGAPE, from people who have hurt us. This agape comes from God. Say to yourself in such situations where you feel the victim: I don’t have it in me to love _______ at this point. But, with God’s help, I can love them.

Q4. Tell your study buddy or group your story with self-pity.

‘He decides to exert himself more. He becomes on the next occasion, still more demanding or gracious, as the case may be. Still the play does not suit him. Admitting he may be somewhat at fault, he is sure that other people are more to blame.’

Q5a). In the margin next to ‘exert himself’ write control more.

b) Above gracious write “manipulative”.

c) Above ‘play’ write ‘life’.

d) After the word ‘fault’ write ‘but’ (‘but’ cancels out the first part of the sentence).

Q6. Write about how blame and self-pity ruined your life. (Big Book is the direct opposite of allowing yourself victim mentality and blaming someone else.]

Q7. When you live blaming somebody else you become their victim. You put yourself in their jail and they (not you) hold the key. We become angry, indignant and self-pitying. Look at these words in turn. Do they apply to you? Yes or No.

Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if he only manages well?

Q8. Write as much as you can on your experience of playing God.

This is the key to your fourth step: looking at your delusion of trying to control people, places, things and yourself.

Do you know you are powerless and that no human power can change the situation?

[Stephanie: “I tried everything to try to play God and get my life the way I wanted it. And my life became an absolutely train wreck. People were not speaking to me, really disliking me. They owned me emotionally. My delusion ended up with my being physically, emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. And it was all a delusion. But I did not know that. I could not come up with something in this world to change the situation however much I kept trying and going to diets, people, professionals. And then I came to the end of myself. I came to the end of human intervention. I finally came to the end of knowing I could find an answer. I knew I could not. And that was my white light experience. I started really seeking God as the dying seek life preservers. That is my message as your sponsor and above all as a human being: the a) b) and c) of page 60:

I am powerless, no human power could relieve me and God could and would if He were sought.”

Ends

Recording for July 3, 2014

(week 131) 3 July 2014 12-step Study Big Book All Addictions workshop

Big Book The last paragraph of page 60 finishing on page 61
‘The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success…… But as with most humans, he is more likely to have varied traits.’

Step 3 commitments:
Stephanie will keep taking Third Step commitments, one before 8am EST for those who can come on conference call a few minutes early and two commitments after the workshop. For those who cannot make the live meeting, you may commit privately by phone.
Contact her for an appointment to do so. But she encourages whoever can to commit in front of the group because of the powerfulness of the experience.
stephaniew324@gmail.com or cell: 617 774 7916

Trust and Rely meeting noon on the same number as this Thursday workshop.
Stephanie encourages us all to come so we can all get to know one another.

Soul work

Q1 Write down what it is to make a decision and have an action plan.

Q2. Do you hear the music that God is giving you? Do you dance to God’s music or are you fighting it?

Q3. How do you reconcile the Third Step with praying, planning, protecting and the spirit of the third step.

Circle ‘if only’
Q4 How much time did you waste on ‘if only’. What are your ‘if only’s’ today?

Q5.Do you still live with that lie that if only people would do what we hoped life would be great?

The biggest number one lie we tell ourselves is if only (fill in the blank) would do as I wish, my life would be great. Write about that.

Q6 How can you turn your life over to God and want to play God by wishing people, situations corporations and culture were different? [This is really a good place to really examine your belief system].

Q7 We are at the turning point. Are you willing to smash your old way of thinking and really come into living Let Go and Let God?

Look up: virtuous.

Q7. Do you know a truly virtuous person? A person who really is kind, considerate, patient, modest, self-sacrificing all without a motive. without a motive. List people. Then get to know them. Invite them into your inner circle and have them as a role model in your life.
[You don’t put them on a pedestal as they are not always going to have these traits as nobody is perfect, but they basically live their life without a selfish, self-centered motive].

Q8a). List and write about a time when you were kind considerate, self-sacrificing without a motive. Then write a prayer thanking God.

b) Write an example of when you were kind considerate with a motive. How did it turn out?
How did you feel when you realised you really had a motive?

c) Write a prayer asking God to help you change that situation.
[You may need to make an amend to God, to yourself, the other person we hurt or harmed and you may want to talk about it with somebody].

d) List somebody in your life that is mean, egotistical, selfish, you may be listing yourself. How can you be kind considerate, modest self-sacrificing with this person?

When we can have no motive and really live a virtuous life with these type of people we will have 1) joy and 2) be recovered – from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.

Our addiction stems from our mind. It stems from our selfishness and self-centeredness and when we can be kind to those who are mean and egotistical then we have recovered. We have the armor of being totally indifferent to our addictive substances. When writing the Big Book they knew this way of life was the answer to alcoholism. Unfortunately the real truth doesn’t get told very often. We are told a lot of emotional and physical tools that will help us to be recovered and they are absolutely wonderful to help us recover physically, but they only give us momentary emotional relief. They don’t cure the underlying emotional imbalance which is the spiritual malady called selfishness and self-centeredness.

Ends

Recording for June 26, 2014

(week 130) 26 June 2014 12-step Study Workshop

Big Book The entire last paragraph of page 60: and to top of page 61

‘The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success…… But as with most humans, he is more likely to have varied traits.’

*Stephanie will keep taking Third Step commitments, one before 8am EST for those who can come on conference call a few minutes early and two commitments after delivering the workshop. For those who cannot make the live meeting, you may commit privately by phone.
Contact her via her cell or email for an appointment to do so. But she encourages whoever can to rather commit in front of the group because of the powerfulness of the experience this way.
cell: 617 774 7916 stephaniew324@gmail.com

Trust and Rely meeting noon on the same number as this Thursday workshop.

Stephanie encourages us all to come so we can all get to know one another.

Soul work

Stephanie says: ‘There was no recording last week. Will you appreciate it more this week? Thank you Linda, Jennifer and Debbie who make it all happen every single week. Don’t take the recording for granted. Be sure you thank your Higher Power for them. I do nothing except show up on Thursdays. They do all the heavy lifting. Please don’t take it for granted. I don’t. I am so appreciative.

We will be going over what we did last week – the same material in a different way.’

Q1. 3rd Step Prayer

Assignment: If you do not know this prayer, copy it onto about five 3 x 5 cards and put them where you eat your meals, in the car, on the refrigerator etc.

When somebody takes the third step, memorise this prayer. If you memorise it you will own it and have it (along with the Serenity Prayer) when push comes to shove and your lying addiction comes up and punches you. Also say the Third Step prayer before doing any step writing so as to bring in the guidance of your Higher Power.

‘The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. On that basis we are almost always in collision with something or somebody even though our motives are good.’

Q2. What does a life being a success mean to you?

Q3. ‘…we are almost always in collision with something or somebody’ i.e. I want my way.

Can you relate to that?

Ends

Notes for June 19, 2014

There is no recording for this week.

(week 129) 19 June 2014 12-step Big Book workshop

Big Book The entire last paragraph of page 60:

‘The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success…(top of page 61) But as with most humans, he is more likely to have varied traits.’

Step 3 commitments: Stephanie will continue taking these for the next few weeks.

Trust and Rely workshop noon on this same number.

Stephanie encourages us all to come so we can get to know one another. She wants to get down in the trenches with all of us and make herself more available to us.

cell: 617 774 7916 stephaniew324@gmail.com

Soul work

Each person is like an actor who wants to run the show.

Q1 Are you a person who wants to run the show?

Really look at yourself in relation to your spouse, work colleagues, children, sponsees, neighbours, even your pets. Really look at whether or not you are trying to run the show.

b) Be honest and see that wherever we try to control, it is in fact us who are being controlled. e.g.When I try to control my son, he controls me. Write on this.

Q2 I can be right and have my own way or I can be happy. Write on this.

Q3. What is written in this paragraph on page 60 is explained even more in the next three pages. Recommend that we read to the end of page 63. Then examine your own life as the foundation work of your fourth step.

b) Why do you have a resentment?

It is all in this paragraph. The make-up of every single resentment: they didn’t do it your way. They didn’t love, like, respect you. They wanted their own opinion and to do things their way. There’s a lot of reasons why we should be resentful. And yet there isn’t a good enough reason to let that resentment into your life no matter what they have done. There’s nothing anybody has ever done that deserves you laying down your life. You deserve to rise above the resentment of not having things your own way and having a good life. Once we have a resentment towards anyone they own us. It all stems from right here: we want to run the show.

Stephanie will go over these pages for the next three weeks and meanwhile she suggests we continue to read pages 60-63 so that we will be able to really see our part in resentments. There is no room for ‘yeah buts’ when do the fourth step. A ‘yeah but’ will keep you in a prison. And this fourth and fifth step is your pass for parole. Come out of the jail of being controlled by other people because you didn’t do it your way. Come out and enjoy life. Let them go. Does that mean you have to invite them for Christmas dinner? No. Do I have to send them a birthday card? No. But it does mean you just let them go and when the resentment comes up say: God this is an angry man or woman how can I be helpful? Thy will not mine be done. Then get on. The best revenge is a happy joyful life.

Recording for May 12, 2014

(week 128) 12 June 2014 12 Step Study Big Book workshop

Buddy groups
712 432 0800 pin 587213#
Sundays 11-noon EST
Thursdays 9.30am EST

These are not being well-attended. Stephanie urges us to support them or they will need to close. Get committed. They are a place where those who are not doing the work can come and get encouragement and the motivation to begin.

Trust & Rely workshop Fridays noon EST
Stephanie says: ‘Angela and I started Trust and Rely meeting on Fridays so you can practice with us and with Pamela who has been coming. We have the willingness to practice turning our will and our life over. If the meeting doesn’t fly, it doesn’t fly. I really did do it for all of you. I don’t want to be a distant sponsor. I want to be down in the prayer and meditation trenches with you.

In the workshop we pray, share, write and meditate together. No greater intimacy outside of a relationship between a man and a woman. Encourage you all to come and give feedback about it.’
stephaniew324@gmail.com

Big Book page 60:
Being convinced we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to turn our will and our life over to God as we understood Him. Just what do we mean by that, and just what do we do?
The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. On that basis we are almost always in collision with something or somebody, even though our motives are good. Most people try to live by self-propulsion.

Soul work
Q1 Have you memorized the Third Step Prayer? If not, are willing to do so?

Q2. Are you convinced that:

a) you are powerless and that when you try to have power in the area of your addiction (food, drugs, alcohol, work, people, etc) your life becomes unmanageable?

b) there is nothing you or anyone or anything human (doctor, philosophy etc) can do to relieve you of your powerlessness?

c) the God of your understanding can and will if you seek your Higher Power?

Q3. Are you seeking your Higher Power?

Q4. a) How are you doing the Third Step?

b) How are you going to God and asking to be relieved of the bondage of self?

c) When you are relieved of the bondage of self, are you giving your Higher Power the credit?

Q5. Have you had an experience so that you are able to really mean but for the grace of God, I am sober? No judgment in the answer.

Q6) Stephanie says:
“It’s alright to confront when people are not doing what they said they would; ‘the truth will set you free!’ But, at first, it will make you very, very angry.” Write on that.

“Being convinced, we were at Step Three… The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success.” (BB p.60 para 3-4, sentence 1)

The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self will can hardly be a success.
Q7) What does a life run on self-will (ego) look like in your life?

“On that basis we are almost always in collision with something or somebody even though our motives are good. (On that basis — of self-will; collision- since each one wants his own way.)

Q8) Are you in collision with anybody today? If yes, examine if you are in your self-will.

[Stephanie really recommends that you put in everything that your Higher Power has ever shown you so as to really get the stark reality. And when you do your fourth step you will really understand what selfishness is. For example: Stephanie says when she used to help people she realized that this was how she puffed herself up as ‘a good person’. Now each morning she prays: ‘God help me sit at the back and let somebody else get the glory. Even though I may know how to do something let me guide somebody else into it.’]

Most people try to live by self-will: willing themselves. If you say to yourself, I can do that with God’s help, you’re moving the right muscle. But if you are trying to do it on your own then you are living in b) probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

Q9) What do you do with others when your motive is good and you don’t bring God into it?
( Stephanie says even though she had a good motive of trying to bring others along to recovery, she was puffing herself up over the first 23 years of being in program).

Q10) Give an example from your life of why Stephanie says that any life run on ego can hardly be a success.

Updating the members’ list:
sue7263@aol.com
Anyone who is on this line and who listens to the recording, please e-mail Sue and she will compile an updated list of those who are committed.
Will keep the other list and you can call people on that list. They may need your encouragement or they may not return your call.

Recovery is about having healthy relationships with God and with others.
When you are busy trying to rope people into recovery and prayer and meditation and doing the steps and your step one recovery you are not going to feel like doing your drug. You feel on top of the world. Stephanie says: ‘It was when I was a lone wolf, isolated and I believed nobody liked me, poor Stephanie, nobody called me. That was very dangerous and a binge was right around the corner. When I started getting out, taking little jobs in the groups, holding doors open for people, being in relationship with people in the world instead of behind the curtains doing my drug, I got well.’

Recording for June 5, 2014

(week 127) 5 June 2014 www.12stepstudyworkshop.com

12 step study Big Book workshop

Wednesdays noon (EST) new meeting on 712 432 8816 pin 32450#

using the book by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend entitled: ‘Boundaries’

‘When to Say Yes, How to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life’

Trust & Rely workshop Friday noon(EST) on this number and pin.

Now offering a live structured Quiet Time. So you will learn how to have a Quiet Time then you can modify it. We read the day’s page out of the Reflections book (free copy at AA.com). Read on it, write on it meditate for five minutes and then share.

Stephanie encourages us all to attend. ‘It is a wonderful way to really get connected with those who are doing the Big Book workshop. I will be there. You need to see your sponsor right in the trenches with you, sharing, praying with you. Connection with each other is recovery. Being a lone wolf is not. We know what happened to Bill Wilson when he acted alone, he got drunk’.

First Thursday of the month: Ask your sponsor

Once a month Stephanie will stay on the meeting until 9.30am (EST) to answer any questions we have of her as our Big Book sponsor. It is very important as we are entering into the third and fourth step to have good generalship. You can also e-mail her: stephaniew324@gmail or text/call: 617 774 7916.

She says: ‘We will set time aside and make a private appointment if you really have something you need me for as your Big Book step sponsor’.

Next week: Thursday 12 June 2014

Continuing taking Step 3 commitment at the Big Book workshop.

Set Aside Prayer.

Stephanie believes this is the most important prayer. She says: ‘If you stay humble and teachable there is a darned good chance to stay in recovery. Living a life of recovery is not a formula. 1 + 1 = 2 is a formula. When it comes to addiction which is cunning, baffling, powerful if you don’t have that peace of being humble before your higher power the formula is not going to work. Take it from me living the formula for 23 years and I ate again. Then I really got to the end of myself. And I sought God like we talk about in the AA 12 x 12. I was that desperate. Then had a white light experience with God’.

You take this third step is the beginning of your journey. It is only the beginning. It is a lifelong relationship with the God of your understanding. This is a turning point.

You are making a commitment to turn over your will (your ego, how you think about yourself and how you fit into the world) and your life (your actions).

Write this down:

So this is a turning point to start a new life truly being humble and teachable.

Stephanie’s definition of humble: I don’t know or pretend to know all the answers.

Teachable: I can learn from everyone. I can learn from people I like and those I don’t. I can learn from people I respect and those I don’t. I can learn from books I like and don’t like.

Teachable is when we learn that what works for us and what doesn’t. And those we do and do not want in our inner circle.

Page 60:

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point.

Don’t take this third step if you are not ready to go forward, to start asking the God of your understanding what is your plan for me? Not what I want but Thy will be done. That’s the turning point. If you are not willing to do that don’t take third step. You are making a covenant. Saying to your Higher Power: ‘I am turning my ego what I do, what I don’t do, over to you. You run the show. And I may not always want to show up for that show, but I will anyway’.

Then we ask God’s protection and care with complete abandon. That means no strings attached. God I don’t know whether you want me to take this job or not. You bless it or block it. I am totally open. I am not going to analyze whether its good for me or not. Whether I will feel comfortable. Do you want me at this job? Do you want me to make this amend? You may not feel like making an amend. If you have hurt or harmed someone you have got to make amends.

Are you willing to give up perfectionism? To pick yourself up and grow through any mistakes that you make? Or are you going to get into the feelings of depression or ‘I am no good’ our disease just loves that. Thy will not mine be done. Got to get out of what our feelings dictate and do the next right action. That’s the turning point. Are you willing? Feelings will tell you not to do something when it is the next right action.

We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection. Circle that.

“But’ says Stephanie, “and it is a big ‘but’, don’t use that as an excuse,

When you know you need to do something and it is the next right action but you get on the line and say: ‘I am not doing x y z: it is not spiritual progress not perfection’. That is denial. You are saying: I don’t want to do it and nobody is going to tell me to do it and I am not even going to pray about it. I have dug in my heels. I have come a long way and this is too much.’ That is not what this means. It is not a blanket excuse. Just be honest.

Don’t use the Big Book and this beautiful sentence that tells us that we have a loving and caring Higher Power that never expects us to do everything 100 percent. We can be 100 percent honest 100 percent of the time. When you find yourself using an excuse you are standing at the turning point. Is it your will God or mine be done? If it is not God’s will, be honest. Say ‘God I can’t go there. I am not willing to go there. But I am willing to pray’.

If you are not willing to do something the action plan is to pray about it. Pray to be willing.”

Taking Step 3 commitment.

Stephanie will ask each person who wants to take step three the following questions:

1. Do you know what being convinced is? What it is to be at step three, which is a decision to turn your will and your life over to God. Do you know what that means?

2. Are you convinced that you are an alcoholic and could not manage your own life?

3. Are you convinced that no human power could have relieved your alcoholism?

(Stephanie says: ‘I am leaving out ‘probably’ no human power could relieve you. You would not be here, you would be a moderate or a problem alcoholic and have flown through this a long time ago. I am speaking to real alcoholics’.)

4. Are you convinced that God could and would if God were sought?

5. Are you willing to make a covenant before your God and a commitment before your group members and Stephanie as your Big Book step study sponsor that you will write your fourth step and to do a fifth step? You will bravely and courageously give it away, you will look at your shortcomings and character defects no matter how hard that is and even harder to go out and make amends to those who have harmed you. And then to live in steps 10, 11 and 12: looking at yourself, doing a nightly review, daily prayer and meditation, giving service to others in whatever arena God asks you?

The reason Stephanie asks if we will do God’s will in any arena is there are many of us who have to take care of elderly parents, relatives, friends. That is not easy. It is a lot of thankless work. A lot of physical, emotional and spiritual work to give service. That is why she is saying it is not just in the halls of recovery that we may be called upon to do service.

Ends

Recording for May 29, 2014

Announcements:

*We are so blessed to have 2 open study-buddy groups. If we don’t support them, they’re going to die. And we always need a buddy for accountability. (So an open group is great backup in the event we lose our personal buddy.)

One is on Thursdays @ 9:30a EST with an Al-Anon focus.
The second is Sundays from 11a-12n EST.
Both are on the same conference number & pin#.
712/432-0800 pin 587213#

*Next week Thursday Jun 5, 2014, Stephanie will be on the phone until 9:20am to receive Step Three commitments.
Commitments will not be taped. They will just be heard by other group members on line.
If you can’t be on live then, call or text ( 617/ 774-7916 ) or email Stephanie ( stephaniew324@gmail.com)
for a private 15 minute appointment. She will receive your Step Three commitment then.

Today’s reading:
Big Book p. 60 beginning paragraph 2 “Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas” … until end of paragraph 3: “Being convinced, we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to turn our will and our life over to God as we understood him. Just what do we mean by that, and and just what do we do?”

Look up: convinced, care.

Q1) Are you convinced you are ready to take Step Three?

Q2) (a) When I say ‘yes’ (to something asked of me), have I looked at it?
(b) Have I looked at all the ramifications of saying ‘yes’?
(c) Am I any less of a recovered person if I say ‘no’ to doing a (any of the) service (positions)?
(d) Why would I be any less?
(e) Why wouldn’t I?

Q3) Are you convinced that you are an alcoholic (using ‘alcoholic’ as a broad term)?

*Write down: Move a muscle, change a thought.

Moving a muscle changes our thinking.
THINK: I am powerless over my thinking. Therefore, I must have a Higher Power in the equation to change a thought.

I have to ask God to help me move a muscle.
Then I will be able to change my thought (i.e. of going to my addiction or another destructive behavior).
We have a nanosecond to change a thought, IF we are willing to trust and rely on a Higher Power.
Some tools of muscle movement are: getting on a phone meeting, calling your buddy, calling someone from the Thursday group.
We have to be able to give up the idea that me/ I/ self is powerful enough to change an idea we are having.

*Write down: Actions speak louder than (our) thoughts/ decisions.

Step Three has 2 components:
(a) the commitment
(b) the integrity of following through on our commitment(s)

That’s why Stephanie is so big on Action Plans
(strategies) – as the tool to following through.
Without an action, following through on a commitment FALLS through. AND commitments without actions are self-abuse, according to Stephanie.

Step Three necessitates making the decision to have (the) integrity to follow through on commitments; Step Three necessitates being ready to do the work.

Recording for May 22, 2014

A special Thank-You goes out to our Secretaries, Angela and Ashira. Your commitment to volunteering for this Step Study Workshop is greatly appreciated.

Announcements:

New Trust and Rely Workshop Fridays noon (EST): 712 4328816 pin 32450#

Playback number: 641 715 3900 pin 91904#

Using the AA Reflections book. We will read the day’s reading, then write and meditate on it and lastly share our experience of this. It is not about the 12 steps, nor is it a 12-step workshop. It is how Stephanie does her Quiet Time and after doing it for three years she had a dramatic experience with the God of her understanding.

In a few weeks will look for a volunteer to co-lead with Angela.
The only requirement is a commitment to show up no matter what.

2010 Trust & Rely Workshop

641 715 3900 pin 235934# summary part one, 578290# part two. 95 minutes each.

If you are going to break your sobriety go to the four-year-old Trust & Rely Workshop. Listen to the summary (parts 1 2 3.) Listen to the powerlessness, of going to a Higher Power rather than your addiction.

Stephanie finds it very helpful to listen to when feeling down and depressed. She finds it really makes a big difference and tells you what to expect. She explains: “I am powerless. I am going to feel like I am going to go back. But I made a decision and I am going to carry out that decision because I have a loving God”.

Ask Your Sponsor: 8.30-9.15am EST First Thursday of the month

On first Thursday of the each month (except September when abroad), Stephanie will stay on the meeting until 9.15am EST to answer our questions. This is especially important as we go into the third, fourth and fifth steps. She says: “You need good generalship. Well you can look at me as your general. A general leads the troops. Doesn’t mean the general is a better person or more recovered. Just a general has more experience. They suit up they show up and that’s me.”

You can also text, call or e-mail her with any questions: 617 774 7916 stephaniew 324@gmail.com

Taking the Third Step.

Stephanie says, “I wish I could tell you exactly when we will be doing the third step. We are really going slow on steps 1, 2 and 3. I don’t know how to do it any other way. I love you enough to give you everything I know. As we get closer I will tell you. If you cannot make it, I will take you through the step individually by making a a 15-minute appointment with you during the week.”

We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection. There are no ‘cannot’s.

Saying I can’t can be a real racket, a cop-out and excuse. A way that your disease gets you to believe that you cannot. The antidote is to say: “No God I can’t do that on my own, but (‘but’ discounts everything said before) I can with you God and I am going to ask your help.”

Today’s reading:
Big Book p. 60 paragraph 1, next to last sentence:
” The principles we have set down are guides
to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than perfection.
Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear these pertinent ideas:
(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.”

Q1) Where is our description of the alcoholic in the Big Book?

Q2) Take each of the above statements- a, b, and c- and write them out, inserting your own particular addiction(s) into statement ‘a’.
(a) Are you willing to admit that you cannot manage your own life?
(b) What constitutes human power for you?
Write on this.
(c) Share with each other your personal (success) stories. Learn about each other.

Q3) (a) Where are you at- (a), (b), or (c) in today’s reading?
(b) Are you still doubting that you cannot manage your own life?
(c) What human power are you trying to use to relieve your addiction?
(d) Or, are you willing to come to the end of yourself and believe that a HP can really help you?

Q4) Where are you in this process?
(a) Are you having trouble with surrender?
(b) With your Quiet Time?
End