(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.
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.
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