Monday, September 15, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-15-2014

Monday, September 15, 2014
Today's Gift

You are the hero of your life.

Each of us plays the starring role in the drama that is our life. We co-create the script, along with our Higher Power. Sometimes we forget our lines, and so we improvise as best we can. We are heroes, each of us, as we move through the events of the day, refining our character and using our gifts to shape the action of every scene.

We can each be a hero in the drama of life. To the casual observer, what we do and say may not appear to be at all heroic. But we - as insiders who are only too well acquainted with our individual limitations - can appreciate and applaud a difficult decision or action.

When we accept our role in life, when we pledge to use our energies to do the best we can, and when we rely on our Higher Power for guidance and support, we will be well on our way.

I can be a hero today, even if it doesn't show.

From the book Inner Harvest by Elisabeth L.


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

Often the test of courage is not to die but to live.---Vittorio Alfiert

What brave people we are! We have chosen life. Okay, maybe we had a
little push, maybe a big push from our family, police, or the pain of our disease.
But still, we’ve chosen recovery. We choose daily to let our Higher Power run
our lives. What trust! What faith! What courage!

We work hard at recovery. We do our meditate. We look for ways to serve others.
Each one of us is building a miracle. We can be proud of this.

Prayer for the Day: I pray that I’ll have the courage to love myself. High Power,
teach me to pat myself on the back when I deserve it.

Action for the Day: I will list three ways I am brave in recovery and share them with my someone.

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One Day At A Time

Growth
Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you.
At the start, this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth,
to effect our first conscious contact with our Higher Power as we understood Them.
Afterward, we found ourselves accepting things which then seemed entirely out of reach.
That was growth, but if we wished to grow we had to begin somewhere.
So we used our own conception, however limited it was.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 47

Thought to Ponder . . .
Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional, growing spiritually is up to me.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
G R O W T H =
God Reveals Other Ways To Heal

**********************
Daily Motivation

Yours for the taking

Though it is not your fault, make it your responsibility. Though it is not your job, make it your responsibility.

Responsibility is yours for the taking. When you do choose to take it, what you get are expanded options, greater opportunities and more positive possibilities.

Responsibility makes good things possible. Responsibility enables you to make a difference.

Responsibility is not easy, not convenient, and often not very comfortable. Yet if you are to make something positive and meaningful out of the situation, responsibility is absolutely necessary.

It may not seem fair to have to take responsibility for circumstances you didn’t create. However, by doing so you gain the control that enables you to move forward.

Responsibility is there for you to take. Take responsibility and with it, create something great.

— Ralph Marston



Friday, September 12, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-12-2014

Friday, September 12, 2014
Today's Gift

No yesterdays are ever wasted for those who give themselves today. —Brendan Francis

We often find ourselves yearning for tomorrow. We get carried away thinking about the next day's big game or camping trip. We find ourselves daydreaming about how much fun we'll have with friends or what animals we'll see in the park.

The next day comes and perhaps the excitement about the game diminishes because our friends can't make it or the camping trip is cancelled because of bad weather. We feel cheated and begin regretting the missed opportunities of yesterday.

When we find ourselves concentrating only on tomorrow, we need to stop and look around. We'll begin to notice the joke a friend is telling, or the bird flying overhead. We will begin appreciating the joys of the moment.

When we live in the moment, we have no expectations about the next moment, and without expectations, we can't be disappointed, only surprised.

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

I used to think I'd never know the difference between serenity and depression
because depression subdued me. --S.H.

Depression is familiar to us all, and less incapacitating than it used to be. We
have made progress, we can be assured. "This too shall pass" is not an empty slogan.
Each of us can recall, with ease probably, a period we thought we'd never survive.
Maybe our problem was family-related, or a tough on-the-job situation. Or maybe
we felt inadequate and lacking in strength to cope with all situations. But we managed.

Here we are today, taking charge of our lives and moving forward in search of serenity.
Serenity no doubt eludes us, again and again, throughout the day. But we can let our
minds rest. We can give our thoughts to the wind, and serenity will find us. Serenity's
peace nurtures us, strengthens us to withstand the turmoil ahead. There is always
turmoil ahead. Life's lessons are found there. The irony is that a life with no problems
doesn't offer the opportunities we must have if we are to grow.

Action for the Day: I will let the serene moments wash over me. I will cherish them. They soften me. And the blows of today's tumultuous storm will be lessened.

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One Day At A Time

Serenity
I came into my apartment and I suddenly collapsed on the floor.
I lay there breathing kind of heavily and I said to myself, "Oh, to hell with serenity. I don't care if it never comes."
And I meant it. And do you know what happened?
All of a sudden the craving to find serenity utterly evaporated - and in its place was serenity.
The trouble was the search ... looking there for what was right here.
- The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 3], p. 142

Thought to Ponder . . .
Serenity isn't freedom from the storm; it is peace within the storm.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A A = A
lways Aware.

**********************
Daily Motivation

Opportunity now

What you have right now, right here, is opportunity. Whatever you’re doing, whatever commitments, plans and challenges you may have on this day, you also have an abundance of opportunity.

With your actions you can add richness to your own life and the lives of others. With the way you choose to live this day, you can make it a day that makes a real, positive difference.

You can learn, grow, build, create, teach, assist, connect, laugh, love and enjoy. In every moment, in every situation, with every person you encounter, there is the opportunity to create new goodness.

Remember that there are good and valuable opportunities available to you. Choose to align yourself with those positive opportunities rather than any negative assumptions.

The opportunity of now has great potential for value. Today, you are positioned to bring that value to life in unique, meaningful and enriching ways.

Choose to look out on this day and see the opportunity with which it is filled. Now, while it is here, live that opportunity to the great benefit of yourself and your world.

— Ralph Marston





Thursday, September 11, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-11-2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014
Today's Gift

A man (or women) can stand a lot as long as he (or she) can stand himself (or herself). —Axel Munthe

Sometimes we're mistaken about the source of our unhappiness. We walk around with a short fuse, ready to explode if anyone crosses our path. Then, when we do explode, we think it is the other person's fault. At other times we have frightening physical reactions and worry that something is wrong with our bodies. But we are not aware that a deeper feeling of not being able to stand ourselves causes the problem.

Most of us have problems accepting ourselves. When we make peace with our consciences, some of our problems vanish. Other problems may never disappear, but our pain is eased because our inner battle has ceased and we have the energy we need to cope.

I am grateful for the gift of self-respect.
From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

I used to think I'd never know the difference between serenity and depression
because depression subdued me. --S.H.

Depression is familiar to us all, and less incapacitating than it used to be. We
have made progress, we can be assured. "This too shall pass" is not an empty slogan.

Each of us can recall, with ease probably, a period we thought we'd never survive.
Maybe our problem was family-related, or a tough on-the-job situation. Or maybe
we felt inadequate and lacking in strength to cope with all situations. But we managed.
Here we are today, taking charge of our lives and moving forward in search of serenity.

Serenity no doubt eludes us, again and again, throughout the day. But we can let our
minds rest. We can give our thoughts to the wind, and serenity will find us. Serenity's
peace nurtures us, strengthens us to withstand the turmoil ahead. There is always
turmoil ahead. Life's lessons are found there. The irony is that a life with no problems
doesn't offer the opportunities we must have if we are to grow.

Action for the Day: I will let the serene moments wash over me. I will cherish them. They soften me. And the blows of today's tumultuous storm will be lessened.

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

Peace
Peace is possible for me only when I let go of expectations.
When I'm trapped in thoughts about what I want and what should be coming to me,
I'm in a state of anxious anticipation and this is not conducive to emotional sobriety.
I must surrender - over and over - to the reality of my dependence on my Higher Power,
for then, I find peace, gratitude and spiritual security.
- Daily Reflections, p. 197

Thought to Ponder . . .
No God, no peace -- know God, know peace.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
H O P E = H
ang On! Peace Exists.


**********************
Daily Motivation

Convince yourself

What are you convincing yourself to believe about yourself? How are you convincing yourself to be?

Are you convincing yourself that you are sick and weak, or are you convincing yourself that you are healthy, fit and energetic? Are you convincing yourself that you are poor or are you convincing yourself that your life is filled with richness?

Your thoughts are very believable, and they are especially believed by you. So make those thoughts positive and beneficial.

Every moment you are convincing yourself of something. Choose to use that power in a good and life-affirming way.

Convince yourself, in ever deeper and more meaningful ways, of how great it is to be alive. Convince yourself of the never-ending value of finding beauty and opportunity in each moment.

Convince yourself to persevere in making life better for everyone. Convince yourself, and it will be.

— Ralph Marston




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-10-2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Today's Gift

It is not a question of how spouses can be equal and alike. But rather, it is a problem of how a couple can be equal and different. —Pierre Mornell

In seeking closeness with loved ones, we have often made the mistake of looking only for similarities. Although common ground helps understanding, we must learn how to get close to others by "borrowing their eyes and ears." We expand our understanding of others by accepting that what we see, hear, think, and feel will not be exactly what anyone else does. We can deepen our relationships by exchanging our experiences with others.

We don't have to agree on everything. Simply learning about each other's differences and letting each other know that we hear and understand will create a feeling of intimacy.

I will be receptive and appreciate differences in those I love.

From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

If you want a thing done “right,” you have to do it yourself.---Anonymous

We addicts can be very picky. We think there’s only one way to do things. It’s our way,
But we call it the right way. When we think like this, three things happen. First, we put
down other people. Second, we end up doing all the work. Third, everyone feels bad.
The other person feels hurt that we don’t respect him or her. And we feel angry
because we “had” to do all the work.

We need to know that there are many ways to do things. It’s okay when others don’t
do things our way. Their way probably works just fine for them. If they want your
advice they’ll ask for it.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me accept other people and their ways.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll watch how other people do things. Maybe I’ll
learn a better way to do some things.

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One Day At A Time

Control
We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn't control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn't make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn't seem to be of real help to other people -- was not a basic solution of these bedevilments more important than whether we should see newsreels of lunar flight?
Of course it was.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 52

Thought to Ponder . . .
If I always do what I've always done, I'll always get what I've always got.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
T H I N K =
Thank Heavens I Now Know.

**********************
Daily Motivation

Get clear on your direction

The problem is not that there’s too much to do. The problem is that it can be difficult to see the point of it all.

You are amazingly skilled and highly capable. Yet without a clear, persistent and meaningful direction, you’re not going to be very effective.

For a moment, put all the stuff that needs to be done out of your mind. Peacefully step back and reacquaint yourself with what’s most important to you.

You have your life, and those you love. You have interests, passions, longings, values, things you find funny, things you find fascinating, and things you care deeply about.

With a rich sense of what really matters to you, choose to see a clearly defined direction forward. Now is your time to live with purpose, to express to all of life who you truly are.

Though the problems and responsibilities will not just go away, you can deal with them from a higher, more empowered perspective. Get clear on your direction, and you become more positive and effective in every moment.

— Ralph Marston





Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-9-2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Today's Gift

Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where they are had to begin where they were. —R. L. Evans

Feelings of discouragement are to be expected as part of life. We will have our times of greater energy and hope and our times of feeling depleted and lost. As we mature we learn to see many peaks and valleys across the landscape.

Giving ourselves over to feelings of discouragement is self-indulgent and saps our strength. We cannot see into the future. The dailiness of our lives isn't always dramatic and doesn't usually offer great changes. But we are part of an unfolding process. Looking back over just a week or a month, we can recall troubled times that now seem insignificant. We see other' people and their progress, and we know they too grew just one day at a time and couldn't see what the future would bring them. So we continue - knowing that our process is hopeful - even though we cannot foresee the details of our future.

I have the strength to live through the peaks and valleys and to stay faithful to myself.

From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©




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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

I do not want to die . . . until I have faithfully made the most of
my talent and cultivated the seed that was placed in me until the
last small twig has grown. --Kathe Kollwitz

There's so much to do before we rest . . . so much to do. We each
are gifted with talents, similar in some respects to others' talents,
but unique in how we'll be able to use them. Do we realize our talents?

We need only to dare to dream, and there they'll be.

It's so easy to fall into the trap of self-pity, thinking we have no
purpose, fearing we'll take life nowhere, dreading others' expectations
of us. But we can turn our thinking around at any moment. The choice
is ours. We can simply decide to discover our talents, and nurture them
and enrich the lives of others. The benefits will be many. So will the joys.
We have a very important part to play, today, in the lives we touch. We
can expect adventure, and we'll find it. We can look for our purpose;
it's at hand. We can remember, we aren't alone. We are in partnership
every moment. Our talents are God-given, and guidance for their full
use is part of the gift.

Action for the Day: I will have a dream today. In my dream is my direction.

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

Acceptance
And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.
When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in our Higher Power's world by mistake. Until I could accept my dysfunctions, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life on life's terms, I cannot be happy.
I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitude.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 417

Thought to Ponder . . .
My serenity is directly proportional to my level of acceptance.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A B C =
Acceptance, Belief, Change.

**********************
Daily Motivation

Choose to

Choose to hope and there will be hope. Choose to love and there will be love.

Seek out and appreciate life’s beauty, and you will find it in abundance. Decide to be joyful, and you will experience joy.

There is much in this world that is out of your control. And yet, you can precisely control how you feel about it and what you do with it.

There may be many good things you do that no one else appreciates or even notices. And yet, you will know, and you will benefit from creating new goodness in the world.

Welcome what is, welcome what comes, and choose to put some of your own positive energy into it. The more energetic you are, the more energy you will create.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, whatever you have, whomever you’re with, you have a choice. Choose in your own way to live richly in every moment.

— Ralph Marston



Monday, September 8, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-8-2014

Monday, September 8, 2014
Today's Gift

It's astonishing in this world how things don't turn out at all the way you expect them to! —Agatha Christie


Probably every day of our lives, a plan goes awry. Often we have counted heavily on a particular outcome. We generally assume we have all things under control and know exactly what's best for us, and everyone else as well. But such is not the case. There is a bigger picture than the one we see. The outcome of that picture is out of our hands.

Our vision is limited, and again divinely so. However, we are able to see all that we need to see, today. And more important, if we can trust our inner guidance regarding the events of today, we'll begin to see how each day fills in a shade more of the bigger picture of our lives. In retrospect we can see how all events have contributed, in important ways, to the person we are becoming. Where today's events are leading we can't know, for certain, but we can trust the divine plan.

I will anticipate with faith what lies ahead today. All experiences carry me forward to fulfill my goal in life. I will be alert for the nudge.



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




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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

Remember your good memories, but live for today and keep the
memories behind you. --Jodi K. Elliott


The stuff of our memories comprises who we have become.

Each recollection is akin to an ingredient in a simmering pot of stew.
The full flavor of our lives is enhanced by each additional experience,
whether it is painful or joyful.

Our experiences have a way of dovetailing, of grouping themselves,
perhaps even tailoring themselves, to provide us the best advantage.
So human is our tendency to linger in thought on past times that we
fail to take advantage, to be fully present in the moment, which is
assuredly making a necessary contribution to the total panorama of our lives.

Who are we to judge the value of any single experience? It's how
all experiences have mingled, that we must trust. We can be certain
in retrospect, that those situations that created the most inner turmoil
also offered us the most as growing, developing person.

Action for the Day: The experiences offered today, in the 24 hours ahead, are significant
because they are unique. I will cherish them for the addition they are
making to my total person.

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

Habits
Our drinking and drugging was connected with many habits -- big and little.
Some of them were thinking habits, or things we felt inside ourselves.
Others were doing habits -- things we did, actions we took.
In getting used to not drinking and drugging, we have found that we needed new habits to take the place of those old ones. . .
After we spent a few months practicing these new, sober habits or ways of acting and thinking, they became almost second nature to most of us, as drinking and drugging used to be.
- Living Sober, Preface

Thought to Ponder . . .
Habits are like cork or lead -- they tend to keep you up or hold you down.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
B A T H =
Behavior, Attitude, Thinking, Habits.


**********************
Daily Motivation

Unhindered by the past

What if you woke up each day clearly remembering everything in your past without being emotionally hindered by any of it? What if you could treat each new moment as a fresh opportunity, free of outdated assumptions, resentment, anger, regret or doubt?

In fact, you can. You can choose what to think, and even how to feel.

In this moment, and every moment, you can think of your highest goals as achievable. You can feel passionate about living with positive purpose, and feel fully empowered to do so.

You can view the problems not as permanent barriers but rather as pathways for meaningful achievement. You can see the disappointments not as excuses to give up, but as reasons to push forward.

Your past can inform you, inspire you, and help you to understand who you are. Yet it never has to hold you back.

Right now is your opportunity to move decisively toward what you know is right. Now is when you create the future, unhindered by the past.

— Ralph Marston

Friday, September 5, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-5-2014

Friday, September 5, 2014
Today's Gift

Pity is the deadliest feeling that can be offered to a person. —Vicki Baum

We must move forward with confidence, trusting that the strength we need will be given us, having faith in our visions to guide us. Problems need not daunt us. Rather, they can spur us on to more creative activity. They challenge our capabilities. They insist that we not stand still.

Pity from others fosters inaction, and passivity invites death of the soul. Instead, our will to live is quickened through others' encouragement. All else dampens the will. Pity feeds the self-pity that rings the death knell.

We can give strokes wherever we are today and know that we are helping someone live. And each time we reach out to encourage another, we are breathing new life into ourselves, new life that holds at bay the self-pity that may appear at any moment.

We can serve one another best, never by commiserating with sadness's, but by celebrating life's challenges. They offer the opportunities necessary to our continued growth.

Someone needs a word of encouragement from me. I will brighten their vision of the future.

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


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

I have never seen a greater monster or miracle than myself.----Montaigne

We know we’ve hurt people. We’ve heard our family cry out from pain we’ve caused them. Because of alcohol and other drugs, we acted like monsters.

But we now live surrounded with love. We now work to make this world better. Recovery is a miracle. The rebirth of our spirit is our miracle.

It’s no wonder we love life the way we do! We’ve been given a second chance. Our joy is overflowing. Our Higher Power must love us very much.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me with the monster that lives within me. I pray it will never again be let out.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll see myself as a miracle. I’ll be grateful for my new life.

************************
One Day At A Time
The Haven
Hopelessness has been replaced by abundant hope and sincere faith.
The people of AA have provided a haven where, if I remain aware and keep my mind quiet enough, my Higher Power leads me to amazing realizations.
I find joy in my daily life, in being of service, in simply being.
I have found rooms full of wonderful people,
and for me each and every one of the Big Book's promises have come true.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 475

Thought to Ponder . . .
A new world came into view.

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

**********************
Daily Motivation

Open up

Open yourself up to new possibilities by letting go of old, worthless habits and assumptions. Open yourself up to new richness by remembering how good life can be when you let yourself live it fully.

You are truly unique and special. To fulfill the unique possibilities that are yours, you must allow them and act on them.

It is easy to get stuck in a familiar, comfortable rut, and to dismiss any new possibilities as being too much trouble. However, those possibilities will give you massive amounts of fresh energy and enthusiasm, so don’t let them pass you by.

Open up to the new possibilities that come with each new day, each new situation, each new idea, and every person you encounter. As you move steadily and unavoidably forward in time, experience the richness available along the way.

You’re never too young or too old to fully live the moment you’re in. You’re never too rich or too poor, too well informed or too ill-informed to grab the great possibilities that are right in front of you.

Let yourself be more adventurous today, opening up to life and all it offers. Open up, and feel the joy of being splendidly alive.

— Ralph Marston




Thursday, September 4, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-4-2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014
Today's Gift

Today is a new day. Don't let your history interfere with your destiny! Let today be the day you stop being a victim of your circumstances and start taking action towards the life you want. You have the power and the time to shape your life. Break free from the poisonous victim mentality and embrace the truth of your greatness. You were not meant for a mundane or mediocre life!” ― Steve Maraboli

Some people refer to us as victims of our problems, but we should not accept such labeling. A better term for us is survivors.

Working in step with our Higher Power, we should view ourselves as capable of rising above all the challenges and conditions that confront us. If we call ourselves victims, we'll soon be inviting more people and situations to victimize us. As survivors, however, we will always learn to sail through the roughest storms.

Looking at the general world situation, it does seem realistic to say that lots of people are victims. But we must always take into account the vast power that resides in every human soul. People have tremendous power to change their conditions, and when word of this finally gets around, we'll see a worldwide spiritual awakening that will change everything for the better.

Whatever I'm facing today, I'll know that the spirit within me also gives me the qualities I need to survive.

From the book Walk in Dry Places by Mel B.


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

I used to spend so much time reacting and responding to everyone else that my life had no direction. Other people's lives, problems, and wants set the course for my life. Once I realized it was okay for me to think about and identify what I wanted, remarkable things began to take place in my life. —Anonymous

We each have a life to live, one that has purpose and meaning. We can help our Higher Power give direction and purpose to our life by setting goals.

We can set goals annually, monthly, or daily in times of crisis. Goals create direction and pace; goals help us achieve a manageable life that is directed in the course we choose for ourselves.

We can help give our lives direction by setting goals.

Action for the Day: Today, I will pay attention to setting a course of action for my life, rather than letting others control my life and affairs.

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

Rule #62
"Don't take yourself too damn seriously."
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 149
But we aren't a glum lot.
If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn't want it.
We absolutely insist on enjoying life.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 132

Thought to Ponder . . .
Take time to laugh -- it is the music of the soul.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
T L C =
Tears, Laughter, Caring.

**********************
Daily Motivation

Give yourself a little push

Think of what you can do today to show yourself that your life really means something. Think of what you can do today to get yourself refreshingly outside your comfort zone.

Challenges and new situations will put you a little on edge and make you a bit uncomfortable. And as such, they will empower you greatly.

You can do much more than you now imagine you can do. Let yourself find out what that is.

There’s more to life than speculating about what you might be able to do, and wondering whether or not you can. At some point you must find out for yourself.

Give yourself a little push into something that will challenge you in a meaningful way. Jump in and get busy transforming what you wish for and what you dream about into what is.

Discover how truly purposeful, creative, capable and effective you can be. Feel how much stronger and how much more alive you can become.

— Ralph Marston

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-3-2014

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Today's Gift

It is clear the future holds opportunities - it also holds pitfalls. The trick will be to seize the opportunities, avoid the pitfalls, and get back home by 6:00. —Woody Allen

Sometimes we take ourselves far too seriously. We draw our lives in the absolutes of black and white, with no shadings of gray. We believe our whole lives depend on every decision we make. When a problem comes along, we see it as a crisis rather than another of the ongoing issues that confront all people. If we are displeased with someone, or if a person is upset with us, we amplify the feelings until we rupture the whole relationship.

It would be helpful to look at today's tasks and problems as a game. Yes, we would like to play the game well, but we could have a good time while doing it. If we don't take our problems or ourselves too seriously, maybe we'll have some fun.

Help me learn that daily living needs the light of humor.


From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Keep It Simple

Defeat may serve as well as victory
To shake the soul and let the glory out.
--Edwin Markham


So life has given us some dents. So what? Dents are necessary, besides being unavoidable and painful. Each dent is a part of the process that enables us to embrace life as a creative experience and to see the world in a new way, a way of compassion and understanding. Moving forward is not a matter of escaping further blows or of disguising the dents we already have. It's a matter of understanding what the dents mean and how we can work with them.

Dents are neither soft spots in our characters that should make us ashamed nor saber scars that should make us proud. They are simply evidence that we have been alive for a while. Life offers us the chance to learn from our dents, to accept them as new spaces for growth. When we decide to see our dents as opportunities gained rather than opportunities lost, we stand much taller in our own eyes and in the eyes of others.

Action for the Day: Today, I will look on my difficult life experiences in a new light. Today, I will plant some seeds.

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One Day At A Time

Willingness
A beginning, even the smallest, is all that is needed.
Once we have placed the key of willingness in the lock 

and have the door ever so slightly open,
we find that we can always open it some more.
Though self-will may slam it shut again, as it frequently does,
it will always respond to moment we again pick up the key of willingness.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 35

Thought to Ponder . . .
What have I been given today? Am I willing to reach out and grasp it?

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

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Daily Motivation

The magic is you

Life is truly magical and you can experience the magic in every moment. Life is magical and that magic is here and now.

To experience the magic, you don’t have to divorce yourself from reality. In fact, to know life’s magic is to know reality at its highest level.

There’s no need to set things up in a certain way in order to enjoy life’s magic. All that’s needed is to live with an appreciation for the magic that is always there.

Life’s magic is not a denial of reality. It is a deeper and more thankful understanding of what is real and present in your world.

The real magic of life is not a trick or a supernatural phenomenon. It is in the fact that you can see, feel, think, choose, live and love.

The magic of life is life itself, the very life that you experience in each moment. Live the magic, for the magic is you.

— Ralph Marston

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Daily Motivation 9-2-2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Today's Gift

Many people think they can't paint, but I think everyone has artistic ability of some kind. -- Eva Wines

Many of us probably don't agree with Eva, particularly if we haven't tried to paint or weave or write or throw pots. We mistakenly think that others have talent, never ourselves, but that's because we misunderstand what talent means. Talent is really just an inclination; it develops from a desire to pursue some activity that we then proceed to cultivate with a passion. It's not mysterious. It doesn't just happen. We persevere because we feel good when involved in the activity. When we define talent this way, we realize how right Eva is. It's just that many of us haven't followed our passion yet.

Coming to understand that we do, indeed, have talent, that it has simply lain dormant until now, is perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of our lives presently. If we haven't yet realized this, dare to believe it now. It will change every minute of the rest of your life.

Today is a good day to pursue one of my dreams.

From the book Keepers of the Wisdom by Karen Casey


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

There are sounds to seasons. There are sounds to places, and there are sounds to every time in one's life. --Alison Wyrley Birch

Live is rich and full. Your life. My life. Even when the day feels flat or hollow, there's a richness to it that escapes our attention. We see only what we choose to see. We hear selectively, too. Our prejudgment precludes our getting the full effects of any experience. Some days we hear only the drum of the humdrum.

But the greater our faith in life and a loving Higher Power, the clearer our perceptions become. We miss less of the day's events; we grow in our understanding of our unfolding, and we perceive with clarity the role others are playing in our lives.

We can see life as a concert in progress when we transcend our own narrow scope and appreciate the variety of people and situations all directed toward the same finale. The more we're in tune with the spiritual activity surrounding us; the more harmoniously we will be able to perform our parts.

Action for the Day: I will listen to the music of today. I will get in tune, in rhythm. I am needed for the concert's beauty.

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One Day At A Time

Isolation
Isolation creeps up on us. We can mask it with familiar props that are not in themselves bad.
We can isolate ourselves in an attempt to clean up our apartments (and then not do the cleaning); we can isolate ourselves in churches or in sleep;
we can use family, sweethearts, compulsive working, television. The list is long.
Reach out -- people can't read your mind. Say ouch! Someone hears. Always.
- The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 1], p. 84

Thought to Ponder . . .
Our dysfunction wants to be held while isolating.

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

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Daily Motivation

Love for life

Stop worrying and just do. Stop judging and just do.

Think about what you’re doing, but not so much that you fail to do it. Plan and prepare, but don’t stop with mere planning or preparation.

Put your energy into taking action rather than into second guessing. Keep your focus on why you’re choosing to move forward instead of getting caught up in the challenges that you’ll eventually transcend.

Don’t use your beautiful, powerful creativity to think of grand and glorious excuses. Use that creativity to remind yourself and to experience for yourself how great it feels to make a difference.

Fill your mind with thoughts of purposeful intention. Fill your moments with the joy that comes from taking effective action.

Fill your heart with genuine love for life and all it encompasses. And fill your days with action in the service of all you love.

— Ralph Marston