Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 5-28-2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015
Today's Gift

Spiritual power can be seen in a person's reverence for life - theirs and all others, including animals and nature, with a recognition of a universal life force... —Virginia Satir

Taking the time, daily, to recognize the spiritual force in everyone and everything that is all about us, encourages us to feel humble, to feel awe. Reflecting on our interconnections, our need for one and all to complete the universe, lessens whatever adversity we might feel as we struggle with our humanity.

Our spiritual power is enhanced with each blessing we give. And as our spiritual power is enhanced, life's trials are fewer. Our struggle to accept situations, conditions, and other people, or our struggle to control them, lessens every day that we recognize and revere one another's personhood, one another's existence.

I can teach myself reverence, and I can begin today. I will look for "the Spirit" everywhere, and I will begin to see it.

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 sidestep the either/or choices of logic and choose both. --Ken Feit

People like us have often had a lifestyle guided by either/or logic. We think we must either conquer the challenge we see before us or we will be failures. We think loved ones must either meet our needs or they do not love us. We think we must either be perfect or we are unacceptable.

Let us now step back from the rigidity of such unhealthy logic. Much of human experience and many answers to our problems don't come in neatly tied packages. As we learn to think and feel in more flexible ways, we find life gets better. Using our intuition at times, rather than always following rigid rules for life, improves the recipe. The arrogance of our thought process has sometimes told us we had the answer, but it closed us to the growth which only comes by trusting our feelings. If we make mistakes, we can learn from them and go on. 

Many of the most ingenious inventions came not by rigidly following rules, but by following an inner feeling.

Action for the Day: Today, I will be open to more possibilities in my thinking.

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One Day At A Time

"Reasons"
Like most alcoholics  and addicts, I used all the usual "reasons" for not stopping drinking or drugging: "I won't be able to sleep at night";
"My life will be too boring if I quit drinking or drugging"; "If I stop, people will think I have a problem" (no need to worry; they already knew).
But I had one real reason that kept me from stopping: I knew that if I did quit drinking and drugging, I would almost certainly have to begin looking into myself, and I was very much afraid of what I would find. . .
Yet, like most alcoholic and addicts fears, this one proved to be false.
- AA Around the World, p. 83

Thought to Ponder . . .
If we want to quit our dysfunction, we are going to have to quit our dysfunctions.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
F E A R = F
alse Events Appearing Real.

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Daily Motivation

Stories you tell yourself

What stories are you telling yourself about yourself? Are they stories of curiosity, courage, action and achievement, or stories of victimization and self pity?

Many things about you are true because you tell yourself they are true. Many aspects of the way you live and act, think and view the world can change by simply changing the stories you tell yourself about yourself.

You deserve a life that is full and rich. Envision the story of that life, and start repeating it to yourself.

The way you respond to life is a function of the way you see yourself responding to life. The way you move through each day is deeply affected by the way you imagine yourself doing so.

Think of the stories you’re telling yourself about your work, your relationships, your priorities, your challenges and your day. Look for opportunities to make those stories more positive and empowering.

You can tell yourself whatever stories you choose. Choose to tell yourself stories that point you toward the best life you can experience.

— Ralph Marston



Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 5-27-2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Today's Gift

If your life is ever going to get better, you'll have to take risks. There is simply no way you can grow without taking chances. —David Viscott

One sunny day a caterpillar who was afraid of the dark came to a tunnel, which lay squarely in its path. It had a choice of going back where it started, or summoning the courage to crawl into the darkness. "What shall I do?" wondered the caterpillar. "If I go back home, I won't get where I want to go, but I'm so afraid!"

Just then, a voice called out from the tunnel. "I can hear you, Mr. Caterpillar. I am Mr. Beetle. I am here in the tunnel and I can see the other end. If you come through, you won't lose your fear of the dark, but you will get where you want to go."

We are all like the caterpillar once in a while. But if we let our fear stop us from doing things, which are necessary to our growth, we will never realize what courage we really have.

Is my fear a necessary part of new experiences?

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

As the wheel of the decades turns, so do a person's needs, desires, and tasks. Each of us does, in effect, strike a series of "deals" or compromises between the wants and longings of the inner self, and an outer environment that offers certain possibilities and sets certain limitations. --Maggie Scarf

What life has measured out may not be what we had dreamed of. Life's lessons may not be those we'd have chosen to learn. Wisdom dictates that the joy of life is proportional to the ease with which we accept those possibilities for growth that have grown out of our inner desires.

Our desires are like an outline for a written assignment, a research project. They help us to see where we want to go at any one time, but as we move the direction may need to change. The natural flow of "the assignment" will help to refine it.

We may not have tried to "realize" many of our desires in the past. But the time has come. One of the joys of recovery is that we understand our desires are closely related to our spiritual program and our recovery. And we know we are not alone. We need to attend to the inner desires that beckon to us. They are calling us to move forward.

Action for the Day: Today, I can take the first few steps.

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One Day At A Time

Anger
If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the sudden rage were not for us.
Anger is the dubious luxury of normal people, but for us alcoholics and addicts it is poison.
- As Bill Sees It, p. 5

Thought to Ponder . . .
Anger is the wind that blows out the light of reason.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A A =
Avoid Anger.

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Daily Motivation

Whatever changes may come

You cannot stop life from changing, and you wouldn’t really want to. Life by its very definition is a process of change.

Though you cannot stop life from changing, you can choose to successfully deal with the changes. In fact, you can learn, adapt and adjust in ways that change your own life for the better.

Every time the world changes, new positive opportunities are born. And somewhere, in some way, the world is changing in every moment.

Instead of wishing that things had stayed the same, find the new possibilities that have been created. Choose to see that what can be gained is more valuable than what has been lost.

Security is not found by denying or hiding from the changes. Lasting security comes from being able to thrive and prosper, with your integrity intact, no matter what changes may come.

Whatever the change of the day or the moment may be, there is a positive response. Challenge yourself to find that response, and to make every change a change for the better.
— Ralph Marston



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 5-26-2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Today's Gift


An oak and a reed were arguing about their strength. When a strong wind came up, the reed avoided being uprooted by bending and leaning with the gusts of wind. But the oak stood firm and was torn up by the roots. —Aesop

Within each of us, as in the reed and the oak, is a single characteristic, which is both our strongest and weakest trait. The bending which keeps the reed alive makes it weak, we might think. Some of us see both sides of every argument and are good team players, fair judges, and compassionate friends. But like the reed - always bending to the needs of others - we may never know what we want or who we are.

Some of us believe we are like the oak: strong and tough and successful in the face of most difficulty. But we may never learn to accept flaws in ourselves.

We are wise to remember that no trait is strong or weak, but we make it so by how we use it. We can use our strength to stand straight in the face of hardship, and we can use our strength to bend.

What is my strongest and weakest trait?

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

The present will not long endure.---Pindar

At certain moments, our best friend is time. Time is a gift given us. Time helps us heal. We need to know that when things are tough, these times will pass, and peace will return. Our Higher Power can be like a parent who comforts a child when there's a storm outside. The parent gently reminds the child the sun will shine again.

Tough times come and go. There will be times when life is ugly and very painful. We can't be happy all the time. Remember, our Higher Power is always there. We must have faith in this. A saying often heard in the program is, "This too shall pass."

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, remind me that things will get better. Even if they get worst for a while, they will get better. Let this be my prayer in hard times.

Action for the Day: Today, I'll list times in my life when I thought I couldn't go on. I'll remember the pain, but I'll also remember how time was my friend.

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One Day At A Time

Pass It On
". . . I'll never forget the first time I met Bill Wilson.
I was a couple of months sober and so excited, so thrilled to actually meet the co-founder
that I gushed all over him with what my sobriety meant to me and my undying gratitude for his starting AA.
When I ran down, he took my hand in his, and said simply, 'Pass it on.'"
- 'Pass It On', Preface

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

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
H E L P =
Hope, Encouragement, Love, Patience.

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Daily Motivation

Life is amazing

Stop for a moment and consider how wondrous life is. Remind yourself that despite all the pains and challenges, problems and frustrations, life is amazing.

Life is amazing, and the possibilities for expressing its beauty and magnificence are endless. You could come up with dozens of new ways to experience life each day, and never run out.

Make it your business to do that. You have life, which itself is amazing, and you have this day, so take it upon yourself to put something new and valuable into it.

You don’t have to make headlines to have a rich and fascinating life. There are plenty of opportunities in each seemingly ordinary day to add extraordinary substance to your world.

It all starts with reminding yourself what a wondrous and amazing thing your life is. Feel the possibilities that come with every breath, and live with a constant sense of real gratitude.

Life is amazing, and you have it right now to live in your own unique way. Feel the magnitude of opportunity that is yours, and make the very most of it.

— Ralph Marston



Monday, May 25, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 5-25-2015

Monday, May 25, 2015
Today's Gift

One is happy as a result of one's own efforts, once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness - simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and above all, a clear conscience. Happiness is no vague dream, of that I now feel certain. —George Sand

We are as happy as we make up our minds to be, so goes the saying. But happiness is the result of right actions. We prepare for it daily. We chart our course. Many of us have to first determine where we want to go before we can decide on the chart. We have perhaps passively floated along for years. But now the time is right to navigate, to move toward a goal.

We may have fears about moving ahead. We can be courageous, however. Strength is at hand, always, if we but ask for it. We can make a small beginning today. And every day, we can do at least one thing we need to do to bring us closer to our goal. Accomplishment, however small, nurtures good feelings. Happiness is the byproduct.

Today is wide open. I will decide on a course of action and move ahead. All around me help is available for the asking.

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

In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me.---Virginia Satir

Let's keep this in mind: each of us is special in our own way. Often, we're hard on ourselves because we're different. Our Twelve Step groups pull our differences together. We listen and learn from our differences.
We learn to see that each one of us is different---and this is important. Our program and the Steps stay alive for us, because each new person brings a different way of seeing things. Let's celebrate our differences instead of trying to be alike.

Prayer for the Day: Today, is a day to celebrate that, in all of the world, there is only one me. Thank-you, Higher Power, and help me see clearly how special I am.

Action for the Day: I'll make a list of what makes me special. I'll share this with a friend or my sponsor and my Higher Power.


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One Day At A Time

Decision
If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it -- then you are ready to take certain steps.
At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.
With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 58

Thought to Ponder . . .
While it isn't always easy, if I keep it simple, it works.

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


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Daily Motivation

Get yourself feeling great

There are countless things you can do to change the way you feel. So there is never any reason to feel less than your best.

If you are feeling unmotivated, it’s because you have chosen that feeling. When you are feeling joyful, it’s because you have chosen to.

Yes, the world around you shakes and shudders into and out of various conditions. Yet the way you feel about whatever happens, and your place in it, is ultimately up to you.

Feel confident and successful, and you’ll find yourself acting just like a confident, successful person would act. Decide to feel creative, and you’ll soon be expressing your creativity.

If you don’t feel like doing whatever you must do, change the way you feel. And get the task done.

Think an empowering thought, listen to uplifting music, go to an inspiring place, or do whatever it takes to get yourself feeling great about life. Then enjoy the process of transforming that feeling into reality.

— Ralph Marston




Friday, May 22, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 5-22-2015

Friday, May 22, 2015
Today's Gift

The change of one simple behavior can affect other behaviors and thus change many things. —Jean Baer

Our behavior tells others and ourselves, who we are. Frequently, we find ourselves behaving in ways that keep us stuck or embarrass us. Or we may feel deep shame for our behavior in a certain instance. Our behavior will never totally please us. But deciding we want to change some behavior is a first step.

Remember, imperfections are human and very acceptable. However, changing a particular behavior, maybe deciding to take a walk every morning rather than sleeping 30 extra minutes, will change how we feel about ourselves. And a minor change such as this can have a remarkable effect on our outlook, our attitudes.

The dilemma for many of us for so long was the fear we couldn't change. But we can. And we can help each other change, too.

One small change today - a smile at the first person I meet - meditation before dinner - a few minutes of exercise - will help me chart a new course. I will encourage another person to join me in this effort too, and I will be on my way.

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

If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself. —Rollo May

Those of us who go around trying to be right and do everything right are likely to betray ourselves. We stifle our impulses and control our intuition because we can't be certain that we are correct. As a spiritual exercise, we could stop now and listen to our inner selves and state our own ideas. What comes out may break the illusion of perfection and free us to proceed with life.

We all have original ideas if we just notice them. What images come to mind while listening to music? What do our dreams tell us? New insights sometimes come by physical activity. Conversation with a friend can help lead us to our wisdom. Our growing strength requires that we listen to our own messages and then take some risks to express them.

Action for the Day: Today, I will take risks by stating my ideas. I will stand up for myself by listening to my intuition.

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One Day At A Time

Honesty
The perverse wish to hide a bad motive underneath a good one permeates human affairs from top to bottom.
This subtle and elusive kind of self-righteousness can underlie he smallest act or thought.
Learning daily to spot, admit, and correct these flaws is the essence of character-building, and good living.
- As Bill Sees It, p. 17

Thought to Ponder . . .
Honesty is the absence of the intent to deceive.

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

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Daily Motivation

Increase the abundance

If you wish to make an impression on people, don’t tell them how good you are. Show them how good they are.

If you wish to increase your wealth, don’t focus on the question of how to make money. Put your time and energy into creating and delivering unique value.

If you wish to learn more about something, teach it to someone else. If you wish to be loved, appreciated and respected, then offer your love, appreciation and respect.

The way to get whatever you wish is not to greedily grab for it. The way to get what you wish to have is to attract it by the way you live.

You cannot receive anything of real value without giving real value. Sincerely give of yourself, and you cannot help but receive meaningful value as you do.

Life’s abundance has no limit, and is always increasing. Be someone who furthers that increase, and experience the best of the abundance you are helping to create.

— Ralph Marston




Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 5-21-2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015
Today's Gift

To have our needs met, to love, to be loved, to feel safe in this world and to each know our purpose, is a simple matter of creating those blessings for others. ― Bryant McGill

Getting Needs Met

I want to change careers . . . I need a friend . . .I'm ready to be in a relationship . . .

Regularly, we become aware of new needs. We may need to change our behavior with our children. We may need a new couch, love and nurturing, a dollar, or help.

Do not be afraid to recognize a want or need. The birth of a want or need, the temporary frustration from acknowledging a need before it's met, is the start of the cycle of receiving what we want. We follow this by letting go, then receiving that which we want and need. Identifying our needs is preparation for good things to come.

Acknowledging our needs means we are being prepared and drawn to that which will meet them. We can have faith to stand in that place in between.

Today, I will let go of my belief that my needs never get met. I will acknowledge my wants and needs, and then turn them over to my Higher Power. My Higher Power cares, sometimes about the silliest little things, if I do. My wants and needs are not an accident.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

Be not afraid of growing slowing, be afraid only of standing still. ---Chinese proverb

All of us are a little afraid of growth. We wonder how growth will change our lives. Who will we be? Will our friend still love us? Can't we grow up and get in over with? Why does it take so long?

All of us have a need to keep growing. There is no age when we're "all grown up" and all done learning. But we don't need to rush our growth. Like a child on a too-big bicycle, at times we'll find ourselves out of control. We'll tip over. We can grow at our own pace, but we must grow. We must make changes. Or else, like an athlete on a too-small bicycle, we won't get far. We'll tip over too!

Action for the Day: Today I look beyond the immediate moment of satisfaction and decide what is good for me in the larger picture of my life. Today I have faith and patience and make loving and positive choices.

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One Day At A Time

Prayer
My sponsor said, "Pray if you can." Having no faith whatever,
thinking that prayer must be some kind of autohypnotic play-acting, alone in my apartment
I got down on my knees like a little child and prayed to the unknown God.
I said, "God, take away my compulsion to drink."
And my compulsion to drink was removed, and it has not returned from that day to this.
Without knowing how I had done it, I had surrendered to the Power,
and the Power did for me what I could not do of my own will.
- Came To Believe . . ., p. 98

Thought to Ponder . . .
Trying to pray is praying.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
P U S H =
Pray Until Something Happens.

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Daily Motivation

Lifting life up

If the bad stuff is getting to you too much, create more good stuff. Nothing can bring you down when you’re busy lifting life up.

Don’t fight the negativity, because that will just draw you in deeper. Instead, overwhelm negativity with positive substance.

Constantly complaining makes you more invested in whatever you are complaining about. Resist the temptation to complain, and find a positive response.

Let the negativity be, then let it go. Free yourself from its grip and with that freedom, move forward.

You don’t have to be naive to be positive. Though the negative things are still there, you can choose to focus all of your energy on creating new goodness.

No matter how difficult things are, there is always something good you can do. Lift up life, and put more of the power of positive living in your world.

— Ralph Marston



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 5-20-2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Today's Gift

It only takes one person to change your life - you. —Ruth Casey

Change is not easy, but it's absolutely unavoidable. Doors will close. Barriers will surface. Frustrations will mount. Nothing stays the same forever, and it's such folly to wish otherwise. Growth accompanies positive change; determining to risk the outcome resulting from a changed behavior or attitude will enhance our self-perceptions. We will have moved forward; in every instance our lives will be influenced by making a change that only each of us can make.

We have all dreaded the changes we knew we had to make. Perhaps even now we fear some impending changes. Where might they take us? It's difficult accepting that the outcome is not ours to control. Only the effort is ours. The solace is that positive changes, which we know are right for us and other people in our lives, are never going to take us astray. In fact, they are necessary for the smooth path just beyond this stumbling block.

When we are troubled by circumstances in our lives, a change is called for, a change that we must initiate. When we reflect on our recent as well as distant past, we will remember that the changes we most dreaded again and again have positively influenced our lives in untold ways.

Change ushers in glad, not bad, tidings.

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

Difficulties, opposition, criticism--these things are meant to be overcome, and there is a special joy in facing them and in coming out on top. It is only when there is nothing but praise that life loses its charm, and I begin to wonder what I should do about it. --Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

To be alive means to experience difficulties, conflicts, challenges from many directions. What we do with adverse conditions both determines and is determined by who we are. Resistance, most of us have learned, heightens the adversity. Acceptance of the condition, trusting all the while the lesson it offers us is for our benefit, ensures that we'll "come out on top."

Difficulties are opportunities for advancement, for increased self-awareness, for self-fulfillment. So often we hear and remind one another, that we grow through pain. We can face any situation knowing we have the strength of the program to shore us up. Strangely, we need challenges in order to grow; without growth we wither. Happiness is the bounty for facing the momentarily unhappy conditions.

Any difficulty I meet today offers me a chance for even greater happiness; it guarantees my growth.

Action for the Day: I will look at today as an adventure with my Higher Power. I will list the fears I'll need to let go of.


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One Day At A Time

Contact
I had been undergoing a spiritual experience without knowing it. My continued questioning about a Higher Power, my changed mental attitude, and even my physical recovery had all been a part of a spiritual awakening.
Without knowing it, I had been in contact with the source of life, whatever or whoever that may be.
- The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 2], p. 193

Thought to Ponder . . .
New ideals and new attitudes bring a new life.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A A = A
ltered Attitudes.


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Daily Motivation

You are ready

If you’ve been waiting until you’re ready, the wait is over. You are ready.

You are ready, so go ahead and get started. You know enough, you have enough, you’re inspired and purposeful and creative enough to take the first step, now.

Though you have many questions, and maybe even some doubts, you are ready. Go ahead, grab the opportunity of this moment, and make your life come to life.

Achievement is never the result of figuring everything out in advance. Achievement comes when you start where you are and keep going.

Make more than mere plans, have more than just intentions, experience more than empty wishes. You are ready to follow where your passions lead and make life more amazing than it already is.

You are ready to take action. Now is the time and this is the place.

— Ralph Marston