Friday, January 23, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 1-23-2015

Friday, January 23, 2015
Today's Gift

Spontaneity is the quality of being able to do something just because you feel like it at the moment, of trusting your instincts, of taking yourself by surprise and snatching from the clutches of your well-organized routine a bit of unscheduled pleasure. —Richard Lannelli

The idea of turning our lives and our will over to the care of our Higher Power is a very revolutionary thing to do. We are being told, "Let go of your excessive carefulness. Let the spirit guide you." When we are in touch with ourselves, with the people around us, with our Higher Power, we are free to experiment. We don't learn from doing the same things correctly again and again. We learn from trying new things and making mistakes.

Over control is spiritually deadening. Renewal is a miraculous event. We can be in touch with the messages around us without trying to control the outcome. When we let our Higher Power do the worrying, we find many possibilities open up,

As this adventure of life unfolds, I will not shy away from it.

From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©


********************************
Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Walk In Dry Places

Raising self-esteem

Thinking well of ourselves
Although there may have been conceit and cockiness in our past behavior, most of us suffered from feelings of low self-esteem. We often felt alone and unworthy. Often, we had memories of parents and others who reminded us of our shortcomings or compared us unfavorably with others.

Whatever our past problems, we can raise our self-esteem in the present. We can begin by forgiving ourselves and others for past wrongs and mistakes. We must become willing to give up any belief or practice that causes us to dislike ourselves. We can remember that our self-esteem does not depend on achievements or on winning in competitions with others. Despite our failings, now and in the past, we are worthy in the sight of the Universe and are entitled to it's grace.

Growth usually brings growth in self-esteem. If we think well of ourselves, in the right sense, others will tend to think well of us, too. With proper self-esteem, we will not be crushed or dismayed when someone seems to dislike us. Our feelings about ourselves will be much more than a mirror of others' opinions.

Action for the Day: I will think well of myself today, I will not put myself down, even jokingly. I will know that if I am for me, no one can be against me.

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

Acceptance
I needed to look no further than the powerful wording of our Serenity Prayer, "to accept the things we cannot change."
My personal answer is there in the word "accept." Accept man's place in the universal scheme.
Accept my life as one minute particle of the whole.
None of us can ever fathom the glories and uncharted regions of the universe. But we can live on earth and love one another.
We can let in the beginnings of concern, compassion, consideration, and watch ourselves grow.
With the tools and guideposts of AA, we can learn a little of this precious gift -- our gateway to human spirituality.
- Came To Believe . . ., p. 129

Thought to Ponder . . .
The Three "C's" -- Concern, Compassion, Consideration.

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

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

Trivial inconveniences

The vast majority of what you consider problems, when viewed in a historical context, are nothing more than trivial inconveniences. That’s because a whole lot of people who came before you made the choice to leave life better than they found it.

By the standards of that same historical context, if you’re not improving life, you’re not living fully. No matter where you are or what you have, you always have the opportunity to move life positively forward.

You have the capacity to be creative, productive and effective. To the extent you utilize that capacity, you experience life’s richness.

Those problems, those trivial inconveniences, don’t have to slow you down for more than a short while. You are far more powerful than any problem that might come along.

In fact, the challenges give you all sorts of ways to utilize your capabilities and to create new value. Get out there, meet those challenges head on, and discover how you can connect to the best life has to offer.

Step back from the day-to-day distractions and consider all the great things you can do. Then step forward and find great satisfaction in making your world a more enriching and fulfilling place.

— Ralph Marston




Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 1-22-2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015
Today's Gift

One cannot have wisdom without living life. —Dorothy McCall

Living life means responding, wholly, to our joys and our pitfalls. It means not avoiding the experiences or activities that we fear we can't handle. Only through our survival of them do we come to know who we really are; we come to understand the strength available to us at every moment. And that is wisdom.

When we approach life tentatively, we reap only a portion of its gifts. It's like watching a movie in black and white that's supposed to be in Technicolor. Our lives are in color, but we must have courage to let the colors emerge, to feel them, absorb them, be changed by them. Within our depths, we find our true selves. The complexities of life teach us wisdom. And becoming wise eases the many pitfalls in our path.

Living life is much more than just being alive. I can choose to jump in with both feet. Wisdom awaits me in the depths.

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

********************************
Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Walk In Dry Places

Appreciating Our Past

Living is Learning
It is easy to be negative about past mistakes and unhappiness. But it is much more healing to look at ourselves and our past in the light of experience, acceptance, and growth. Our past is a series of lessons that advance us to higher levels of living and loving.

The relationships we entered, stayed in, or ended taught us necessary lessons. Some of us have emerged from the most painful circumstances with strong insights about who we are and what we want.

Our mistakes? Necessary. Our frustrations, failures, and sometimes--stumbling attempts at growth and progress? Necessary too.

Each step of the way, we learned. We went through exactly the experiences we needed to, to become who we are today. Each step of the way, we progressed.

Is our past a mistake? No. The only mistake we can make is mistaking that for the truth.

Action for the Day: Today, Higher Power, help me let go of negative thoughts I may be harboring about my past circumstances or relationships. I can accept, with gratitude, all that has brought me to today.

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

Habits
Our dysfunctions were 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 or drugging, we have found that we needed new habits to take place of those old ones. . .
After we spent a few months practicing these new, sober habits or ways of acting and thinking, they become almost second nature to most of us, as drinking 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 = B
ehavior, Attitude, Thinking, Habits.

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

Experience the adventure

There is no reason to avoid the effort. Because once you get started, the effort will feel great.

There is no need to fear what might happen. Because whatever happens, you’ll be able to successfully deal with it.

You may be nice and comfortable where you are. By all means enjoy the moment you’re in, but don’t become so comfortable that you keep yourself stuck there.

Spreading out in all directions is a world full of possibilities. Get up, get out there, explore, achieve, fulfill, and experience.

Put your awareness, care and attention into this now moment. Then step forward to experience the adventure of the next moment.

Feel again, right now, all the joy you’ve ever known. With profound gratitude and the highest of expectations, get yourself making even more joyful experiences.

— Ralph Marston



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 1-21-2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Today's Gift

There are things for which an uncompromising stand is worthwhile. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

For many of us, a time came when we said, "I'm not going to live this way anymore!" This was a deep, internal decision for change, even though we didn't know how it would come about. Somehow we had reached bottom, and we no longer debated about whose fault our problems were. We quit negotiating over what we would change and what we would not change. We were willing to put all our energy into finding a better life, no matter what it would require. That is the kind of inner readiness that finally made real change possible.

Such willingness to take an uncompromising stand and give ourselves totally to a worthwhile cause is a model for our lives. It's the beginning of deep change. Many men and women have taken similar heroic stands for other causes, like world peace, compassion for the poor and hungry, human rights, and protection of the environment.

On this day, I will take a stand for what is worthwhile.

From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©


********************************

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Walk In Dry Places

Helping others

Giving Wisely is Safe
Most of us admit that we were selfish people when we drank. Even when we brought drinks for others, we did so either to seek their approval or in the expectancy that they would return the favor.

Our need in sobriety is to become unselfish by giving freely and cheerfully of ourselves. This, too, has its pitfalls. Feeling guilty about past selfish-ness, we may go overboard in helping others do things that they need to do for themselves. This can only lead to failure and disillusionment. It is common to hear AA members complain about people who are not in recovery despite help extended to them in finding a job, a place to live, and other necessities.

But in giving, it is not always right tolook for a "guid pro quo"… something in return….or even for the others person's recovery and well-being. It's best to let the giving itself be its own reward. If we feel good about what we have done, we probably are doing the right things. 
Later on, when additional and unexpected rewards come to us, we can accept them as bonuses.

Action for the Day: I can make progress in overcoming selfishness and self-centeredness if I give selflessly to others and take an honest interest in their problems.

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

Trust
For we are now on a different basis; the basis of trusting and relying upon our Higher Power.
We trust infinite 
our Higher Power rather than our finite selves. We are in the world to play the role They assign.
Just to the extent that we do as we think They would have us, and humbly rely on Them,
do They enable us to match calamity with serenity.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 68

Thought to Ponder . . .
Reliance on 
our Higher Power enables me to match calamity with serenity.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
G O D =
Gifts Offered Daily

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

Work on it

If there’s a problem, work on it. Instead of wishing there was no problem, or complaining, feeling sorry for yourself, or running away from the problem, work on it.

Sooner or later you’re going to have to work on it. So make it sooner, and get the problem behind you.

If there’s something you would like to create in your life, work on it. Work on it, and bring it out of the realm of fantasy into the living reality of your world.

Any situation can be improved when you work on it. Though it does indeed seem simple and obvious, you always benefit by reminding yourself to work on it.

You don’t have to remain stuck, or frustrated, discouraged or ineffective. Work on it, and feel the unique joy of making real progress.

Life is a blessing, and in countless ways you can make it even more so. Work on it, and discover again and again how much good you can do.

— Ralph Marston



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 1-20-2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Today's Gift

What a person thinks of them self, that is which determines, or rather indicates, their fate. --Henry David Thoreau

Let us think of ourselves as made of dust, and allow us to be as proud of it as if it were true. For dust is everywhere. We see it in solemn rooms streaked by sun, dancing like fine angels in a cathedral light. It is the stuff of life. And it drifts down on fancy tables where the richest people eat. It cannot be denied a place. And it returns time and time again like the seasons. It is one of the wonders of the world. And when no one sees or cares, it finds a secret corner in which to keep a solitary peace. It intends no harm. We find it at home on old leather books, the ones that preserve our noblest thoughts. And from where we stand, it seems that even the stars are made of it.

When we feel low, unworthy, or useless, let's remember that these feelings are only a small but important part of us, that even great things are made of small parts and that we, as whole beings, are always greater than the sum of these parts.

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©


********************************
Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

SERVICE---A beautiful word fallen upon bad days.---Claude McKay
Service is really a beautiful word. Service means respect. When we serve others we're part of the human race. We all need to help each other. Service is a sure way to stay sober. Helping someone else stay sober helps us stay sober. And service frees us from self-will. It teaches us about how to care for ourselves and others. It teaches us that we're worthwhile. It teaches us that we make a difference. Service keeps us feeling good. Am I quiet when the topic of service comes up at meetings? If so, how can I change this?

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, show me where I can be of help. Give me the courage to make a difference. Give me the courage to really serve others in need.

Action for the Day: I'll list five ways service has made or can make my life better.

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

Truth
As I began to look more closely, I noticed serious flaws; I was brimful of serious character defects.
But these were things that, in time and with help, could be dealt with.
No longer did I have to run with nightmarish terror from an inner monster.
I had seen the truth, and the truth had freed me to do less hiding and more seeking.
- The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 1], p. 134

Thought to Ponder . . .
Truth is to inner space what sunshine is to a garden.

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

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

When you choose

You will be miserable when you choose to be miserable. You will be happy when you choose to be happy.

You don’t need a certain job or activity, or a certain collection of possessions, or a specific set of circumstances in order to enjoy life. You must simply choose to enjoy life.

You can choose in any situation to feel whatever way you wish to feel. When you choose to feel empowered, fulfilled and positively purposeful, you are.

Do you wish to be old, young, rich, poor, smart, foolish, useless or highly effective? It is all in the way you look at life, and all in the way you choose.

Yes, there are solid objective realities about which you cannot do very much. What matters to you, though, is your subjective viewpoint, which is always yours to choose.

You are the way you choose to be. Choose your own unique greatness, and your choice makes life greater with each passing day.

— Ralph Marston




Monday, January 19, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 1-19-2015

Monday, January 19, 2015
Today's Gift

Imagination has always had powers of resurrection that no science can match. --Ingrid Bengis

In the imagination are transmitted messages, from our Higher Power and the Universe to us. Inspiration is born there. So are dreams. Both give rise to the goals that urge us forward, that invite us to honor this life we've been given with a contribution, one like no other contribution.

Our imagination offers us ideas to ponder, ideas specific to our development. It encourages us to take steps unique to our time, our place, and our intended gifts to the world. We can be alert to this special "inner voice" and let it guide our decisions; we can trust its urgings. It's charged with serving us, but only we can decide to "listen."

The imagination gives us another tool: belief in ourselves. And the magic of believing offers us strength and capabilities even beyond our fondest hopes. It prepares us for the effort we need to make and for handling whatever outcome our Higher Power and the Universe has intended.

My imagination will serve me today. It will offer me the ideas and the courage I need to go forth.

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


********************************
Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

The reality is that changes are coming....they must come. You must share in bring them. --John Hersey

Change. It's scary. It's hard. It's needed. Sometimes it feels bad. But one thing is for sure: it keeps on happening. Just when our life seems settled, it changes. We can't stop life. We can't stay this age forever. The world changes. Life moves on. There are always new things to do and learn. Changes means we're always beginners in some ways. We need to ask for wisdom and courage. We get it by listening, by praying, by meditating. When we ask, our Higher Power will teach us to be part of good changes.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me believe that Your plans call for good changes.

Action for the Day: Today I'll think about the changes in my life. I've lived through a lot. I'll be okay when more changes come, with 
our Higher Power's help. I can keep on growing.

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

A Higher Power
We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 46

Thought to Ponder . . .
Reliance on my Higher Power enables me to match calamity with serenity.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
H E L P =
His/Her Ever-Loving Presence.

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

Fulfilling your potential
You have a large amount of unrealized potential. Choose today, right now, to begin fulfilling more of that great potential.

Don’t let the best of your beauty, your unique value, your possibilities stay locked up inside you. Give yourself the enjoyment and satisfaction of living to do all you know you can do, and more.

Give all of life the gift of your very best efforts. Instead of merely having the capability for achievement, create the reality of achievement.

You can do so much more with your days than merely getting through them. With your focused and purposeful effort, you can transform fleeting moments into lasting value.

Let this world know, in the best possible way, that you are here to make a difference. Make this day count, through all you do, for things that are good and right and meaningful.

Leave the excuses, the insecurities and the doubts behind. You know how very much you can do, and how much of a difference you can create, so get busy and make it all happen.

— Ralph Marston



Friday, January 16, 2015

Daily Motivation 1-16-2015

Friday, January 16, 2015
Today's Gift

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

What good qualities lie within us? How do we choose to use them today? These simple questions point our way. Yet, on some days it seems so easy to get swept along with thoughts of future pain. And when we are not worrying about the future, we may fall into regrets about the past. Either way, we are distracted from our only opportunity to make a real difference - to be the kind of person we want to be in this moment, to learn from today's experiment in living.

On this day, I will walk a little slower and will listen closely to the messages within me.

From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©



********************************
Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

When you do something you are proud of, dwell on it a little, praise yourself for it. —Mildred Newman

Each one of us is very good at something. Maybe it's baseball or tennis where we display talent. Maybe we're good in math or at giving reports. A few people are talented at being good listeners or helpful friends. To recognize our own talents we may need help from others. It's always so much easier to see our faults, or the ways we don't meet our own expectations.

But the fact is we are all skilled in many areas of our lives. To accept praise--better yet, to quietly give it to ourselves--is a sign of healthy growth.


Action for the Day: Today I will pause and take in the praise for my work. 

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

Surrender
The principle that we shall find no enduring strength until we first admit complete defeat
is the main taproot from which our whole Society has sprung.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 21-22

Thought to Ponder . . .
We surrender to win.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
K I S S = K
eep It Simple; Surrender.


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

Give nourishment

Every part of life requires regular nourishment. If anything in your life seems to be going downhill, it is probably not receiving enough good, solid nourishment and positive attention.

You cannot eat one big meal and expect it to last for a week. Not only physical, but also mental and spiritual nourishment must come in continuing portions to support a healthy, fulfilling life.

Nourishment must also be of good quality in order to be beneficial. Just as you can’t expect to live well on junk food, you can’t expect to live a good life in a mentally or spiritually toxic environment.

Nourish your mind, nourish your body and nourish your spirit with quality substance. All that you do on a moment-by-moment basis combines to influence the way your life unfolds.

Every experience, every situation, every tick of the clock is an opportunity to nourish some part of your life. As you go through each day, keep that in mind, and provide your life with good, positive nourishment all along the way.

Good nourishment makes what is good, better, and what is strong, stronger. Give good nourishment to your life, your values, your thoughts and your dreams, and enjoy as it all grows richer, brighter and stronger.

— Ralph Marston





Thursday, January 15, 2015

Daily Motivation 1-15-2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015
Today's Gift

Everything is so dangerous that nothing is really very frightening. —Gertrude Stein

Life is full of dangers and risks and challenges. We can choose to meet them fearfully or in a spirit of welcome. To choose fear, to say, "I won't take that risk because I might lose," is to prevent ourselves from ever winning. If we welcome the danger, the risk, or the challenge, we acknowledge that life is made up of losses as well as victories, of gains as well as pain.

Life holds the dangers as well as the rewards. We choose how we will act. Sometimes we may feel trapped in a cycle of fearfulness. If we examine our own part, will we find that we are neglecting to take a balanced view? Perhaps, through a fear of losing, we are missing many chances for satisfaction.

I will remember: I have the power to choose what my attitude will be toward this day's offerings.

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


********************************
Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Walk In Dry Places

Self expression

Never too late
Many of us lament the fact that we wasted youthful years when we should have been earning college degrees or perfecting a skill. Many of us simply do not feel we can take up something new because we missed the opportunity to try it when we were younger.

We are now learning that age is mental, not really physical. Some people seem aged and beaten at twenty-five, while others act sprightly and young at sixty. Moreover, we can find wonderful examples of people who blossom out in new activities without any thought or concern about age barriers. It is never too late for a person to study, to take up a new trade or profession, to follow a new scientific or artistic interest, or to begin other lessons.

If we are using age as a reason for not following our heart's desire, we should ask if we are really finding ways to avoid responsibility for our own performance in life. We may be seeking excuses to spare ourselves the struggle and effort that are always required when we do something new or challenging. 

It is never too late to be the people our Higher Power and the Universe intended us to be.

Action for the Day: I will give some thought today to the excuses I've been using for not making better use of my talents and opportunities.

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

Philosophy
For me, AA is a synthesis of all the philosophy I've ever read, all of the positive, good philosophy, all of it based on love.
I have seen that there is only one law, the law of love, and there are only two sins;
the first is to interfere with the growth of another human being, and the second is to interfere with one's own growth.
- Experience, Strength and Hope, p. 431

Thought to Ponder . . .
When in doubt, be silent. Grow where you are planted.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A R T =
Always Remain Teachable.


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

Live real

Life is messy, uncertain, difficult, inconvenient, and wonderful. Live the real wonder, and not just an imitation.

Get your hands dirty, get your feet wet, and do something for the sheer joy of it. Unplug from the so-called conventional wisdom and serve yourself up some delicious original thoughts.

Take the most stimulating, interesting, thought-provoking and enjoyable route, not merely the quickest one. Stop along the way, and discover something you had no idea was there.

Fill your time with activities for which there is no sanitized, diluted, pre-programmed app. You are a unique, original spirit, so live up to that glorious potential.

Feel the texture of life in all its diversity. Stop comparing yourself to what others have done and start expressing the singular beauty of what it means to be you.

There’s no joy in living as one of a million copies. Live real, live rich, and live the unique joy that only you can create.

— Ralph Marston




Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Daily Motivation 1-14-2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Today's Gift


In a culture where approval/disapproval has become the predominant regulator of effort and position, and often the substitute for love, our personal freedoms are dissipated. —Viola Spolin


Wanting others to approve our efforts, our appearance, our aspirations and behavior is perfectly normal, certainly not unhealthy. However, needing the approval in order to proceed with our lives is.

In early childhood we are taught to obey others and to please them. We confuse love with approval, and we begin to march to someone else's drum. Then we get even more approval. But soon we get out of step with ourselves; we neglect our personal needs and become puppets. Giving away our power to the whims of others weakens our Spirit. Personal freedom means choosing our own behavior; it means acting rather than reacting. It also means allowing ourselves the full adventure of living, of meeting each moment wholly, of responding in a pure, spontaneous, personally honest manner. Only then can we give to life what is ours to give.

Each of us has a unique part to play in the drama of life. And we need to rely on our higher power for our cues, not on those whose approval we think we need. When we turn within for guidance, all the approval we could hope for will be ours.

I will be free today. I will let no one control my actions. I will let my Higher Power give the only approval that counts. Aligning my will with my Higher Powers will guarantees it.


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









********************************

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

When we are feeling unloved and depressed and empty inside, finding someone to give us love is not really the solution. --Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D.

Each of us wants to be significant to someone else. And we are - we're significant to all the lives we're touching at this very moment.

The emptiness we sometimes feel is a good reminder that the women and men in our lives need our attention. Too much self-focus fosters our feelings of loneliness, and then with desperation we look to others to fill us up. The paradox is that we heal ourselves while offering our attention to another who is, by design, on our path.

Action for the Day: It is not by chance our lives are intertwined. Loving someone today will heal two wounds, ours and theirs. So I will share my love today.

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

Perseverance
As we persist, a brand-new kind of confidence is born,
and the sense of relief at finally facing ourselves is indescribable.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 50

Thought to Ponder . . .
The Three "P's" -- Perseverance, Patience, Peace.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
T R U S T = Try Relying Upon Steps and Tradition

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

Humility is smart

The smartest people are those who don’t feel the need to tell you all they know. The most accomplished people are those who don’t feel the need to talk about all they’ve done.

Build on what you know rather than smugly sitting on it and talking about it. Listen, truly listen, and you will learn.

Make good and generous use of your achievements and you won’t have to announce them. Find fulfillment not in seeking praise but in working to have a meaningful, positive affect on the world.

Be smarter, richer, more satisfied and more at peace with life by being genuinely humble. Get your ego out of the way of your ability to bring great value to life.

Genuine humility is smart. Genuine humility is powerful in a way that benefits all of life.

Be smart, and powerful, and a creator of great value. Get beyond the confines of your ego and, with true humility, live a life that lifts up all the world.

— Ralph Marston