Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 7-30-2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015
Today's Gift

The hopeful person sees success where others see failure, sunshine where others see shadows and storm. —O. S. Marden

When wise people say, "Hope springs eternal," they are reminding us that no matter how great are the obstacles, the hope of winning out in the long run still exists. Hope is our friend when all else has failed. When we have strength of character and an energetic mind, hope always flourishes.

We discover that, at the very brink of despair, we will find courage to keep trying as long as there is hope for success. After all, what have we got to lose? Without hope, we have no chance, anyway. Our chance for glory comes when we keep trying even though all seems lost. Our hearts remain strong and brave when hope reminds us that challenges last until a game is over.

What light of hope can I keep burning within me today?

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©


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

Keep It Simple

What would it be like if you lived each day, each breath, as a work of art in progress? Imagine that you are a masterpiece unfolding, every second of every day, a work of art taking form with every breath. -- Thomas Crum

So many of us avoid living in the present moment. We worry about the future.

Daydreaming and pondering are necessary in moderation, but we try to stay in the present moment for most of the day. To do this, we return to the most basic element - our breath. We concentrate on taking deep breaths. Barring a respiratory disorder, breathing is simple. When we return to the simplicity of breathing, we automatically simplify our life by focusing only on what's happening to one part of our body in one moment in time.

Today's Action: Today, when I have trouble living in the present, I will concentrate on my breathing.

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

Insecurity
The most common symptoms of emotional insecurity are worry, anger, self-pity, and depression.
These stem from causes which sometimes seem to be within us, and at other times to come from without.
To take inventory in this respect we ought to consider carefully all personal relationships
which bring continuous or recurring trouble.
It should be remembered that this kind of insecurity may arise in any area where instincts are threatened.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 52

Thought to Ponder . . .
Worry is negative meditation.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
W A S P =
Worry, Anger, Self-Pity.

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

Desirable place to go

You can do more than you think you can do, if you will start thinking you can. You can reach higher than you’ve chosen to reach, if you will choose to do so.

There are obstacles you must move past, and some of those obstacles are in your own expectations. Raising your expectations won’t magically make things happen, but it will stimulate you to make more things happen.

If you expect you can’t, you won’t. If you expect you can, you give birth to the possibility.

There’s no way around the fact that achievement requires focused effort. Your expectations put you in the frame of mind to make that effort.

Expectations also open your eyes to opportunities you never would have otherwise seen. And expectations set your imagination to work.

Positive expectations give you a desirable place to go. Then, you can put forth the effort to follow where they lead.

— Ralph Marston



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 7-29-2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Today's Gift

Live big! --Brady Michaels

Sometimes, that's the best advice we can hear. Win or lose succeed or fail, go for it, and go all the way. As my flight instructor told me on the first day of flying lessons, "Keep one hand on the throttle and one hand on the yoke." "Aahhhhh!" I would say during my early lessons as the plane lifted into the air, but I kept the throttle pushed all the way in.

There are times when it's wise to be cautious. And there are times when the best thing we can do - the only thing we can do - is go for it by living big. Ask them out. Request the raise. Say no - and mean it. Learn to drive a racecar or climb a tall hill. Learn to snorkel or surf. Dreams remain dreams until you act upon them. Then they become real life.

Will you throw a few coins into the beggar's cup, or will you bring him a hamburger and fries from the local fast-food place? Will you do an average job at work, or will you look for ways to go big - really give it your best - in the everyday areas of your job? Will you put your all - your heart and emotions - into the relationship with the people you love? Will you wait for another, more convenient time to pray, or will you start genuinely trusting your Higher Power?

You don't have to get a life. You've already got one. Live it, and live big.

Higher Power, help me let go of my fear and timidity, and learn to live big.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©


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

Keep It Simple

Harmony exists in difference no less than in likeness, if only the same keynote governs both parts. --Margaret Fuller

Harmony exists everywhere, as an entity of itself. Our personal attitudes bring the disharmony to a situation. An attitude of love can bless all situations and all people.
The converse is likewise true. We all desire harmony in our relationships. And we will find it, every time we bring an attitude of honest gratitude into a situation.

How we feel, today, about this person or that situation, reflects the strength of our relationship with our Higher Power. When we experience life in the company of our higher power, we will let life flow. We will observe harmony, then, even in the midst of difference.
All of life's elements are moving toward a state of total and perfect harmony. We need not fear. We can trust the company of our higher power and know that every situation, no matter how adverse its appearance, is contributing to a harmonious outcome if we'd but lend a trusting attitude.

Action for the Day: Harmony is everywhere. I will celebrate it. I will trust the present. I will trust the future.

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

Fear
The practice of AA's Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions in our personal lives
brought incredible releases from fear of every description,
despite the wide prevalence of formidable personal problems.
When fear did persist, we knew it for what it was, and under our Higher Power's grace we became able to handle it.
- The Language of the Heart, p. 268
Thought to Ponder . . .
Situations I fear are rarely as bad as the fear itself.

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

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

Work past the disappointments

Don’t dwell endlessly on what’s wrong. Do something positive, and change your momentum.

When things are tough and life is unfair, the least effective strategy is to complain about it. The most effective strategy is to get busy.

You’re better than the problems. The way to prove that to yourself and to the world is with your actions.

You deserve to feel like you’re on top of the world, so give yourself what you deserve. Embrace the effort, persist through the challenges, and experience the satisfaction of making a real difference.

Treat every situation as an opportunity for positive and meaningful work. Seize the treasure in every moment by doing something useful with the moment.

Delight your senses and your sense of purpose by jumping into action. Work your way past the disappointments, and up to a whole new level of fulfillment.

— Ralph Marston


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 7-28-2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Today's Gift

I have a clear choice between life and death, between reality and fantasy, between health and sickness. I have to become responsible--responsible for mistakes as well as accomplishments. --Eileen Mayhew

Choosing to participate actively in our own lives ushers in joy and sometimes fear. We are energized by our conscious involvement; making thoughtful choices regarding our development heightens our sense of well-being. But occasionally we may fear potential failure. About as frequently, we may fear probable success.

Not every day do we want the responsibility for our lives; but we have it. On occasion we only want the loving arms of a caretaker. The beauty of our lives at this time is that we do have a caretaker at our beck and call, a caretaker who has demonstrated repeatedly a concern for our safety, a caretaker who will help us shoulder every responsibility we face.

Every day that we ask for the guidance to live to the best of our abilities, we will be helped to accomplish the tasks right for us in this stage of our lives.

All I have to do is make the right choices. I will always know which they are, when I ask for guidance.

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


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

Keep It Simple

To enjoy freedom, we have to control ourselves. Virginia Woolf

Freedom is a funny thing, in a way, it makes life harder. We are free to do what we want but every choice makes a difference in our lives. Some choices make us happy and some bring trouble.

We can make good choices. We can control our actions. We can start by having control in little ways: follow the law, pay the rent, and make the bed every day. These choices put order in our lives. Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. These choices make us strong enough to live each day to the fullest.

These kinds of choices set us free.

Prayer for the day: Higher Power, I was drinking and drugging. I couldn't enjoy my freedom. I had no control over the little things in my life. Help me stay sober today.

Action for the day: Today, I'll be grateful for having some control. I will list five way I am more free because I can control my actions.

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

Patience
Blindly rushing in to hack away at character defects will not speed recovery and may actually slow it down.
My Higher Power knows the right time to reveal the life-producing parts of me, and if I have patience,
I will know clearly what parts need to be cut away.
- Thank You For Sharing, p. 191

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

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
P A U S E =
Patience And Understanding Succeed Every time.

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

Inspired

Be inspired. And be an inspiration.

Let life inspire you in every little detail. Then pass that inspiration along, injecting your own flavor into it.

You don’t need a big, impressive event to be inspired. You don’t need a grand vista or an ornate cathedral.

You just have to step back and consider how vastly rich life is, in this moment. Simply be thankful for whatever is in front of you, and a little bit curious, and slightly adventurous.

Draw inspiration from seeing the brilliance, listening to the harmonies, feeling the textures and sensing the aromas of the world in this moment. Then push that inspiration back into the world with your own words and actions.

Wherever you are, take inspiration, and in whatever you do, give it back. Enjoy your part in a never-ending, inspiring cycle that continues to lift up all of life.

— Ralph Marston



Monday, July 27, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 7-27-2015

Monday, July 27, 2015
Today's Gift

We all carry it within us; supreme strength, the fullness of wisdom, unquenchable joy. It is never thwarted and cannot be destroyed. But it is hidden deep, which is what makes life a problem. --Huston Smith

How does one lose touch with their strength, their wisdom, and their joy? Perhaps it is in the nature of humanity. Our most profound qualities are hidden deep. They never go away, but we cannot always find them. There may be nothing wrong with us when we lose touch. It doesn't have to mean that we are "bad" for getting depressed or for feeling inadequate. Who doesn't have that problem? It is the nature of life that we sometimes feel this way.

When we cannot find those reassuring feelings of strength and wisdom and joy, we may think they are gone forever. We even doubt we ever had them or could have them again. But they are still there. They cannot be destroyed. And when we regain contact we know they have been with us all along.

I will have faith that the innermost places in me can never be destroyed.

From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©


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

Keep It Simple

To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it. --Mother Teresa

Our spiritual nature must be nurtured. Prayer and meditation lovingly kindle the flame that guides us from within. Because we're human, we often let the flame flicker and perhaps go out. And then we sense the dreaded aloneness. Fortunately, some time away, perhaps even a few moments in quiet communion with our Higher Power, rekindles the flame.

For most of us, the flame burned low, or not at all, for many years. The flickering we may feel today, or tomorrow, or felt yesterday, will not last, so we may put away our fears. We can listen to the voice of our higher power in others. We can listen, too, as we carry the message. Prayer surrounds us every moment. We can fuel our inner flame with the messages received from others. We can let our spirit spring forth, let it warm our hearts and the hearts of others.

Action for the Day: We each have a friend whose flame may be flickering today. I will help them and thus myself. A steady flame can rekindle one that's flickering.

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

Happiness
So happiness to me is fulfillment, the satisfaction gained
from knowing that you did the best your honestly evaluated limitations would permit
-- in all phases of living.
Happiness is gratitude for the miracle which granted another go-round at a life once abandoned.
Happiness is growing up. It is recognizing all the things you really have.
Happiness is for experiencing, as well as remembering.
- Came to Believe . . ., p. 112

Thought to Ponder . . .
Happiness is not a station we arrive at; it's a way of traveling.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
H J F =
Happy, Joyous, Free.

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

Five reasons

Give yourself five reasons why this will be the best day yet. You are skilled and experienced at engaging your imagination, so put it to use in a positive way.

How many times have you considered doing something, and then thought of all the reasons why you cannot? Today, use that same power to think of reasons why you can, and why you will.

It is just as easy to be positive and ambitious as it is to be negative and disillusioned. The difference is in the choice you make.

Direct the power of your thinking and the power of your life where they will do you some real good. Create an inspiring scenario in your thoughts, then step forward and live the reality of those thoughts.

Choose an attitude and a set of expectations that will support your life and your highest dreams. The fulfillment of those dreams is not only possible, it is yours to start living right now.

Get in the habit of listing all the reasons why you can, why you will, and why you must. Then get busy, for where your thoughts lead, your life will surely follow.

— Ralph Marston



Friday, July 24, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 7-24-2015

Friday, July 24, 2015
Today's Gift


The greatest barrier to someone achieving their potential is their denial of it. --Simon Travaglia

Denial is a powerful tool. Never underestimate its ability to cloud your vision.

Be aware that, for many reasons, we have become experts at using this tool to make reality more tolerable. We have learned well how to stop the pain caused by reality - not by changing our circumstances, but by pretending our circumstances are something other than what they are.

Do not be too hard on yourself. While one part of you was busy creating a fantasy reality, the other part went to work on accepting the truth.

Now, it is time to find courage. Face the truth. Let it sink gently in.

When we can do that, we will be moved forward.

Higher Power, give me the courage and strength to see clearly.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©



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

Keep It Simple

There is no reality except the one contained within us. --Herman Hesse

Claude Gellee painted lovely pictures of the English countryside. Europeans loved his landscapes, with their blue hues and mild distortions. But when the people went for the carriage rides in the country, they were disappointed because it didn't look the way Gellee had painted it. Then someone discovered that if you held blue glass up to your eyes and looked through it, the trees and hills and sky looked just like a Gellee painting! Soon everyone was looking through "Claude glasses" when they traveled.

We often let others do our seeing for us. We get lazy and rely on the images of television and movies, instead of really seeing with our own eyes. Our world becomes distorted and we lose sight of the natural beauty that surrounds us.

Each of us carries reality inside ourselves, and as we grow stronger within, we discover that we can see clearest when we trust our own eyes. There is a glorious world, full and rich, just waiting for us to glimpse it.

Action for the Day: I see the world through my own eyes today.

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

Answers
In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take.
Here we ask our Higher Power for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don't struggle.
We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 86

Thought to Ponder . . .
I asked from the heart, and I received.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A A =
Answer Available.


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

Proven path

An action that doesn’t get very good results is still better than no action at all. Being mediocre at doing something is better than being highly skilled at doing nothing.

Your initial effort at solving the problem or reaching the achievement may not work. But that’s no reason to avoid the effort.

Even if you fail, and fail again, you can still reach the success you seek. However, if you let the fear of failure prevent you from taking action, you will never achieve that success.

Do your best. If that’s not good enough, get better.

The way to get better is by doing. Whether the results are what you intended or not, every action makes you stronger, more capable, more experienced and more effective.

Develop your best strategy, take action, learn from it, and do it again. That is the proven path to wherever you wish to go.

— Ralph Marston



Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 7-23-2015

Thursday, July 23, 2015
Today's Gift

Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained. --Arthur Somers Roche

A trickle of water that drains down the side of a hill poses no problem to the hill, its vegetation, or the people living in the valley. But if that trickle grows into a stream, the water will erode a path, carrying along plants, rocks, and soil, endangering the lives and property of the people in the valley.

When a worry nags us, it is like that trickle. It poses little threat to us and can be stopped at any time because it is so small. But if we let more worrisome thoughts feed into the stream, we will allow it to grow until all of our thoughts and energy are focused on one worry that has attained great power.

We all have things we worry about. But we don't have to give these worries more than passing acknowledgment. The trickles that run through our minds are okay to have. But to keep them at that size, we need to remember what is important to us at this very moment. We don't need to let the worries grow.

I have worries just like everyone else. However, I don't have to dwell upon my worries or make them any bigger than what they are.

From the book Night Light by Amy E. Dean
























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

Keep It Simple

For this is wisdom; to live, To take what fate, or the Gods, may give. --Laurence Hope

We can't control the events of our lives, but we do have mastery over our attitudes. The chances will be many, today, to react negatively or positively to circumstances we find ourselves in. We can consider that each circumstance has something special in it for us.

Positive expectations regarding the planned as well as spontaneous activities of the day will influence the activity's flow, our involvement with it, and our interactions with the other people involved. A positive attitude seems to breed positive experiences. In other words, we attract into our lives that which we expect. How often do we get up angry, feeling behind when the day has only begun, short-tempered with our children, "ready" for a tough one at work? And we generally find it.

The Serenity Prayer offers us all the knowledge, all the wisdom we'll ever need. We can accept what has to be, change what we can, and not get confused between the two. We can inventory our attitude. Are we taking charge of it? Our attitude is something we can change.

Today's Action: I won't get trapped today by a negative attitude. I will accept the challenge of turning my day around.

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

Self-restraint
One unkind tirade or one willful snap judgment can ruin our relation with another person
for a whole day, or maybe a whole year. Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen.
We must avoid quick-tempered criticism and furious, power-driven argument.
The same goes for sulking or silent scorn.
These are emotional booby-traps baited with pride and vengefulness.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 91

Thought to Ponder . . .
When I change the way I look at things, the things I look at change.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
T U F =
Tolerance, Understanding, Forgiveness.


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

Peace within

Let peace be within you. When there is true peace on the inside, that peace energizes and uplifts all you do.

Imagine how it would be to think, feel, speak and act from an abiding sense of inner peace. Imagine it, and then live what you imagine.

Think of how you would live your life if you had an unshakable sense of peace deep within. Know that you do have that peace, connect with it, and let it influence your every moment.

Peace is yours to choose regardless of what else may be going on. Yes, it takes intention, commitment and strength and yes, it is well worth whatever you put into it.

The world often tells you to live from the shallow perspective of your ego. You can greatly benefit yourself, and everyone else, by going much deeper.

Give peace a safe, secure and treasured place within, and let it grow. Be the strongest you can be today, by being peaceful.

— Ralph Marston