Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 9-1-2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Today's Gift

Success can only be measured in terms of distance traveled. —Mavis Gallant

We are forever moving from one experience to another, one challenge to another, and one relationship to another. Our ability to handle confidently all encounters is a gift of life, and one that accompanies us throughout every day, providing we humbly express gratitude for it. Success is ours when we are grateful.

We are not standing still. No matter how uneventful our lives may seem, we are traveling toward our destiny, and all the thrills and tears, joys and sorrows, are contributing to the success of our trip. Every day, every step, we are succeeding.

We can reflect on yesterday, better yet, on last week or even last year. What were our problems? It's doubtful we can even remember them. We have put distance between them and us. They were handled in some manner. We have succeeded in getting free of them. We have succeeded in moving beyond them.

How far we have come! And we will keep right on traveling forward.

I can do whatever I need to do, today, with success, when I humbly accept the life's gifts.

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

The route you take depends a good deal upon where you want to go. --Lewis Carroll

Day after day, the father drove to work along the same dreary highway to the same dreary job. Sometimes his daughter went to his office with him. On one of these occasions she noticed a winding road running parallel to the highway. "Oh, Daddy, let's take that road today," she suggested. After some grumbling and mumbling, the father agreed and turned off to take the side road.

To their delight, the road was lined with full trees and a rainbow of flowers. They came upon a quaint little village in which there was an office with a sign in the window, which said, "Clerk Wanted. Inquire Within." The job seemed perfect and the man accepted it with excitement he hadn't felt in many years.

Sometimes we have to risk taking a different path in order to arrive at a different place. How else can we change things in our lives that need to be changed? And how easy to do it, once we're willing to risk something out of the ordinary.

Action for the day: I will do something that's out of the ordinary today.

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One Day At A Time

Self-searchingThe wise have always known that no one can make much of their life until self-searching becomes a regular habit, until they are able to admit and accept what they find,
and until they patiently and persistently tries to correct what is wrong.
- As Bill Sees It, p. 216

Thought to Ponder . . .
There is only one corner of the universe I can be certain of improving, and that's my own self.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
N O W =
No Other Way.

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Daily Motivation

Success is a way of life

Success is not a secret. Success is a direction, a process, and a way of life.

Success is not merely something that you get. Success is all about the way you choose to live.

You can be successful right now. Simply turn your focus, your awareness, your thoughts and actions in a positive, meaningful direction.

Success is the journey, and not merely the end of the road. Every moment is your opportunity to live the success you seek.

Dream without limits, and act on those dreams. Live without excuses or apologies, and with a persistent, driving desire to make a difference.

Success is a way of life. Choose that way right now, and in every moment of every day.

— Ralph Marston



Monday, August 31, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 8-31-2015

Monday, August 31, 2015
Today's Gift

Be aware of wonder. --Robert Fulghum

We have days when we experience the small coincidences in life - our car breaks down and we run into an old friend at the service station; we're thinking about someone and she calls just because we've been on her mind; we ask ourselves a question and the answer appears on the side of a bus or out of the mouth of a stranger at the bus stop. These serendipitous events usually leave us with at least a bit of awe.

The more serendipity we have in our life, the more spiritually connected we are. We're tuned in, attentive, aware, and detached. We're getting responses to questions and meeting the people we need to be with at just the right moments. We couldn't have planned it better. We couldn't have planned it at all.

Serendipity is a sign that we're letting the universe organize the events that lead to answered questions and fulfilled dreams. Life becomes a process of unraveling a mystery.

Today I will recognize the serendipity in the day's events.

From the book Letting Go of Debt by Karen Casanova


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day


Keep It Simple

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. --Helen Keller

The next 24 hours are guaranteed to excite us, to lift us to new levels of understanding, to move us into situations with others where we can offer our unique contributions. All that is asked of us is a willingness to trust that we will be given just what we need at each moment.

We can dare to live, fully, just for today. We can appreciate the extraordinariness of every breath we take, every challenge we encounter. Within each experience is the invitation for us to grow, to reach out to others in caring ways, to discover more fully the women we are capable of being. We must not let a single moment go by unnoticed.


When we withdraw from life, we stunt our growth. We need involvement with others, involvement that perturbs us, humors us, even stresses us. We tap our internal resources only when we have been pushed to our limits, and our participation in life gifts us, daily, with that push. How necessary the push!

None of us will pass this way again. What we see and feel and say today are gone forever. We have so much to regret when we let things slip away, unnoticed or unappreciated.

Action for the Day: A special series of events has been planned for me today. I shall not miss it.

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One Day At A Time

Fourth Dimension
Everyone became resigned to the certainty that I would have to be shut up somewhere,
or would stumble along to a miserable end.
How dark it is before the dawn! In reality that was the end of my last debauch.
I was soon to be transported into what I like to call the fourth dimension of existence.
I was to know happiness, peace, and usefulness, in a way that is incredibly more wonderful as time passes.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 8

Thought to Ponder . . .
Happiness is part of the journey, not some distant destination.

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


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Daily Motivation

Authentic enjoyment

Take a good, deep breath of fresh air and feel the possibilities as they surround you. Gaze lovingly and gratefully at the wonder and abundance that fills the universe.

Let it all in, and let yourself enjoy it all, really enjoy. Fill your awareness with an appreciation for all that is, and fill your heart with a desire to make new goodness from it all, and enjoy.

Enjoy the beauty, the challenges, the certainties and the mysteries. Enjoy the people, the ideas, the dilemmas, the places, the problems and the opportunities.

Authentic enjoyment gives you a reason to move forward, and the energy to do so. Enjoy life in this moment, and your enjoyment compels you to create even more ways to enjoy.

Enjoy, not to impress or persuade or to further some hidden agenda. Enjoy for the sheer richness of the experience.

Enjoy this day, this situation, this life and all it encompasses. Enjoy, and bring all of life more fully to life.

— Ralph Marston



Friday, August 28, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 8-28-2015

Friday, August 28, 2015
Today's Gift

I grew up knowing I had to be a success for others. --Sandy Warman

The pressure of performance is daunting and extremely stressful. Some, like Sandy, were controlled by it their whole lives. Perhaps that was your experience, too. Are you free of it now?

The desire to be successful never was a bad thing in and of itself. Teachers encouraged it right along with our parents. Employers reinforced the importance of being successful. But there is and always was a difference between enjoying a job done right and driving ourselves ragged to impress others. Sandy's experience reflects the latter.

Whatever reason we used for seeking success isn't all bad though. If it motivated us to stretch ourselves, it meant we discovered abilities we might not have known we were capable of. The contribution we made to the world around us was affected accordingly and that changed our lives forever. We can come to believe that however we lived our lives was simply as good as we were capable of. No matter what motivated us in the past, we can take charge of what motivates us now. Finally, that's all that really counts today.

Today I'll be aware of the motives behind my efforts. I don't have to impress anyone.

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 our 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

Kindergarten
We are only operating a spiritual kindergarten in which people are enabled to get over their dysfunctions and find the grace to go on living to better effect.
Each person's theology has to be their own quest, it is their affair.
- As Bill Sees It, p. 95

Thought to Ponder . . .
Learn to listen; listen to learn.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
K I S S =
Keeping It Simple, Spiritually.

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Daily Motivation

The authentic you

Life’s most beautiful and fulfilling moments are the most sincere and authentic ones. When you are being yourself, that is when you are at your best.

Why do you so quickly latch on to someone else’s idea of success, while at the same time ignoring your own authentic dreams? Why do you so easily dismiss your own instincts and intuitions?

Others may claim to be experts in this field or that. Remember, though, that you are the expert when it comes to your own life.

Listen to the longings of your heart. Pay attention to that little voice inside of you.

For that voice knows you well. It knows what you can accomplish, what brings you joy, and what things you most highly value.

When something feels right, that’s a reliable sign that it is. Choose to live each moment as the authentic person you are, and from those moments you will create much real and lasting richness.

— Ralph Marston



Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 8-27-2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015
Today's Gift

Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you're going to do about it. —Kathleen Casey Theisen

Life experiences offer us courage to make choices about the events of our lives. Passive compliance with whatever is occurring need no longer dominate our pattern of behavior. Powerlessly watching our lives go by was common for many of us, and our feelings of powerlessness escalated the more idle we were.

Today, action is called for, thoughtful action in response to the situations begging for our attention. On of Life's greatest gift is the courage to take action, to make decisions that will benefit us as well as the people who are close to us. Courage is the byproduct of our spiritual progress, courage to accept what we cannot change, believing that all will be well, courage to change in ourselves what we do have control over.

An exhilaration about life accompanies the taking of action. The spell that idleness casts over us is broken, and subsequent actions are even easier to take. Clearly, making a choice and acting on it is healthful. Life has given us the tools to do both.

Decisions will be called for today. I will be patient with myself, and thoughtful. I will listen closely to the guidance that comes from those around me.



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


Things do not change, we do. ---Henry David Thoreau

There are still as many bars as there were when we were drinking. There are still lots of drugs around. The world hasn’t changed. What’s changed is that we now live a different way of life.
We’ve learned that, for us, alcohol and other drugs are poison.

For us, there are now two worlds: the world we left behind, and our new world of recovery. In our old world, we’d try to get everyone else to change. We had the right. In our new world, we look for ways we can change for the better. In our new life, we’re willing to change.

Prayer for the Day: I pray that I may be like a mighty river, always changing.
Action for the Day: I will list changes I need to make in my new life

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One Day At A Time


Change
In one form or another, many of my character defects appear daily:
self-condemnation, anger, running away, being prideful, wanting to get even,
or acting out of grandiosity.
Attempting half measures to eliminate these defects merely paralyzes my efforts to change.
It is only when I ask God for help, with complete abandon, then I become willing -- and able -- to change.
Daily Reflections, p. 15

Thought to Ponder . . .
If nothing changes, nothing changes.

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


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Daily Motivation

So much good you can do

Stop worrying about how difficult it will be. Start discovering how well you can handle it.

Don’t hesitate for another moment, because your hesitation works against you. Get up, get going, and get it done.

Rest for a while when you are weary. But don’t rest for so long that you lose all your momentum.

What will energize you is taking action. What will ease your weariness is doing something useful to make positive, meaningful progress.

There are plenty of excuses, and none of them will do you any good. Leave them all behind and feel the exhilaration as you take control of your own destiny.

Starting right now, there is so much good you can do. Get up, get moving in the direction of your dreams, and enjoy all the greatness you are meant to create.

— Ralph Marston

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 8-26-2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Today's Gift

... I cannot see
The love you offer.
—Emily Dickinson


How can we make love and compassion visible; how can we give it eyes? We can make love and compassion a present, wrap it carefully as if it were a beautiful thing. We can make love and compassion a favor nobody foresaw; we can fill a cup, prepare a meal, run an errand with our love. We can make love and compassion out of real words - in a letter, a note, a simple unrhymed poem. And we can make our love visible with our eyes by making our eyes meet those of the people we love.

When we turn feelings like love and compassion into an act, we share it with those around us, and they are encouraged to return the favor, and in this way, the world's storehouse of love ans compassion increases.

How can I show the love and compassion I feel today?

From Today's Gift: Daily Meditations for Families ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. Oscar Wilde

There’s a big difference between being self-centered and having self love. We’re self-centered when we think we don’t need people. We might think, “I’m more important than others.” Being self-centered ends up hurting us.

It makes us lonely. It keeps us from our Higher Power. Addiction is about being self-centered.

Recovery and the Twelve Steps are about self-love. If we love ourselves, we say, “We’re all equal and in need of each other.” Self-love includes having good relationships.

It includes trusting that they we’ll do what is best, with the help of our Higher Power. We must believe in ourselves to trust others.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me love myself as You love me. Help me take good care of myself.

Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list three things I like about myself. I’ll talk with a friend and share these things. I’ll ask my friend what he or she likes about me.

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One Day At A Time

Awakening
That which had been impossible before
-- a trust in something or someone other than myself -- had now become possible.
In other words, I had been undergoing a spiritual experience without knowing it.
My confused questioning about a Higher Power, my changed mental attitude, and even my physical recovery had all been part of a spiritual awakening.
~ The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 2], p. 193

Thought to Ponder . . .
A spiritual awakening is our greatest gift.

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

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Daily Motivation

Kindness can

Somewhere, somehow, the kindness of another person has changed your life for the better. You already know by direct experience that kindness has the power to reach far, far beyond itself.

Even a small kindness can make a big impact. For once a kindness is offered, it takes on a life of its own.

Kindness can bring a blessed light to the darkest of times. Kindness can give comfort, direction, inspiration and hope where there was none before.

Kindness can reach into the most cynical, hardened hearts. Kindness can be a testament to life’s goodness that is impossible to refute or deny.

Kindness can melt away anxiety and build up confidence. Genuine kindness is a positive force that cannot be ignored.

If you wish to make a positive contribution to life, kindness will take you far. Always, when it seems that nothing will make a difference, kindness can.

— Ralph Marston

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 8-25-2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Today's Gift

In soloing--as in other activities--it is far easier to start something than it is to finish it. —Amelia Earhart

Procrastination plagues us all, at one time or another. But any activity that is worthy of our effort should be tackled by bits and pieces, one day at a time. We are too easily overwhelmed when we set our sights only on the accomplished goal. We need to focus, instead, on the individual elements and then on just one element at a time. A book is written word-by-word. A house is built timber-by-timber. A college degree is attained course-by-course.

At this point in our life, most of us had accumulated a checkered past, much of which we wanted to deny or forget. And the weight of our past can stand in the way of the many possibilities in the present.

Our past need not determine what we set out to do today. However, we must be realistic: We can't change a behavior pattern overnight. But we can begin the process. We can decide on a reasonable, manageable objective for this 24-hour period. Enough days committed to the completion of enough small objectives will bring us to the attainment of any goal, large or small.

I can finish any task I set my sights on, when I take it one day at a time. Today is before me. I can move forward in a small 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

To know oneself, one should assert oneself. —Albert Camus

We learn about ourselves by bumping up against something solid. By throwing ourselves into a project, meeting an obstacle we can't overcome, perhaps making some mistakes, we learn what we are capable of and what we are not. We are not here to live a comfortable and placid life. Our task is to grow and learn, to make a contribution, and to have some tranquility while we do. The only way we can achieve those goals is to assert ourselves, find out where the solid limits are, and assert our right to make mistakes in the process.

When we first learn to drive a car, we over steer and hit the brakes too hard or too softly. In the process we learn how to feel what is just right. When we are learning to ask for what we need and to make a place for ourselves, we may ask too demandingly at times. That is not bad. It is how we will learn to do it well.


Action for the day: Today, I will have opportunities to assert myself. I will take the risks required to learn.

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One Day At A Time

The Impossible Dream
I had to free myself from the impossible dream of a perfect world in order to love and accept the real world.
Judged by human standards, life is not perfect; to demand perfection of it is asking the impossible. . .
Paradoxically, there would be no perfection without imperfection. . .
Thank God, as a result of AA and sobriety, I am liberated from dreaming the impossible dream and free, finally, to start living the possible dream.
The Best of the Grapevine [Vol. 1], pp. 60-61

Thought to Ponder . . .
Life will take on new meaning.

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


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Daily Motivation

What a beautiful thing

It is wonderful when you discover you don’t have to prove you’re right. It is exhilarating to know there’s no need to worry.

The deep, resounding peace that comes when you truly forgive, can make the world a whole different place. The joy of giving, when you have no other agenda, is incomparable.

Life can surely get difficult, complicated and wearisome. And yet, it can just as surely get better, much better.

In an instant you can realize you don’t have to strive. The goodness you seek is there, and has always been.

What a beautiful thing it is that you can offer encouragement and by so doing, be encouraged. You can offer a helping hand, and end up greatly helping yourself.

The world is filled today with more good possibilities than ever. How nice it always is to enjoy the experience of bringing them to life.

— Ralph Marston



Monday, August 24, 2015

The Work-In: Daily Motivation 8-24-2015

Monday, August 24, 2015
Today's Gift

There is no greater weakness than stubbornness. If you cannot yield, if you cannot learn that there must be compromise in life - you lose. —Maxwell Maltz

Glass is very hard, but fragile. By contrast, leather is tough and resilient. A blow to a glass dish will break it, but a blow to a shoe will just be absorbed. Our program leads us to avoid the folly of being hard like glass, and we become tougher like leather. We must endure surprises, pressures, and blows from the world as a normal part of life. The more able we are to absorb the blows, the stronger and more whole we are as men.

A friend who has a different opinion from ours can be listened to and his ideas considered. There is no need to compete with him or prove that we are right. When our plan for a project at work gets set aside, we will feel the frustration but we need not come apart over it. Perhaps our Higher Power is leading us to a better plan. Frustrations with spouses or friends can be turned over to our Higher Power. We do not have a rigid recipe for life, and we must be open to more learning.

I will surrender my fragile stubbornness in exchange for the toughness I can learn in compromise.

From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©


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Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Keep It Simple

There were many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream--whatever that dream might be. --Pearl S. Buck

No new door is opened without the inner urge for growth. Dreams guide us, encourage us, stretch us to new heights--and leave us momentarily empty when they are dashed.

Recovery has given us resilience and a multitude of reasons for living. We have come to understand that when one dream serves us no longer, it is making way for an even better one. Our dreams are our teachers. When the student is ready, a new one comes into focus.

Dreams in our earlier years often come to naught. They couldn't compete for our attention as effectively as the self-pity. The direction they offered was lost. Each day that we look forward with positive anticipation, we put the wreckage of the past farther from our minds.

Our dreams are like the rest areas on a cross-country trip. They refresh us, help us to gauge the distance we've come, and give us a chance to consider our destination.

Action for the Day:  Today's dreams and experiences are points on the road map of my life. I won't let them pass, unnoticed.

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One Day At A Time

Adversity
I learned to be grateful for my alcoholism, addiction and the program of recovery they forced me into, for all the things that had happened to me and for me, for a life today
that transcends and far exceeds anything I had previously known.
I could not have that today if I had not experienced all the yesterdays. . .
Adversity truly introduces us to ourselves.
~ Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 529-530

Thought to Ponder . . .
There is no education like adversity.

AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
A A = A
chieve Anything.

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Daily Motivation

For the first time

See the world for the first time today, fresh and new and full of hope. Marvel at the power of your own living spirit, as if you’ve never encountered it before.

Open yourself to the miracle that is your own existence in this moment. Let the truth that springs from every reality sink warmly into your soul.

Wake from the slumber of your past and feel the crisp breeze of awareness, as it heightens your senses and stirs your curiosity. Drink in the wonder of now as it flows through every step you take.

Delight in uncovering new ways to love what you’ve always loved. Realize that it is all good, and that you can make it more so.

Time is your friend and is coming to you now. This is your chance to show each moment your appreciation by filling it with your own special beauty.

Life is all in this moment, and really is as new and fresh and inspiring as you think it is. See the world for the first time today, and give all the joy you’ve been so eager to give.

— Ralph Marston