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Archive January 22 2008 DonInLondon 'Day in the Life'



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DonInLondon January 22 2008



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January 22 2008 DonInLondon - ĎDay In the Lifeí Step Ten

Tolerance And Love - Moving Along With Care

Seems like Step Ten of the AA programme seems to be haunting me again. I did a chair on step ten last week, and now its step ten at my local step meetings. And of course Step Ten is a daily process:

"Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it."

And today has been a day of healing some connections and realising some other connections are best laid to rest for now. Tolerance and love go a long way to understanding how we need be with our fellows in AA and as importantly the rest of the world.

Step Ten is not about us being a walk over. Its about realising how the world is and our part in it.

Step ten teaches us over and over how to be mindful of our own behaviour regardless of the behaviour of others and really not to exercise judgment over others, merely judge our own behaviour and responses to life and situations.

I just spent a few minutes on the phone with a good friend, and he and I have had a couple of hiccoughs in our understandings and sharing with each other and others too.

Gossip in a fellowship like ours is a truly difficult state of affairs. Even if we are on side with people who we get concerned about, gossip damages what goes on.

Gossip

A life blood of human doings is really dangerous. So many people can be hurt. We make some people too important in our lives, and we share wonderful views about them, and at the same time they may not want any recognition for what they do. Humility is a strange emotion, to be content and peaceful in humility can be undermined by others giving us too much credit, or not enough credit. And our thinking and feelings get distortions when we realise we are just being talked about in a general or worse a specific way about a particular event or practice.

Anonymity

Gossip breaks anonymity always as we share our views and recollections of people, and somewhere in all this we make simple progress to understand our part in matters. We have a yellow card system in AA. And this is always about what we see, what we hear and who we see in meetings need be anonymous so we maintain a sanctuary to find our truth. Anonymity is often stated as the spiritual foundation of the fellowship, for me it is much more straightforward, Truth is the spiritual foundation of living.

Truth and Spiritual

Always and more clearly these days I see that truth, absolute truth is what we may aspire to have in our lives. At the same time we all know we deal with truth as we deal with other principles of living, we are making progress and not perfect.

I know I often quote Ghandi and his suggestion that "God Is Truth" As to what God or our understanding of God may be, beyond is a personal journey and we need never tread on the toes of others faith, and they need not tread on ours either. We start to deviate from truth when people tell us what to believe and what to do.

Organised Religions

Organised religions tend to drive truth away and institutionalise, faith and belief in one way of acknowledging God and what or who is God we understand, and a way of living. Truth is always being informed and delivered as life, civilisation and humans develop inevitably through time.

As I have my view so too every human has a right to develop their understanding of God as we all learn the truth of life.

Back to Step Ten

In a good way, me and my friend, we have been engaged in working out where we are with our friendship. We both learned much about truth, sharing and where gossip can undo our feelings. We both got burned and the denial of wrong, the denial in me of being hurt by what felt like a misrepresentation of me, and other matters did spill out of control for us both.

Where we are now? In much better shape and hopefully feeling more right sized and equal. We both have fragility and we both do our best with what we can achieve daily. Slow progress we humans make. And in fellowship we are often prepared to work things out together.

Other relationships

As I heard in a general way these last few days, people forget simple courtesy, simple rules and boundaries and overstep often and behave as if they have rights to lay down their boundaries on others. Caretaking is not helpful to those learning freedom of choice in a world which still judges us by our actions and not our intentions.

How we behave especially in fellowship will attract scrutiny. Often the judgments levelled are timely and most likely right. At the same time we need to learn our path and make our mistakes and then live the truth we learn.

Judging Others Generally

This is an unhappy occupation, and ties our time up meddling in others business. We do it from love, we do it because we donít like what is happening, we do it because we will judge ourselves more informed. Than those we observe and criticise. And we often learned to judge others from our upbringing.

Soap Opera

We live sometimes in our own soap opera, and as with the characters we find in soap operas often we find the script is already written simply because the script is well worn and humans are not that unique. We can however develop better choices in our learning when we actually learn and then as we might do with Step Ten, understand our behaviour and our consequences.

When Others Warn and Judge With Concern

We need heed the words and advice of others. And also know that what we hear is based on anotherís experience.

Vulnerabilities

Everyone in this world is vulnerable and always we have our own gullible outlooks as much as we find our wisdoms.

Step Ten

When we review our day, we can consider our prime concerns to the good, and the prime concerns we have which make us feel uncomfortable. Our honesty and truth needs to be as good as we can or we feel justified in our daily judgments of others. Often and without doubt we need look to judge ourselves, utilise our mentor and utilise our common sense. And always check why we feel these things so deeply.

Feelings never lie, we all do to ourselves when we donít get our way. And I am not different, we make progress and are never perfect.




January 22nd 2007

Stepping Out For an Early Meeting

Its my way, Sundayís, get to the early meeting of AA at Flood Street, and listen and learn. Back to basics indeed.

Flood Street is one of those fairly big meetings where we go to "Find the Solution", or as it is called, "Living in the Solution." Now this fits nicely with my thinking and feeling from last night and yesterday.

The real solution to living is getting the balance right as we all know. Yet and itís a big yet, we all get stuck in conundrums and can find ourselves completely stuck in negative thinking and feeling and also wondering and letting everything snowball. So it comes to us so often we need to share it and nip these attitudes in the bud, not easy after 30 years in my case!

Mind I was pretty good at most things before my nervous breakthrough. I say breakthrough as most in our fellowship have had one, a breakdown actually. So in our positive moments we call it a breakthrough. We can be positive.

So Much Talk

We do like to talk and make our way to wisdom, its probably the best talking shop in town, nothing off limits as we alcoholics let anyone speak if they get their hand up and get picked in this meeting. I know this a sore point with some as some never seem to be picked. My solution to that is, if I canít speak at this meeting, no worries I shall share my situation elsewhere at another more easy meeting without 60 odd people to choose from.

Anyway Steps 5, 6 & 7

Yes step five, the one where we share the exact nature of our wrongs, a big step to share our crap with another human. Actually we can step five daily and share with our sponsor, or whoever it happens to be.

Step Six

Asking for the removal of defects, I just realised I got the order for 6 and seven muddled on my video diary, please forgive this repentant recalcitrant! Progress not perfection as we say in AA. Any the defects we have are most likely behaviour too much one way, like negativity and behaviour in line with feelings and thoughts along the same lines.

Step 7

All about our shortcomings in behaviour and attitudes, indicates in this context, not enough balance towards the positive.

So with a fairly flexible and liberal interpretation of 5,6 & 7, we can make use of them daily, to chew on our negatives spits them out and make room for some positivesÖ

So as I got very "steppy" this morning I got back to thinking about my olden days of SWOT, you know a bit of project management jargon.

SWOT - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

So what I realised in my own little brain was I can use SWOT and the steps to crack on and get to a balance of taking care of the maybeís and intentions and moving into the balance of behaving to meet the needs of my situations and life events.

So easy on paper it fair makes me smile like a Cheshire Cat. And the other part of me, the negative genius residing inside knows where things can go pear shaped and to the detriment of my living in the day.

All this with Step 11

And with a little prayer and meditation, often called thinking and feeling time and looking at the big picture, it really does help me utilise the steps and common ways of getting on with day, which anyone can do.

Now this feels a bit nice this morning so although I may have got my steps muddled in order, I know I am on the right positive and negative track of my Day in the Life existenceÖ

Sometimes it feels so right when I can see the wood for the tress, I just hope I donít burst the bubble of this who hand everything over to God, and then find they wake up some mornings with a face like a torn clog, as they realise handing things over to a higher power, well you cannot blame God, or can you? I donít, I smile and thank Providence and Nature!

If you are not a fan of AA and not familiar with the Steps of AA, just consider the SWOT bit and donít heed all the other stuff.

In the end of this or as some million folk often, "at the end of the day" if we get a balance in our thinking and feeling around our living, we work our steps to recovery a day at a time and just in the dayÖ And put a smile on our own face and most likely others we connect with in that day.

January 22nd 2006

Adopting Others Suggestions

The basis of success is to use your time, breath and thoughts in a worthwhile way. A thought for today, not my own, borrowed from another place. Its a good one to develop, this notion of bringing mind, body and breath to this moment. To pay attention and not daydream, to be hearty, ok in our physical selves and to be breathing normally, not out of breath. Perfectly attentive to this moment. The present, focus on now, comfortable and breathing without effort. Quite a challenge when we have things on our minds, some ailment that nags and fighting for breath as if running or hesitating over something.

Most of the time this mind body and breath works just fine, when we are little stressed and enjoying our day, we give it no second thought. That is normal. So when we are under some undue pressure, we can remind ourselves to breathe, unclutter our thoughts and get physically comfortable with our present surroundings. Practice gives us conscious awareness how we are doing!

The tests of life are not to break you but to make you. And some say what does not break us makes us. These are altruistic notions of the smug and tough skinned amongst us, who are able to deny truth so long it makes no dent. Maybe our sensitivity is better for us, knowing what makes us tick happily, and knowing how to deal with tragedy. We need know what breaks us, and what helps us get back on the mend. We need take account our coping strategies around accepting truth. For truly, acceptance is the key.

January 22nd 2005

Sometimes When We Have No Idea

We get strange days when we have no idea what is going on in this world. Our system is overloaded with to many pieces of fascinating information. And we have no time for sorting out our own day to day thoughts, because our heads are so crowded with information.

These really are days to let go of those things which we have no control over. The world is full of woes, the world is full of pleasures and both are going on at the same time. We need to bring close our own world events and throw out the hapless rest, for we will drown in them. We may be aware of them, and give our best shot if we can through many means. And still we must be still enough inside to collect our thoughts on today.

A day is 24 hours. Some we must give to others and their endeavours, sharing and being caring to our community. Some we must give to daily chores around us. Some time we give to ourselves for sorting and sifting and placing a modest amount of order to the day. An activity for community, an activity for others, an activity for ourselves. All three added on a daily basis, makes for small movements in our lives. And through a lifetime a recognition of many outcomes lived, and outcomes that there may be still.

This puts in perspective, our predisposition to observe and be critical. To cast doubt on difference and measure others defects. No man was ever made more perfect by our critical eye, or our critical word. Society, community and individual growth is reliant on contact every day, graduating our movement and understanding in an ever changing reality.

-/-




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Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.





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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.




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Archive January 22 2008 DonInLondon 'Day in the Life'




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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.










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