Most of the information below is posted in various locations throughout the blog. However, I have just started taking someone through the steps, and I thought it would be helpful to post the introduction, the tools and the various steps exercises for Steps 1, 2 and 3.
Welcome to ES&F 12 Steps in 1 Hour Sessions that will change your life!
Before we begin, let’s have a moment of silence/meditation to invite the God of our own understanding into our hearts and to ask for an open mind and the willingness to have a new experience… followed by the “The Set Aside Prayer”…
“Dear God, we invite you into this room, to guide and direct each of us as we seek Your Truth. Please set aside within each of us anything that would block us. Lay aside our prejudices about what we think we know about ourselves, our disease of COE, this meeting, the steps and our spiritual condition. Remove our fears that we may hear Your Truth through the members of this group. Give us the strength and courage to share Your Truth with each other in a real spirit of Love and Compassion for our fellow man” We ask that we may have a truly open mind, so we might have a new experience with these things and come to know You better. Please help us see the Truth. Amen”
The goal of the ES&F 12 Steps in 1 Hour Sessions Workshop is to systematically work through and take all 12 Steps as outlined in the AA Big Book in no more than 6 1 hour sessions. We are here to work the steps to find a solution and learn a new way of life. Then, we will be able to apply the tools provided by the 12 Steps to live a new way of life, free from our addictive substance and/or behaviors.
What are the obligations of this workshop?
- Your primary obligation is to be here every week.
- Commit to listening and sharing a 4th step inventory with your “sharing partner.”
- Commit to practicing this program through daily prayer, meditation, doing an inventory and being of service to others.
- With prayer, “act as if” and try to eat sanely and normally.
In order to assist with learning how to work a strong program of recovery, it is respectfully requested for you to practice all the tools, daily or weekly, as appropriate.
To start: place this on the first page of your AA Big Book:
Dear (your name) –
You are never going o have your way again as long as you live.
P.S. If you will follow the directions in this book, you will thank me for it one day at a time.
Simple, but not easy, a price had to be paid. It meant destruction of self-centeredness. I must turn in ALL things to the Father of Light who presides over us all.
STEP 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 1 identifies the problem: The very first thing we have to do to solve a problem is to find out what that problem is.
According to the AA Big Book, our problem is that we are powerless over our substance or behavior of choice and our lives have become unmanageable.
The challenge of addiction is that we have to make our own diagnosis. But, denial – “I don’t have a problem, I am fine” is one of the defining characteristics of an addict.
By taking Step 1, we can come out of denial and accept that we are suffering from a disease that has affected us mentally, and physically and over which we have lost control. It is the acknowledgement and acceptance of this truth that will help to motivate us to look for a solution outside ourselves.
4 fundamental criteria to work the 12 Steps more effectively to achieve recovery:
13:5 My friend promised when these things were done I would enter upona new relationship with my Creator; that I would have the elements of a way of life which answered all my problems. Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements.
Belief in a Power greater than ourselves: On our own, we are unable to fix our problem. Relying on a Power greater than ourselves will help us look for a solution outside ourselves, while relieving us of the burden of trying to find a solution on our own for this disease. Our Higher Power can be a power of our own choosing, just so long as it is not ourselves.
Honesty: Honesty in the context of the 12 Steps means having the courage to see the truth about our condition. It is the honest admission that we have a disease over which we have lost control and power.
Open-mindedness: Open-mindedness allows new solutions to emerge and helps to overcome the grandiosity of our ego and our stubborn, self-defeating attitudes. To be open-minded means to admit that we are not all-knowing. When we practice being open-minded, we become willing to listen or accept different ideas and opinions. This helps us to avoid as much as possible the kind of thinking that shuts us off from solutions.
Willingness: The role of willingness is subtle. It’s basically an open-mindedness, humility and cheerfulness – a willing, cheerful consenting as opposed to will power and trying to control ourselves. “Will I?’ compared to “I will!”
Practice of these criteria demonstrates our humility and desperation to go to any length to recover.
The first step questions are:
Do you concede to your innermost self that you are powerless over your compulsive eating behaviors and that you cannot manage your own life? (Step 1, Read pg. 30)
Do you have any reservations or lingering ideas that one day you will be immune to or UNAFFECTED by compulsive eating behaviors?
Step 1 Worksheets: These can be given out prior to the first meeting, if desired.
STEP 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step 2 identifies the solution to our problem: submission to a Power greater than ourselves.
This is a summary of how I understand the key components of Step 2, based on the AA Big Book. The quotes are taken from the Original Manuscript, but the pages reference the AA Big Book, 4th edition.
The second step questions are:
Do you now believe or are you willing to believe in a Power Greater than yourself? (AA BB: 47:2; 55:2)
When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crises we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is or He isn’t. What was our choice to be? (pp 53)
STEP 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
The third step questions are:
Are you convinced that you are a food addict and cannot manage your own life?
Are you convinced that no human power can relieve you of your compulsive eating behaviors?
Are you convinced that God can and that He will relieve you of your compulsive eating behaviors?
Have you made a decision to turn your thinking and your actions over to the care of God, as you understand Him?
Have you decided to go through with the remaining steps in the program of recovery?
Step Three Prayer: God I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy power, Thy love, and Thy way of life. May I do Thy will always!
Homework for Step 3: Personalize Step 3. This is a very simple and yet powerful exercise that I recommend to everyone!
This is an excellent 1 page explanation on Step 3. It was written by Jeremy B., who has given me permission to post them on the blog.
Step 2 and 3 Exercises
For a deeper understanding on Steps 2 & 3, these are wonderful Step 2 and 3 exercises.
I combined the various exercises into 1 document.
If you would like them separated, please let me know.
I will try to post the worksheets for the rest of the steps, depending on interest.
As with everything, take what you want and leave the rest behind.
In love & service,