Summary Of Our Meeting Today

Hi Everyone!

Thank you for your participation and sharing during our meeting this week.

The telephone conference numbers for our group are:

Telephone conference number: (712) 775-7031 Access Code: 397-681-282

Playback recording number is: (712) 775-7029 Access Code: 397-681-282#

Playback reference number: 28

Here is the link for the MP3 of our meeting. Participants can also download the meeting directly from the conference line. The link will only be available for a limited time.

To listen to past recorded meetings, please go to the Recordings tab on the blog.

Our meetings are stored on MediaFire, a cloud storage service.

As a reminder, our group takes place on Sunday mornings at 5:30 AM EST.

Please join us as we “trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.” (AA Big Book 164:3)

THIS WEEK, we began our group with a discussion about what we are going to read after we complete the Unpopular Guide.

We agreed that we would read Steps 6 and 7 in the OA 12 & 12 together with sections from Drop the Rock.  There is also a new book in this series called Drop the Rock… The Ripple Effect. Using Step 10 to Work Steps 6 and 7 Every Day by Fred H. I just brought it and I am enjoying it very much!

 

Correction: Two weeks ago, I posted on the blog that the original “Drop the Rock” was based on a talk by Sandy B.  However, according to the authors, the book and the talk share the same imagery, but are not connected.

If anyone would like to listen to Sandy B.’s “Drop the Rock” talk, please click on the link .

This week we read and discussed the next story in the AA Big Book, “Because I Am An Alcoholic.”

It was a very raw story of transformation. I am really glad that we read this together as a group!

I reread the story and together with some of our discussion, these are some thoughts that I had:

What is Recovery?

  • Finding one’s place in the world
  • Attaining peace of mind
  • Living life on life’s terms, rather than in the world according to ME.
  • Discovering opportunities to grow.
  • Finding happiness.

 

What is NOT Recovery?

  • A cure
  • Freedom from symptoms
  • An end to challenges
  • Elimination of relapses
  • A life as originally planned

what is recovery

It was interesting to me that the writer shared that her therapist originally suggested that she needed to understand “why” she drank, in order to be able to stop drinking.

As I reflected upon this, I came to realize that “Why?” Is not really an answerable question. Recovery is about commitment and service.

In order to recover, we need to ask, “What do I need to do?” And then, “How can I help others?”

why is not aswerable

I loved Judy’s comment, “Instead of seeking God, I need to focus on receiving God.”

I shared that one way that I have tried to strengthen my relationship with God was to write down every day, “Where did I see God today?”


Initially, when I began to journal on that question, it was not easy to come up with a response. Over time, it has gradually become easier and easier, and now I see God in so many ways throughout my day. It has really changed my life.

Finally, I really loved the final line of the story: “I came to see that we all are really one – I am never alone.”


It was such a beautiful demonstration of the spiritual transformation as THE result of these steps.

Next week, we will continue reading and discussing The Unpopular Guide to Step 5.   

 I am really enjoying this booklet and so glad that we are able to read it together and share our ideas.

Thank you all for sharing your experience, strength and hope. I am so grateful to be sharing this journey with all of you!

“Together we can do what we can never do alone.”

In love and service,

Shira

sobriety is a miracle

Posted in ES&F 2016, Inspiration, Playback Recording Numbers, Recovery, Reference Number, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Second Step Considerations Summarized Using Original Manuscript

img_5761The Second Step Considerations Summarized

Hi Everyone!

For the 12 Steps in 1 Hour Sessions Group, I made this 1 page Step 2 worksheet, that I thought might be helpful when taking others through this step.

Just for fun, I decided to use quotes from the original manuscript, while referring to the page references from the current edition of the AA Big Book 4th Edition.  I thought it might be interesting to notice the changes that have occurred over time as our use of language has evolved.

 

What is our problem?

(44:1) In the preceding chapters, you have learned something of alcoholism. We hope we have made clear the distinction between the alcoholic and the non-alcoholic. If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if, when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic. If that be the case, you may be suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer.

(45:1) Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be A Power Greater Than Ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?

What is our solution? Vital spiritual experience.

(25:2) The great fact is just this, and nothing less: that we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences, which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward life, toward our fellows, and toward God’s universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves.

(43: 3) Once more: the alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a higher Power.

Example of a spiritual experience Pages 9-16; 56-5; among others.

Sanity and insanity

The AA BB uses the word “sanity” in a very special and technical sense: pp xxvii read “….. they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one.” Sanity exists when one can see and act of the truth to drink; insanity is when an alcoholic cannot. Sanity: state of being sane. In full possession of the mental faculties of opinions, plans, sensibility, health.

 

Do you believe or are you even willing to believe that there is a Power that will solve your problem?

First of the 2nd Step Proposition (47:2) You need ask yourself but one short question. “Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?” As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built.

Solution: lay aside prejudice and to express a willingness to believe.

(46:1) Yes, we of agnostic temperament have had these thoughts and experiences. Let us make haste to reassure you. 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, which is God.

What is your own conception of God as YOU understand Him?

(46:2) Much to our relief, we discovered we did not need to consider another’s conception of God. Our own conception, however inadequate, was sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact with Him. As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence, A Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things, we began to be possessed of a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps. We found that God does not make hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding. It is open, we believe, to all men.

(47:1) When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies, too, to other spiritual expressions which you find in this book. Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you. At the start, this is all you will need to commence spiritual growth, to effect your first conscious relation with God, as you understand Him. Afterward, you will find yourself accepting many things which now seem entirely out of reach. That is growth, but if you are going to grow, you have to begin somewhere. So use your own conception, however limited it may be.

Problem: Barriers to Spiritual Growth

47:4- 48:0   Besides a seeming inability to accept much on faith, we often found ourselves handicapped by obstinacy, sensitiveness, and unreasoning prejudice. Many of us have been so touchy that even casual reference to spiritual things made us bristle with antagonism. This sort of thinking had to be abandoned. Though some of us resisted, we found no great difficulty in casting aside such feelings. Faced with alcoholic destruction, we soon became as open minded on spiritual matters as we had tried to be on other questions. In this respect alcohol was a great persuader. It finally beat us into a state of reasonableness. Sometimes this was a tedious process; we hope no one will be prejudiced as long as some of us were.

Is that Power, which the Big Book quite often refers to as God, everything, or, if not, is He nothing?

2nd of the 2nd Step Proposition: 53:2     When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis 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?

 

Where do we find God? Where are we going to find this Power?

 

(55:1) Actually we were fooling ourselves, for deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself.

(55:2) We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend. Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. And we are sure you will find the Great Reality deep down within you. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us; why not with you?

Hope

(98: 2) Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. No person on this earth can stop his recovery from alcohol, or prevent his being supplied with whatever is good for him. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house.

As with everything, take what you want and leave the rest behind.

Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!

With blessings for abstinence, contented sobriety and recovery,

Shira

Step 2 conciderations

Step 2 original manuscript quotes

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Summary Of Our Meeting This Week

 

Hi Everyone!

Thank you for your participation and sharing during our meeting this week.

The telephone conference numbers for our group are:

Telephone conference number: (712) 775-7031 Access Code: 397-681-282

Playback recording number is: (712) 775-7029 Access Code: 397-681-282#

Playback reference number: 27

Here is the link for the MP3 of our meeting. Participants can also download the meeting directly from the conference line. The link will only be available for a limited time.

To listen to past recorded meetings, please go to the Recordings tab on the blog.

Our meetings are stored on MediaFire, a cloud storage service.

As a reminder, our group takes place on Sunday mornings at 5:30 AM EST.

Please join us as we “trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.” (AA Big Book 164:3)

THIS WEEK, we read and discussed the chapter The Discussion in The Unpopular Guide to Step 5.   I am really enjoying this booklet and so glad that we are able to read it together and share our ideas.

The chapter was based on the following quote from the AA Big Book:  This is perhaps difficult – especially discussing our defects with another person …. We will be more reconciled to discussing ourselves with another person when we see good reasons why we should do so …. [T]he great necessity for discussing ourselves with someone …. (pp. 72-74)

There were some wonderful questions asked!

We discussed how the authors of the booklet suggest that for our discussion of our “life story” the qualities of the person is more important than their qualifications. It is not necessary to share our 5th Step with our sponsors, or, even another person in program.

Instead, it is more important that whoever listens to our 5th Step is someone who is wise and humble enough to listen and who can contribute to the discussion from his or her own life experience.

 Judy asked: “how is it that we could do our 5th Step with a non-program person?” 

In the early days of program, there was not the availability of what are now called “sponsors” or people who were experienced in program.

What is most important is:

…. We explain to our partner what we are about to do and why we have to do it. He should realize that we are engaged upon a life-and-death errand. Most people approached in this way will be glad to help; they will be honored by our confidence. (AA Big Book pp 75:1)

We discussed how important it is to be listened to, and allow our own inner wisdom or guidance to emerge.

Elisheva captured this so beautifully when she said, “The more I share and reveal my inner world, the more I am able to change my outer world.”

Aidel asked: “how do we just listen and avoid giving advice?”

Ossnath suggested that role of advice is woven within the Steps 6, 7, 8, and 9, that follow the 5th Step.  In Step 5, we ask:

“Have you ever done to someone else what this person did to you?” (The Realization section.)

“Are you willing to forgive the person that you feel resentful towards?”

“How would God have you be?”

In Step 6 we ask, “Are you willing to let God remove your defects of character?”

In Steps 8 and 9, we ask, “Do you think you owe an amends?”

“How can you make this right?”

Those are the moments where we can make helpful suggestions, based on our own personal experience, for the other person.

We also read and shared briefly on a chapter, “Reading The Book – Seven Things To Do” by Richmond Walker, the author of the 24 Hours A Day book. This article was an excerpt from the book Stepping Stones To Recovery by Bill Pittman.

In order to recovery, R. Walker states there are 7 things to do:

  1. Admit I am an alcoholic
  2. Realize I must spend the rest of my life without liquor
  3. Be absolutely honest with myself.
  4. Turn to a Higher Power for help.
  5. Live one day at a time.
  6. Come to meeting regularly.
  7. Work with other alcoholics.

This is a wonderful and helpful list!  I liked it so much, that I made a picture of it.


Next week is our Steel On Steel Group, so there will be no recording. I will email the group the conference line numbers.

Following the Steel On Steel Meeting, we will read the next story in the AA Big Book.

As a group, we discussed reading the book, “Drop The Rock” to further explore our study of Steps 6 and 7.

The original “Drop The Rock” was based on a talk by Sandy B. Please click on the link if you are interested in listening to the original talk.

Thank you all for sharing your experience, strength and hope. I am so grateful to be sharing this journey with all of you!

“Together we can do what we can never do alone.”

In love and service,

Shira

 

 

 

Posted in documents, ES&F 2016, Inspiration, Playback Recording Numbers, Reference Number, Step 5, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New ES&F 12 Steps in 1 Hour Sessions Workshop on Sunday Nights at 7:30 PM

Are you a food addict?

Are you looking to recover from this seemingly hopeless state of mind and body?

Do you want to know how to take the 12 steps and live in the “Sunlight of the Spirit?”

If so, please join us as we TAKE — not STUDY – all 12 Steps as presented in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1 hour sessions.

Our goal is to learn how to:

Seek and maintain ongoing contented abstinence.

And understand how to take others through the 12 steps.

We will be reading the book: The Spiritual Solution: Simple & Effective Recovery Through the Taking & Teaching of The 12 Steps by John H.

The script from the book is attached below and can be printed directly from this post.

When: Sunday Evenings, beginning May 21, 2017

Time: 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM EST

Meeting Limited to 1 Hour.

Number Of Sessions: 8, concluding 7/7/2017

Telephone Conference Number: 712-775-7031
Access Code: 140-565-208

These Meetings Will NOT Be Recorded.

This workshop is being presented as a WEBINAR, with phone and screen sharing capability.

We will email you exact instructions and links before the workshop.

No Abstinence Requirements.

No Charge.

7th Tradition Observed.

To register, please email Elise at emotionalsobriety2013@gmail.com with your name and the telephone number(s) you will be using to call in to the meeting.

We are so looking forward to seeing you! Please spread the word with your program friends!

In love and service,

Elise & Michal

Steps-1_12.pdf

 

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Summary Of Our Meeting Today

Hi Everyone!

Thank you for your participation and sharing during our meeting this week.

The telephone conference numbers for our group are:

Telephone conference number: (712) 775-7031 Access Code: 397-681-282

Playback recording number is: (712) 775-7029 Access Code: 397-681-282#

Playback reference number: 26

Here is the link for the MP3 of our meeting. Participants can also download the meeting directly from the conference line. This link will only be available for a limited time.

To listen to past recorded meetings, please go to the Recordings tab on the blog.

Our meetings are stored on MediaFire, a cloud storage service.

As a reminder, our group takes place on Sunday mornings at 5:30 AM EST.

Please join us as we “trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.” (AA Big Book 164:3)

 

 

THIS WEEK, we read and discussed the story in the AA Big Book, Crossing The River Of Denial.

I was unable to find a written biography of the author, Karen R. but, I did find a recording of her sharing her story. It is also available on YouTube.

 Here are some of my notes from our meeting:

We discussed the insidiousness and power of denial. From the outside, it seems so obvious when people are in denial. But, when you are in it, you just can’t see it. Instead, we wallow in our addiction.

 

We all have our unique personal “blind-spots.” However, just as no one can change us until we are ready, we cannot change others until they too make the decision to change. Therefore, the most helpful thing that we can do for another person is to listen attentively, and be compassionate, supportive and loving towards them.

 

We are not here to rebuke or command people. We are here to elevate and strengthen each other. The power of authentic and compassionate listening is deep!

 

This corroborates what we have discusd about Step 5 in The Unpopular Guide:

Contrary to popular practices in the rooms today, healing does not come from reading our written inventories to another person. The healing comes from sharing our life story with someone who compassionately listens without telling us what to say, or do, or how we should be.

We briefly re-visited the great question Aidel asked a few weeks ago about the meaning of “Have we tried to make mortar without sand?” (BB 75:3)

This is some of what I found about sand and mortar:

Mortar is a mixture of sand, water and a binding agent, cement. The sand is used to make mortar better and stronger. Without sand, mortar is just cement paste. Over time, when mortar is made without sufficient sand, it becomes weak, cracks and deteriorates easily.

So, using the construction references that are found in the AA Big Book: How strong is our recovery? Do we have a structure that will be able to endure the elements over time and support itself?

We also read and shared briefly on a chapter, “The Freedom Of Acceptance – Dealing With Denial in the book Stepping Stones To Recovery by Bill Pittman.

There were a lot of really nice thoughts in the chapter. I thought I would share some of them now:

“What is surrender? Is it ego or surrender? Living in the ego means wanting what we don’t have. Surrender means appreciating and being grateful for what you do have. Ego is when we constantly think we know what is best for us.”

“Surrender is when we see that the great stream of life, our Higher Power, or God as we understand Him, knows what is best for us. It is the prayer of release. Living the surrendered life is like being a butterfly, a soul in full flight seeking the beauties of life. Like the butterfly, we start putting our trust in the present good things instead of hoping for the next good thing.”

 

NEXT WEEK, we will read and discuss the next chapter in The Unpopular Guide to Step 5. 

I hope that everyone has finished sharing their 5th Step with another person!

Thank you all for sharing your experience, strength and hope. I am so grateful to be sharing this journey with all of you!

“Together we can do what we can never do alone.”

In love and service,

Shira

References: 

http://friendsofbillw.net/the_triumphant_arch

http://www.diychatroom.com/f105/uh-oh-no-sand-mortar-127401/

https://www.homesteadingtoday.com/threads/trouble-with-mortar-on-concrete-block.302604/

Stepping Stones To Recovery (1988) by Bill Pittman Glen Abbey Books; Seattle, WA  ISBN 0-934125-04-X

Posted in documents, ES&F 2016, Homework, Inspiration, Playback Recording Numbers, Recovery, Reference Number, Step 5, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Summary Of Our Meeting This Week

Hi Everyone!

Thank you for your participation and sharing during our meeting this week.

The telephone conference numbers for our group are:

Telephone conference number: (712) 775-7031 Access Code: 397-681-282

Playback recording number is: (712) 775-7029 Access Code: 397-681-282#

Playback reference number: 25

Here is the link for the MP3 of our meeting. This link will only be available for a limited time. But, participants may download the MP3 of our meeting directly from the telephone conference line.

To listen to past recorded meetings, please go to the Recordings tab on the blog.  Our meetings are stored on MediaFire, a cloud storage service.

As a reminder, our group takes place on Sunday mornings at 5:30 AM EST.

Please join us as we “trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.” (AA Big Book 164:3)

LAST WEEK, we did our first Steel on Steel Meeting. This group is only open to committed members of Emotional Sobriety & Food and is NOT recorded.

I made a new Steel On Steel format for our group, which is in the process of being edited. I would like to post the format as a blog page, but, I think that I have too many tabs!

I encourage anyone who would like to explore this spiritual exercise to find 3 other people and use any of the various formats that are available on-line and on this blog.  As it says in the AA Big Book: “The spiritual life is not a theory, we have to live it.”

THIS WEEK, we read and discussed the first chapter in The Unpopular Guide to Step 5.

Here are some of my notes from our meeting:

We all have a story about ourselves, which we believe is true.  As addicts, we use our past experience to justify our addictive behaviors. For example, “if you had my life and went through everything that I went through, then of course you too would need to escape into the food, behavior, substance, etc… “

 

However, in Step 5, the healing comes through sharing our story with another person, without trying to justify our behaviors.  When another person listens with compassion, and validates our suffering, we become free to let go of the story, and take responsibility for our actions.  We cannot change our past, we can only change how we respond to what happens to us.

Aidel highlighted the difference between program and therapy. Therapy can help us understanding our resentments, but program helps us to let go of our resentments. This is a program of action.  As it says in the AA Big Book, “self-knowledge avails us nothing.” (pp. 39:1)

Ossnath asked a wonderful question: After Step 1, does it make a difference what Fellowship we are in for the rest of the Steps?

This question highlights the difference between “fellowship” and “program.”

The fellowship of the 12 Step program is “a group of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other.”

The 12 Steps of program are “a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.”

The fellowships may differ, but, the program of recovery as outlined in the AA Big Book is the same.

Identification, however, is critical for recovery. In order to not be distracted by the details, the question to ask is: What core addiction do you most identify with? Where will you be most willing to listen and do the work necessary to work a program of recovery?

NEXT WEEK, we will read and discuss the next story in the AA Big Book, Crossing The River Of Denial.

Homework: Next week, if you have not already done so, please complete your 5th Step.

I am so grateful to be sharing this journey with all of you!

Thank you all for sharing your experience, strength and hope.

“Together we can do what we can never do alone.”

In love and service,

Shira

Posted in documents, ES&F 2016, Homework, Inspiration, Playback Recording Numbers, Reference Number, Step 5 | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

ES&F 12 Steps In 1 Hour Sessions

12sin1hour pict

Hi Everyone!

 

The new workshop is off to a strong start.  There were 23 participants who attended this meeting this week and took the first step! A solid step one is essential to recovery!

 

A wonderful question was asked: Is it really POWERLESSNESS over food if you are someone who seems to be able to pick up the food, break abstinence, and then put it back down and start again?

This is a question that I have pondered many times.

 

I love Devorah Yael’s answer:

“YES, because here we are seeing not powerlessness to stop eating per se, but powerless over stopping the STARTING of compulsive eating. I believe this sort of person has the illness of food addiction/compulsive eating, but in its earlier manifestations. It’s still COMPULSIVE behavior if you DO IT when you DON’T WANT to do it.”

 

serenity-prayer291

I would like to add, that only an individual can diagnose for themselves if they are a compulsive overeater and powerless over food.

My big questions are:

  • How much space does it rent in your head?
  • Does it disturb your peace of mind when you pick up the food and fail to follow your food plan?
  • If it does bother you, why does it bother you?
  • Is it because of what other people think, or, because you did something that you really didn’t want to do?

I believe that we need to be mindful of what I call the “tyranny of the “shoulds.””  We can only do this program if we believe that we NEED TO and if we WANT TO. If we are doing it because we SHOULD, or to make other people happy, the likelihood is that we will be unsuccessful, and make ourselves miserable in the process.

The homework for this week is to reflect on your powerlessness over food, compulsive eating, people, places, and things in your life.

 

 

Remember that’s OK, because we’re going to be getting to the ULTIMATE power that can restore us to sanity.

Thank you all for sharing your experience, strength and hope.

“Together we can do what we can never do alone.”

In love and service,

Devorah Yael & Shira

Posted in 12 Steps in 4 hours, Homework, Inspiration, Step 1, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments