We live in a culture that constantly emphasizes the importance of self-sufficiency and independence. We’re taught that God helps those who help themselves and that we should pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.
Yet when we found ourselves frustrated by every attempt we made to change ourselves (or change others), we were left with only one hope...that we could accept that we were powerless.
On Saturday, October 5, I’ll share my experience and understanding of the First Step with you. Let’s explore our beginnings together. Let’s remember how we were given hope.
I have struggled with self-esteem, but I have come to see and accept the fact that self-compassion is far more important. (To put self-compassion first is to put the horse in front of the cart.)
Self-compassion, as expressed through my Centering Prayer practice, has helped me to know Whose I am, which has changed everything. On January 19 I’ll discuss what self-compassion is and why it means so much to me. Join me!
“The principle that we shall find no enduring strength until we first admit complete defeat is the main taproot from which our whole society has sprung and flowered.” –Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
I would like to explore this redemptive truth—admission of complete failure on the basis of our own resources—and how essential it is to the practice of Centering Prayer.
I look forward to seeing you on October 20.
In sharing about my experience with the Sixth Step on February 10, I will be digging a little deeper into what it might mean to be “entirely ready.”
In the past, I’ve moved briskly through this Step without ever considering this pivotal question. I’ve more or less hidden its significance from myself. But I have since dis-covered (hyphen intended) that there is real work to be done in Step Six!
I hope to see you at the workshop.
The inner work of my Creator, which I invite through my practice of Centering Prayer, can be quite disruptive. I have found myself bombarded with unsettling emotions and rapid-fire thoughts that are not always of a pleasant nature. It has been reassuring to learn from people who’ve been on the path for a long time that this is what can be expected, accepted, and even welcomed.
On March 11, I will share some of what I have experienced of this process of "emotional dumping.”
In the Third Step we proclaim that we have made a decision. The decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of our Higher Power is also an invitation. It is with this invitation that we welcome our Higher Power’s caring, good direction, and healing.
I’ll talk about this vital decision when we meet on December 10. Join us.
Step Six follows Steps One through Five.
I know I’m stating the obvious. But without my fully accepting that I’m defeated (Step One), without recognizing a source of hope (Step Two), without making a decision to cooperate with that source (Step Three), without taking a detached and honest inventory (Step Four), without coming out of hiding and shedding daylight on my defects (Step Five), I am not entirely ready.
Without first taking a deliberate and unavoidably painful look within, I will remain attached to how I’ve learned to “get by.”
I’ll talk about this vital sequence and what it means to me on Saturday. Join me.
“[Working the 12 Steps] meant I would have to throw several lifelong conceptions out of the window. That was not easy. But the moment I made up my mind to go through with the process, I had the curious feeling that my alcoholic condition was relieved, as in fact it proved to be.” - Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 42
My decision, to abandon my “lifelong conceptions” was made possible through the acceptance of my brokenness. That decision to surrender, the Third Step, created just enough of an inner opening that I immediately sensed I was heading toward the light of home.
On December 12, I’ll share my experience with this deeply personal Step.