Step Two: We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
How are things in your life? When I hit speed bumps of “un-sanity” in mine, I’ve found that it is most likely a Step Two matter. What is my understanding of a higher power? And am I being invited to let my understanding of that higher power evolve into something different?
I am currently living Step Two as some new chapters of life begin, so I’m looking forward to being with you as we explore these matters together.
Please bring writing paper and a pen when we gather on October 5.
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.
For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead.
Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs.
--“There Is a Solution”
Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.
Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.
--“Working With Others”
Cling to the thought that, in God’s hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have—the key to life and happiness for others.
--“The Family Afterwards”
I'm no mind reader, but I feel like Bill is trying to tell us something.
For my presentation on the 12th Step on Saturday, May 11, I plan to talk about carrying the message to others, and its role in bringing about a “profound alteration” in my reaction to life.
In the past couple of decades, Buddhist meditation has helped me work my 12-Step programs. On Saturday, May 11 I’ll introduce Buddhist mindfulness meditation and some of the fundamentals of Buddha's teachings. I’ll talk about how the 12 Steps and Buddhist practices merge and diverge, and take a deeper look at one Buddhist concept: impermanence, and my journey with it. We’re looking forward to having you join us on this expanded spiritual journey.
Do you ever feel your mind is playing tricks on you?
Well, it is!
It’s tricking you with ego-centered thinking.
Join me on Saturday, April 13 to hear how you can experience your True Self—your joyful, loving self—more often, and keep that ego out of the way.
I've always struggled with the phrase "the proper use of the will." Every time I think I "get it," I'm whacked by the pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization that comes from another failed attempt to run the show.
And I'd be lying if I told you that I failed to figure out God's will in those situations, because that implies that I really tried to—when in fact I just kept trying to find a better way to work my own will.
Eventually, like so many others, I had no option left but to try the meditation portion of Step Eleven. Here’s what I discovered when I did that: in order to have access to a power that works, I didn’t have to improve anything or seek the right knowledge; all I had to do was show up and consent. For me, that was when the real healing and growth began in my recovery.
I’ll say more about Step 11 on Saturday, April 13—join me.
I’m an adult child of a dysfunctional (workaholic) family, and I think and speak about my recovery in those terms. On Saturday, March 9, I’ll look at how the 12 Steps brought me to an understanding of “all the people I had harmed.” Then I’ll share how I understand direct amends, and how I make them today, with help from my practice of Centering Prayer.
Yes, we’re basically a Centering Prayer workshop, but in the spirit of all of our 12-step programs, we’re open to whatever conception of a Higher Power our attendees may hold, and whatever means they have of staying in conscious contact with that Power.
For a number of years now, I have found that a form of prayer-and-meditation rooted in the Hindu tradition has helped me stay in contact with the God of my understanding. I’ll describe that method, talk a little bit about how it has helped me, and share inspiring quotes from some 20th-century saints from India.
What I won’t do is claim that this way is “better,” and I certainly won’t try to say anything definitive about Hinduism—a galaxy of beliefs so rich and complex that no one could do it justice in a lifetime.
Join me on Saturday, March 9!
Can we forgive ourselves if we haven’t forgiven another? Can we forgive another if we haven’t forgiven ourselves? On Saturday, February 9, we will explore those questions through the Eight Pillars of Joy—principles developed by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama—and a personal story. You will come away with a method to help mitigate strong emotions and support forgiveness—in both directions.
As we evolve in recovery, there are opportunities for Step 6 (“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character”) and Step 7 (“Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings”) to take on new and deeper meaning.
Through Step work, and the practice of Centering Prayer, we are walked through a healing process that illuminates things about ourselves that were once hidden. I have also found the “3 A’s” of Al-Anon—awareness, acceptance, and action—really helpful in this process
On Saturday I’ll talk about the difference being willing myself better (as an act of ego-will) and yielding so that I allow grace to wake me up.
I’m looking forward to being with you on February 9!