The Big Book calls Step 4 a “fact-finding and fact-facing process.” In my experience, this Step—and Step 5—are a “pattern-finding process” too. When I look at the past actions I’m not proud of, and share them with another person, I see the “corroding thread” of fear connecting them. At a deeper level, I see my “sacred wounds”—the places in my soul where I am damaged and in need of repair—in all of them.
Taking these Steps in AA forced me to face my irresponsibility about money, including maxed-out credit cards, late bills, and “terminal vagueness” about where my dollars were going. I had to connect with another wonderful program, Debtors Anonymous, to come to grips with these troubles. On Saturday, January 18, I’ll talk about pattern-finding in these Steps and share some of my DA experiences too.
As codependents, we attach ourselves to others in unhealthy ways. As recovering co-dependents we need to learn methods of detaching in a respectful and loving manner. On January 18, please come hear my story of how I’m learning and practicing "detaching with love."
In discussing Steps 2 and 3, I'm going to share my arduous journey from atheist, to agnostic and to the experience of a loving Higher Power. I have had a very hard time with the word believe, so I have approached it in a different way. Come and learn how I solved the belief issue. I will also talk about how I live those Steps today. Join me December 7th.
Step 11 says “[We] sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood [God]....” One of the best ways to do that is through the Third Step prayer (“God, I offer myself to thee…”) I will explore and unpack various aspects of this prayer, and share my experience with how it has been working in me throughout this past year.
I will be building on my October 5 talk on Step 2 ( https://soundcloud.com/jay-s-mcgregor/jule-g-speaks-on-step-two). If you weren’t at the workshop that day, and have the time, I invite you to listen to the talk before we get together on Saturday, December 7.
With guest presenter Reverend Kelli Clement
The meandering path of the labyrinth is an apt metaphor for a life in recovery: twists, turns, questions, illumination, and returning to a familiar place with new insights.
I’m delighted to return to the First Universalist labyrinth, on the floor of the room in which we meet. I’ll share stories as we learn together as companions on the journey of recovery. Join me on November 2.
~Rev. Kelli Clement
Rev. Kelli Clement is a longtime member of First Universalist Church, where she was ordained in 2011. She serves as Assistant Minister at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, where she oversees the Social Justice and Welcome programs. Kelli has been sober for 22+ years and has the great privilege to sponsor several fellow travelers on the happy road. With other members of the Labyrinth Circle, she was instrumental in bringing the permanent labyrinth to First Universalist. Kelli lives near Lake Nokomis with her husband, teen daughter, and mini-poodle Memphis.
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.