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Old 06-29-2014, 12:34 PM   #1
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Default More Recovery Readings - July

July 1

You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. --Rachel Carson
Beauty is everywhere. It is in the daisies, in the lavender wildflowers, in the new green grass of spring. As we walk through life, noticing such beauty strengthens us. It reminds us of the spiritual creative force alive in this world On better days, we can feel our own creativity gaining power from such beauty. On harder days, nature's sunset can help us step out of our suffering for a moment to be comforted and inspired by its splendor.
Even storms, in their wild and angry way, show us a power greater than ourselves. Such awesome beauty is beyond our understanding, and yet it is part of the earth we live on.
What lessons will nature teach me today?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk. --Raymond Inmon
We all seek creative ideas from time to time - perhaps when we have a problem resting heavily on our minds, or when we are simply in a bad mood. We need to refresh ourselves at those times. Refreshment doesn't solve a problem, but it can revitalize our thinking. Sometimes when we are feeling hopeless, we neglect to care for ourselves, forgetting a better environment will give us a stronger attitude, even toward the most difficult problems.
We must learn our own best methods for being refreshed - ways that allow angels to whisper to us. They should be simple, inexpensive, and accessible daily. Going for a walk is a very good example. Daily reading and study is another possibility. Observing nature, doing handicrafts or hobbies are refreshing for some men. These activities allow us to temporarily set aside our tasks and concerns and open us to creative ideas.
Today, I will give myself a creative break from the concerns I am facing.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
It's quite uncomfortable to be an adolescent at age thirty-two. --Peggy Cahn
Our lives are in process every moment, which means change is ever-present. As new information is sorted and acquired, old habits are discarded. We don't let go of some old behaviors easily, however. They are like comfortable shoes. They may be worn thin, and they probably embarrass us in certain company, but we slip them on unconsciously and then it's too late.
Maturity is an "as if" behavior, initially. Emotional development was stunted, for most of us, with the onset of our addictive behavior, thus, we often respond to situations like adolescents. Application of the "as if" principle will result both in new personal attitudes and unfamiliar, yet welcome, responses from others. Acting as if we are capable, strong, confident, or serene will pave the way for making those behaviors real, after a time. If we believe in ourselves and our ability to become the women we strive to be, we can then move forward confidently.
When my behavior embarrasses or shames me, I will accept the responsibility for changing it. Changing it offers immediate rewards. The people around me will react in refreshing ways, and I'll feel more fully alive.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Here is an exercise.
Today let someone give to you. Let someone do something nice for you. Let someone give you a compliment or tell you something good about yourself. Let someone help you.
Then, stand there and take it. Take it in. Feel it. Know that you are worthy and deserving. Do not apologize. Do not say, "You shouldn't have." Do you feel guilty, afraid, ashamed, and panicky? Do not immediately try to give something back.
Just say, "Thank you."
Today, I will let myself receive one thing from someone else, and I will let myself be comfortable with that.

Today I will listen to the messages that go on in my head and decide for myself if they are healthy. Today I will choose to follow positive messages that I tell myself or create new messages that are positive and healthy. --Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart

Embrace Each Cycle of Your Life

It took me a long time to accept wearing glasses. I am still surprised when I need my spectacles to read a menu or scan the telephone directory. Sometimes I look in the mirror expecting to see the body, the face of my youth because I remember her. She’s still in me.

Now I’m learning to welcome aging, as each decade of life brings its own challenges, joys, sorrows, and teachings. I’m learning to trust the lessons of each cycle of my life. I don’t fear aging, for I know that it’s as much, and as important, a part of life as my youth.

“My mother just had her seventieth birthday,” the woman at the lodge told me. “My sister and I asked her what she wanted. She wanted a wet suit for diving because waterskiing had strained her back.”

What does getting older mean to you?

Young and old. All part of the same. Each moment is a moment of life, your life. Each cycle has its lessons. Dig out your glasses, if you must, but laugh whe you do it. And remember to make each moment count.


More Language Of Letting Go

Learn to say how it feels

He no longer dreamed of storms, nor of women, nor of great occurrences, nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests of strength, nor of his wife. He only dreamed of places now and of the lions on the beach.
–Ernest Hemingway

Many teachers of our time attribute consciousness– energy not just matter– to all creations that exist in God’s marvelous world. Many teachers from ancient times espoused this philosophy,too.

How does it feel when you sit next to a sprawling oak tree? How does it feel when you lie in the hot sand at the beach, listening to the waves splashing on the shore? How does it feel in your kitchen in the morning? How does it feel when you’re with your best friend? Or your spouse?

How does it feel to go into a store filled with beautiful objects, stuffy salesclerks, and signs that scream: DO NOT TOUCH?

Many of us are survivors. We learned the art of leaving our bodies early on, perhaps in our childhood or maybe later, as a way of coping with situations that didn’t feel good and that didn’t feel right to us. We learned to deny how a situation felt– and often how it felt to be with certain people– in order to cope with situations we found ourselves in that we didn’t have the tools or power to escape. We trained ourselves to ignore how things felt because either we told ourselves we had no choice, or we truly didn’t have a say in the matter.

We don’t have to survive anymore. That time is past. Now, it’s time to live.

Come back into your body. Stretch your senses, so that they fill up all of you– your sense of taste, smell, touch, sight, and sound, and your intuitive senses,too. How do you feel emotionally? If you can’t put words to it, just describe it as best as you can. Then go to the next level. Tune into the feelings and moods of the world around you, but not so much that you take these feelings on as yours. Tune in just enough to recognize how the energy of each situation feels to you.

Don’t judge your responses and feelings as either good or bad. And you don’t have to do anything to control how it feels– to you or anyone else. Just allow yourself to experience and recognize how it feels to be you.

Part of speaking the language of letting go means learning to delight and revel in all our senses, including our inner knowing.

Learn to say with trust and confidence, This is how I feel.

God, help me come fully to life.


Food for Thought

Saying No

There are times when all of us find it difficult to say no. Even though we realize intellectually that we cannot have and do everything, we have trouble saying no to the foods, activities, and people that are not good for us.

Abstaining means saying “No, thank you” when offered something not on our food plan. We may think that we are afraid of hurting someone else’s feelings by our refusal, but usually it is our own compulsive desire that prevents us from giving a firm no. Our sanity and health are more important than pleasing whoever is offering what we should not have.

As we work the program, we become more aware of the people and activities that use up our energies unnecessarily. Avoiding them gives us more time and strength for what means most to us. Learning when and how to say no is a very important part of our recovery. Most often, the person we need to say no to is ourself.

I pray for the strength to say no to what is not good for me.


A Refuge of Your Own
Creating a Garden Sanctuary

by Madisyn Taylor

A personal outdoor sanctuary is an important part of feeling connected to all of life.

Each of us has been blessed with an innate need to celebrate and glorify life. At a most basic level, we honor the forces that came together to bring us into being by caring for our bodies and our souls. To truly rejoice in existence, we must also learn to cultivate loveliness in those special places that replenish the soul. When we create a garden sanctuary, we are reminded that we are a part of both nature's essence and something more. An outdoor retreat is a place we can surround ourselves in nature, beauty, and the life force. It is not difficult to create a sanctuary—we should endeavor, however, to create sanctuaries that speak to us as individuals.

Whether we have a yard, a grassy corner, a patio, or a porch at our disposal, our creative potential is infinite. Any of these spaces can become a magnificent garden. When we feel drawn to specific themes such as Zen, angels, paradise, or the ethereal, we should explore them. Décor and furniture crafted from natural materials like wood and stone blend seamlessly into nature. Yet we can also augment the natural world by filling our garden sanctuaries with statues, bells or gongs, or colorful flags. Running water, like that in a created stream or fountain, helps energy flow smoothly. If space is a concern, crystals and mirrors can fulfill the same function. Hidden features like concealed swings and reflecting pools veiled in shadow can surprise and delight. As your garden sanctuary evolves, remember to invite the elemental spirits of nature to assist you in your efforts to create a small pocket of harmony, beauty, and peace in your own backyard. If you have not already felt th! eir presence, sit quietly in your garden and reach out to them. You will feel these earthly guides at your side as you continue to develop your sanctuary.

In the refuge of brilliant color, sweet scents, and stillness you create in your garden, the burdens imposed upon you by a sometimes hectic world will melt away. The splendor and tranquility of what you have brought into being will entrance you, allowing you to forget the constraints of time and space. No matter how large or small your garden sanctuary, the time you spend reveling in its pleasures will refresh your spirit and provide you with innumerable opportunities to celebrate life. Published with permission from Daily OM


A Day at a Time

Reflection for the Day
Fear may have originally brought some of us to The Program. In the beginning, fear alone may help some of us stay away from the first drink, pill, joint or whatever. But a fearful state is hardly conducive to comfort and happiness - not for long. We have to find alternatives to fear to get us through those first empty hours, days or even weeks. For most of us, the answer has been to become active in and around The Program. In no time, we feel that we truly belong; for the first time in a long time, we begin to feel a "part of" rather than "apart from."
Am I willing to take the initiative?
Today I Pray
May God please help me find alternatives to fear - that watchdog of my earliest abstinence. I thank Him for directing me to a place where I can meet others who have experienced the same compulsions and fears. I am grateful for my feeling of belonging.
Today I Will Remember
I am "a part of," not "apart from."
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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