(FYI: There was a malfunction with the recording of today’s workshop. Stephanie said she’ll review what she said in this session next week–good news! There is a transcript of the recording at the end of this post, click here to jump there!!)
(Week 40) 27 September 2012 Big Book Step Study Workshop
Page 569 Appendix 2: Spiritual Experience from beginning of 4th paragraph: ‘Among our rapidly growing membership of thousands of alcoholics…’ until end on page 570 ‘…Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.’
Look up transformation, profound, alteration, essence, intolerance, belligerent, denial, ignorance, contempt, investigation.
Google: William James
Write down: ‘I came, I came to, and I came to believe’.
Q1 Am I putting issues that I have, feelings, crises, situations etc., in a God box? If not, why not?
A. How have I transformed since the day I came into recovery?
B. How have I transformed in the last nine months coming to Big Book?
C. How to do hope to be transformed? (Need to have a vision. Put the vision in your God box and see how God works out your vision).
D. What is an ‘educational variety’ of spiritual awakening?
Q3. Write out this Big Book promise: ‘I am going to experience a profound alteration in my reaction to life.’ How you do you feel about this?
Q4. Write on 3 x 5 cards and put them everywhere: ‘Whatever God/Higher Power brings to me, my Higher Power/God will bring me through.’ Write on this.
What often takes place in a few months could seldom have been accomplished by years of self-discipline.
Q5 How has self-discipline failed me in having a profound alteration in my reaction to life?
Q6. Am I willing to keep an open mind about the ability to have a profound alteration to my reaction to life if I tap into my own inner resource of a power greater than myself?
Transcript(40) 27 September 2012 Big Book Step Study Workshop
There Is A Solution Page 25 from end of first sentence 2nd paragraph: ‘… 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.
Appendix 2. Spiritual Experience Page 567 from beginning of 4th paragraph: ‘Among our rapidly growing membership of thousands of alcoholics…’
Breathe God in breathe fear out,
Breathe God in anxiety out,
Breathe God in stress out,
Breathe God in peace joy and serenity comes out.
In prayer are asking God to remove our selfishness so that we can help others. We are different in the nine months we have been doing the Big Book Workshop. People will want you to sponsor them. You can help whether others cannot. Those who have had low, low, low bottom. No matter how many tools they work they cannot get sober. Be their buddy. Read a page in the Big Book every day as Stephanie has done for us: let the Big Book come alive. Do the work with them. Hook arms with the person who is so discouraged and so down and out. Give them what we have been given by Stephanie. If they want to listen to the website fine, but don’t push it. You give it to them. You will never be the same once you start giving the real deal, which is the Big Book and the spirituality that comes along by doing the work. Every page is about God. That is the missing link.
Buddies, buddies. Stephanie is really big on buddies. And buddies do not give feedback irrespective of whether or not they ask for it. (Do not comment on their innermost feelings: it makes them feel unsafe. We are sensitive people). Respect your buddy’s work. All you need to say is: ‘Thank you for sharing’.
Keep writing and keep putting things that are bothering you. Date them and put them into a God box and at the buddy session can say these are the things I am putting into my God box. And at the end of the month look at them and see what has happened.
Re. those that have an instant spiritual experience, do not compare just know that if it can happen to them can happen to you. Keep coming. Most important slogan is: One Day At A Time. Inch by inch is a synch. Keep a record of what you put in your God box. It is a record of how you have changed. Keep all those papers in an envelope and at the end of the year look at what were the things that bothered you and how God handled them. Good indication of how you are changing in recovery.You are changing. Others will notice you change.
Big Book Step Study process has exploded in Stephanie’s area including in Al-Anon where Big Book not even conference approved literature. Rapidly growing that the answer is God: Half measures availed us nothing. Big Book is the real deal. Because spend lots of time really digging into your own character defects,
give them to someone else and then do steps 10,11,12, for the rest of your life. This is the real deal: living in sobriety, seeing our defects and asking God to take them away on a daily basis. Not doing it alone. Have accountability partners. Stephanie is transparent with us and Monday group. Membership is growing in depth because each one of us who does this process is growing in recovery and our God consciousness and being relieved of the bondage of self and do a decent job in helping others and being of service. We have a much more hopeful message. Many people will come, few will stay. The Thursday group started with 180 and finished with 20. But the few who stay: Wow watch out because your life will never be the same. You will be rocketed into a fourth dimension of life.
Look up transformation.
Google William James
psychologists helped Bill a lot. Stephanie has never read The Varieties of a Spiritual Experience’. Look it up if that interests you. It was too technical for her. Talks about the educational variety. What does that mean?
Q1 Am I putting issues that I have, feelings crises, situations in a God box? If not, why not?
1. How have I transformed since the day I came into recovery?
2. How have I transformed in the last nine months coming to Big Book
3. How to do hope to be transformed? (Need to have a vision. Put the vision in your god box and see how God works out your vision).
4. What is an educational variety spiritual awakening?
Write down: I came, I came to, and I came to believe
Write that I came to recovery and they told me about how I need a HP and I came to like what they are saying they are living and then I Came to believe that there is a HP behind this 12 step fellowship success and if I really want to keep my recovery then I need to seek God with prayer and meditation. That is an educational variety.
Stephanie had a white light experience and heard the word of God. What a blessing if you have had it. It was the greatest thing that ever happened to her. She had been in recovery over 20 years. And she had had educational varieties, She had come, come to and came to believe. She was truly seeking God through prayer and meditation and was doing this more seriously than anything in her life as she knew there was a missing link. And God came to her uniquely. And she believes God comes to everyone uniquely. Whether you hear a voice or you meet someone and you know they have the spirit of God within them. You do not need any validation or approval by anybody. If you believe that is all that matters.
She feels very, very strongly about that and why she feels strongly about no comment about our buddy work. Every time you say third step prayer you are asking God to come into your life and being stripped little by little of your defence. mechanism. And do not need anybody commenting on your process of
getting honest with God. You are being transformed inch by inch, word by word. She honours all of us so much. She means that from the bottom of her heart. We are being transformed with every word we write having a spiritual experience.
That is what happened to her and what has happened to the hundreds of women whom she has had the honour of working with. We get transformed. More than anything she wants us to finish. Life happens. Going to miss a week. God forbid miss a month. If you are in the hospital for a month can go back to the recording. Just don’t quit. Go the extra mile.
Look up profound, alteration
Q3. Write out: ‘I am going to experience a profound alteration in my reaction to life.’ This is a promise from the Big Book. How does this feel?
Is it scary, does it make you feel excited? This is a vision you are going to be different. This means that when you have your addiction down you are not going to think who can I call and complain to, instead will say: I have go to go to God. Then inventory yourself about why you are having these feelings and then you go to someone and you share from a positive place. And say this is going on and my first reaction was I wanted to kill them and I inventoried myself and I realised it was something in my childhood. When hysterical it is history. If calm down pray to God and do an inventory and then call someone say this is what is going on and this is triggering X. Blessing to the person you are calling instead of oh, Stephanie is calling again and she has got another crisis. Your crises are victories. Because you look the crisis in the face with God and your higher power. This is Stephanie’s vision: she goes to God, then inventory then she shares. Then she knows with all of that she can get through whatever life gives her.
Write on 3 x 5 card and put it everywhere: Whatever God/Higher Power brings me to, my Higher Power/God will bring me through.
Write on it, but mostly put it on 3x 5 card and put it everywhere.
What often takes place in a few months could seldom have been accomplished by years of self discipline.
Got to co-operate. Self won’t do it. Whereas discipline aligned with God’s will doing this Big Book process will. The profound alteration of your thinking: doing12th step you can go anywhere and help anyone and to do that need a profound alteration.
Q3 How has self-discipline failed me in having a profound alteration in my reaction to life?
A profound alteration means you don’t make a crisis out of things. No drama. Stephanie used to be a drama queen. Called her sponsor about everything. Today has a great relationship with her, turn over her food but there are no crises. Still discusses things but does not go into the drama any more. Things happen. God has brought her to it so God will bring her through it. She has this confidence today.
Your inner resource is you – the God inside of you. We have the answers. Your own conception of a higher power is going to be expanded and deepened. God is going to take a bigger and bigger part of your life. What used to throw you doesn’t throw you any more. That’s what attracts others. Nowadays can often hardly hear the word God in meetings. Members are either talking about their own self-discipline or about their problems. Big Book says if talking about the problem not talking about the solution.
Thousands of thousands of dollars Stephanie spent going to find help with chronic migraines, the one thing they all said is that stress is the most dangerous thing in your life.
Big book says profound alteration to our reaction to life. Bill again saying God is the answer. May you find him now. Half-measures availed us nothing. Stephanie has a very disciplined way of life but does not depend on the discipline to give her what she needs. She depends on her relationship to God.
As if we have a car with no engine. Once tap inner resource of the Higher Power then with the self-discipline are going places.
Look up essence.
If you can honestly face your problems you can recover (big book Promise).
Q5. Are you willing to keep an open mind about the ability to have a profound alteration to your reaction in life if you tap into your own inner resource of a power greater than yourself?
That is the bottom line that Stephanie as our sponsor has to give us. Writing a 4th step gives us a lot of information about ourselves and our defects but without the willingness to tap our inner resource to find our higher power it is just another exercise and will not get that profound alteration. That is her experience of taking others through the steps. They still think their self-discipline is all they need. They don’t have the willingness to give credit to God that they need to have God to get through or prevent going back out.
Look up intolerance belligerent and denial.
Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essential of recovery. But these are indispensible.
You have the car but do you have the engine? Stephanie had extreme willingness but she did not have the engine so could not keep it up. She loves her life today. She loves that things happen and she can say ‘oh that’s interesting. How can I handle this?’ And she can go to God and know intuitively how to talk it over. She has got the self-discipline and the engine. To have the whole deal is to have the whole vehicle and a life rocketed into the fourth dimension.
Look up ignorance, contempt, investigation.
Big Book says let people be as close-minded as they want to be. You just watch them and be available. And when they fall (if they fall), you say to them, I am still here and I would be more than happy to help you. People who are belligerent and have closed minds are not ones you need to stick around with. The 12th step is not about that. Unfortunately they need to have some more beating with their addiction. Or use more self-discipline as Stephanie did which caused her nothing but misery.
If someone has a spiritual experience celebrate it and say: ‘how wonderful’.
Stephanie likes to read about Bill and to read about his white light experience and thanks God that he had such a dramatic experience. He needed one as he was a tough nut to crack.
When have a profound spiritual experience need to pick and choose where to spend our recovery. Dr Bob had spirituality, religion and people. He didn’t have 12-step recovery and he could not stay sober So he took what he learned from Bill Wilson and brought it to other alcoholics and he worked his spirituality and that was the key both for him and Bill. Stephanie seeks others who are having problems finding God.
She will never leave 12 steps. At one point she went to 7 meetings a week. Now she is with kids three afternoons a week. God has given her, an ex-teacher, the blessing to be with children in a teaching caring nurturing place. She will never stop trying to help people in 12-step recovery.
Soul Work Thursday 9/20/2012
Chapter 2: There is a Solution page 25; paragraph 2; first sentence through second line ‘spiritual experiences’, then forward to Spiritual Experience page 569 thru paragraph 3.
Words: sufficient, manifested, sudden, spectacular, upheavals, erroneous
1) Read page 86 every night before bed. Make a template of the questions and answer; either mentally or preferably write out answers.
2) What does spiritual experience and spiritual awakening mean to you?
2a) Then; look up definitions for spiritual experience and spiritual awakening.
3) Have you had a sudden and spectacular upheaval?
4) Are you in a position where people are going to see a big change in you? physically, emotionally and spiritually?
4a) If not happening now, has it happened in your life? Have you changed over the years in program?
5) Describe the sudden revolutionary changes that were described in the first few chapters?
(37) 13 September 2012 Big Book Step Study Workshop
There Is A Solution on page 25 beginning of 1st paragraph: ‘There is a solution…’
until end of 2nd paragraph ‘…He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves.’
Write down: ‘When I am in the problem I cannot possibly be in the solution.’
Underline fourth dimension and beside it write: ‘spiritual side of life/living.’
Look up: confession, consummation
Q1. ‘But for the grace of God’. What does that mean to you?
b) How is this evident in your life?
Q2 Are you willing to search your feelings and actions about where you are today and your part in creating the problem?
Q3. What does leveling of your pride mean to you?
b) How are you working that?
Q4. Are you willing to confess your shortcomings?
Q5. Do you believe that the three requirements of self-searching, leveling of your pride and confession of shortcomings are critical for your recovery?
b) If not, revaluate whether or not this process is for you. Do you have both feet in the Big Book process?
Q6. How did you get here? Who in your life has done the Big Book Step Study process. Did it work?
‘…there was nothing left for us but to pick up this simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet…’
Q7. What is your simple kit of spiritual tools? Are you using them?
‘There is a solution. Almost none of us liked the self-searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation. But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it. When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet. We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.’
Q8. How would you explain the spiritual tools in this paragraph to somebody who was in huge spiritual physical emotional trouble?
‘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 had 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.’
Q9. Are you willing to live in the fourth dimension and get all of these promises?
b) Write out what these promises are.
September 6, 2012 Big Book Book Step Study Workshop
There Is A Solution page 24 beginning of first paragraph:
‘The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure…’
Ending 3rd line page 25 ‘…So many want to stop but cannot.’
Underline: first line of page 25: ‘But for the Grace of God…’
Look up: non-existent.
1. We are unable at certain times to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.
Have you lost the power of choice in ‘your addictive substance/behavior’ in your life? Is there anything in your life you have lost the power of choice over? And what does that mean?
2 If you keeping sober your step one fellowship and are doing it with will power, write about this.
3. We are without defense against the first drink.
What does that imply with how we live our daily lives?
4. Today is fear or faith going on in your brain? Who’s winning? Is it the fear or the faith?
5. The alcoholic may say to himself in the most casual way, “It won’t burn me this time, so here’s how!” Or perhaps he doesn’t think at all. How often have some of us begun to drink in this nonchalant way, and after the third of fourth pounded on the bar and said to ourselves, “For God’s sake, how did I ever get started again?” Only to have that thought supplanted by “Well, I’ll stop with the sixth drink.” Or “What’s the use anyhow?”
Can you relate to this paragraph and translate it into your own life? What are you defenseless about today? If there is no issue in your life today that you are powerless over, then go back to your step one fellowship before you found recovery.
6. We identify, we never compare.
What does identify and not compare mean to you? How are you going to identify and not compare?
Our live phone meetings are every Tuesday at 8:00 AM EST. The phone number for these live meetings is (712) 775-7031, and the meeting ID number is 714744988#.
P O Box 531
North Pembroke MA 02358
You can listen to our recorded meetings at (641) 715-3900, pin 95666# for our Tuesday Big Book Step Study workshop. You can also hear our Thursday Big Book Study recordings at (641) 715-3900, pin 298913#. These meetings can be accessed at any time.