(Week 57) 31 January 2013 Big Book step study workshop
More About Alcoholism page 42, from beginning of last paragraph: ‘Then they outlined the spiritual answer and program of action which a hundred of them had followed successfully.’ until end of chapter on page 43.
Then go to AA 12 x 12 Step One page 21 until end of third paragraph:
‘Our admission of personal powerlessness finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built.’
Stephanie says a misunderstanding resulted from her sharing last week and she wants to make amends to the group for this. She respects everyone’s spiritual approach and wants to clarify that this Big Book step study workshop group will never become a Christian group. The format will remain as it has been up to now.
Read daily the outline of the spiritual action of the three pillars:
1) admitting powerlessness;
2) admitting that you need a higher power and making a decision that you will make that higher power the most important relationship in your life through prayer, meditation and quiet time;
3) going out and passing it on in all areas of your life.
Stephanie wonders if there is an artist amongst us that could draw the three pillars and e-mail it to Sue so she can send it out each week? It would give awonderful visual for the rest of our journey.
liberation and strength
“Then they outlined the spiritual answer and program of action which a hundred of them had followed successfully…”
Q1 Take this sentence and
a) outline in your own words the spiritual answer,
b) outline the program of action which a hundred of them had followed successfully.
c) What does having a successful recovery mean to you?
But the program of action, though entirely sensible, was pretty drastic.
Q2 a) Do you think the spiritual answer and the program of action are sensible?
b) Do you think the spiritual answer and the program of action are pretty drastic?
Q3 Write your own Set Aside prayer.
It meant I would have to throw several lifelong conceptions out of the window.
Q4 Are you living with some lifelong conceptions that you know are keeping you down?
If so, are you willing to put them through the three pillars: to admit you are powerless, go to the God of your conception and ask for help and go to others and share your process?
[If you are not willing to go through the whole process, just give yourself the possibility of questioning some of those lifelong conceptions].
I have since been brought into a way of living infinitely more satisfying and, I hope, more useful than the life I lived before.
Q5 Do you feel you were mangled enough: spiritually, emotionally, and physically? Can you say that you would not go back to the old life even if you could?
Spiritual principles would solve all my problems.
Write this on a 3 x 5 card and read every day for 30 days as part of your prayer and meditation.
Underline last line on second paragraph page 43: “…for the spiritual approach in such cases as yours. For most cases, there is virtually no other solution..”
Read the foreword in the AA 12 x 12.
Available online at: www.aa.org/1212
Start thinking about writing up our own step one acceptance.
If you are still stuck in the first pillar go to page 60 of the Big Book and meditate on a) b) and c). If you do not want to admit complete defeat then probably stuck on b. Our defense against the first compulsive drink must come from a higher power – that will give you freedom. Meditate for 30 days on a) b) and c). If still having problems after that, do it for 60 days and if still in trouble make it 90. Make it part of your step 11.
We perceive that only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps towards liberation and strength. (12 x 12 p.21)
Q6. Write about how utter defeat can be our best friend when in 12-step recovery.
(week 56) 24 January 2013 Big Book Step Study Workshop
More About Alcoholism page 42, line 7: ‘I had never been able to
understand people who said that a problem had them hopelessly defeated…’
until end of second paragraph: ‘This process snuffed out the last flicker of conviction that I could do the job myself.’
Look up: humanism, concede, hopeless
I saw that will power and self-knowledge would not help in those strange mental blank spots.
Q1. What is a strange mental blank spot?
Write about what you know about strange mental blank spots. (Some of you may never have had one or not realised you had one). Have you ever experienced one when all you knew about yourself, about recovery, about everything was gone?
I had never been able to understand people who said a problem had them hopelessly defeated.
Q2. Are you one of those people who really believe that there would be no problem in your life that had you hopelessly defeated?
I had never been able to understand people who said a problem had them hopelessly defeated. I knew then it was a crushing blow.
Q3 What was it a crushing blow to?
Q4. Do you have a problem that has you hopelessly defeated? And if so do you have an action plan around it? Or if not, why is this?
This process snuffed out the last flicker of conviction that I could do the job myself.
Q5. Do you think you can do the job yourself?
(Week 55) Big Book Step Study Workshop 17 January 2013
More About Alcoholism from page 41 start of final paragraph:
“As soon as I regained my ability to think…” until page 42 line 7
‘…self-knowledge would not help in those strange mental blank spots.’
look up: consequences
Q1 Self-knowledge availed us nothing.
Write about that giving example going back into your addiction.
Q2 We meet Fred in second paragraph page 39. How do you relate to him, his story, the similarities and the differences? Name and claim them and really know yourself.
Q3 How are you doing with:
a) Seeing your own selfishness? (Which comes from a brutal inventory)
b) Your willingness to ask God to stop selfishness? Give specifics for example re. ageing parents, siblings, the workplace & co-workers, spouse/children.
c) What is your action plan?
Q4 How are you doing in your relationships broadly with giving from an unselfish motive?
Q5 Consequences can be a huge teacher.
‘If I can stop blaming others for consequences and just look at me and what my part of setting the ball rolling in how the consequences played out, I will get so much information about myself.’
Write on this with at least one example of consequences as a teacher.
Q6 At what moment in your life did you realize you had an alcoholic mind?
Or write: I have not gotten to that point yet.
Or perhaps you do not have an alcoholic mind.
Soul Work Thursday 1/10/2013
Chapter 3: More About Alcoholism page 40 from middle of second paragraph:
‘I reasoned I was not so far advanced as most of you fellows…’
until page 41 the end of first paragraph:
‘…Then came the hospital and unbearable mental and physical suffering.’
Underline subtle insanity (line 19, page 40).
1. Constant vigilance in our spiritual disciplines will give us the eyes to see and the ears to hear subtle insanity. Write on that.
2. Now that I’ve really talked about this, are you really living with any subtle insanity in your life? And if you are what is your action plan around it?
I felt I had every right to be self-confident, that it would by only a matter of exercising my will power and keeping on guard.
3. What do you think about the word self-confidence?
[Definition of self-confident: you have the ability to exercise your own will power and to keep on guard your thoughts.]
What do you think about replacing it with the word humility?
Own this sentence.
4. Can you exercise your will power? (40:2) Can you keep on guard?
5. Can you relate to this binge? (41:1) and if you can, did you experience unbearable mental suffering and unbearable physical suffering?, and write on it.
Big Book Step Study Soul Work; Thursday January 3, 2013
Page 39 begin first paragraph (39:1) – Page 40 end of paragraph 2 (40:2)
1) What does it mean to you to be absolutely unable to stop your addiction on the bases of self-knowledge alone.
2) Read Chapter 11 – A Vision for You, in the Big Book
3) Have you broken through that deep down denial that self-knowledge ( ex. “you can beat this addiction”) within your 12 Step Fellowship will be the answer?
4) Write about how today you appreciate the Big Book ideas about the “subtle insanity that precedes the first drink, but I was confident it could not happen to me after what I learned”, but how learning wasn’t enough? (40:2)
5) Where are you in all this? Are you willing to surrender that you need God not just in addiction, but in all thoughts and actions, so you do not live in a state of selfishness and self-centeredness.
Our live phone meetings are every Thursday at 8:00 AM EST. The phone number for these live meetings is (712) 775-7031, and the meeting ID number is 714744988#.
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