(week 130) 26 June 2014 12-step Study Workshop
Big Book The entire last paragraph of page 60: and to top of page 61
‘The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success…… But as with most humans, he is more likely to have varied traits.’
*Stephanie will keep taking Third Step commitments, one before 8am EST for those who can come on conference call a few minutes early and two commitments after delivering the workshop. For those who cannot make the live meeting, you may commit privately by phone.
Contact her via her cell or email for an appointment to do so. But she encourages whoever can to rather commit in front of the group because of the powerfulness of the experience this way.
cell: 617 774 7916 email@example.com
Stephanie says: ‘There was no recording last week. Will you appreciate it more this week? Thank you Linda, Jennifer and Debbie who make it all happen every single week. Don’t take the recording for granted. Be sure you thank your Higher Power for them. I do nothing except show up on Thursdays. They do all the heavy lifting. Please don’t take it for granted. I don’t. I am so appreciative.
We will be going over what we did last week – the same material in a different way.’
Q1. 3rd Step Prayer
Assignment: If you do not know this prayer, copy it onto about five 3 x 5 cards and put them where you eat your meals, in the car, on the refrigerator etc.
When somebody takes the third step, memorise this prayer. If you memorise it you will own it and have it (along with the Serenity Prayer) when push comes to shove and your lying addiction comes up and punches you. Also say the Third Step prayer before doing any step writing so as to bring in the guidance of your Higher Power.
‘The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. On that basis we are almost always in collision with something or somebody even though our motives are good.’
Q2. What does a life being a success mean to you?
Q3. ‘…we are almost always in collision with something or somebody’ i.e. I want my way.
Can you relate to that?
There is no recording for this week.
(week 129) 19 June 2014 12-step Big Book workshop
Big Book The entire last paragraph of page 60:
‘The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success…(top of page 61) But as with most humans, he is more likely to have varied traits.’
Step 3 commitments: Stephanie will continue taking these for the next few weeks.
Stephanie encourages us all to come so we can get to know one another. She wants to get down in the trenches with all of us and make herself more available to us.
cell: 617 774 7916 firstname.lastname@example.org
Each person is like an actor who wants to run the show.
Q1 Are you a person who wants to run the show?
Really look at yourself in relation to your spouse, work colleagues, children, sponsees, neighbours, even your pets. Really look at whether or not you are trying to run the show.
b) Be honest and see that wherever we try to control, it is in fact us who are being controlled. e.g.When I try to control my son, he controls me. Write on this.
Q2 I can be right and have my own way or I can be happy. Write on this.
Q3. What is written in this paragraph on page 60 is explained even more in the next three pages. Recommend that we read to the end of page 63. Then examine your own life as the foundation work of your fourth step.
b) Why do you have a resentment?
It is all in this paragraph. The make-up of every single resentment: they didn’t do it your way. They didn’t love, like, respect you. They wanted their own opinion and to do things their way. There’s a lot of reasons why we should be resentful. And yet there isn’t a good enough reason to let that resentment into your life no matter what they have done. There’s nothing anybody has ever done that deserves you laying down your life. You deserve to rise above the resentment of not having things your own way and having a good life. Once we have a resentment towards anyone they own us. It all stems from right here: we want to run the show.
Stephanie will go over these pages for the next three weeks and meanwhile she suggests we continue to read pages 60-63 so that we will be able to really see our part in resentments. There is no room for ‘yeah buts’ when do the fourth step. A ‘yeah but’ will keep you in a prison. And this fourth and fifth step is your pass for parole. Come out of the jail of being controlled by other people because you didn’t do it your way. Come out and enjoy life. Let them go. Does that mean you have to invite them for Christmas dinner? No. Do I have to send them a birthday card? No. But it does mean you just let them go and when the resentment comes up say: God this is an angry man or woman how can I be helpful? Thy will not mine be done. Then get on. The best revenge is a happy joyful life.
(week 128) 12 June 2014 12 Step Study Big Book workshop
Big Book page 60:
Being convinced we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to turn our will and our life over to God as we understood Him. Just what do we mean by that, and just what do we do?
The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. On that basis we are almost always in collision with something or somebody, even though our motives are good. Most people try to live by self-propulsion.
Q1 Have you memorized the Third Step Prayer? If not, are willing to do so?
Q2. Are you convinced that:
a) you are powerless and that when you try to have power in the area of your addiction (food, drugs, alcohol, work, people, etc) your life becomes unmanageable?
b) there is nothing you or anyone or anything human (doctor, philosophy etc) can do to relieve you of your powerlessness?
c) the God of your understanding can and will if you seek your Higher Power?
Q3. Are you seeking your Higher Power?
Q4. a) How are you doing the Third Step?
b) How are you going to God and asking to be relieved of the bondage of self?
c) When you are relieved of the bondage of self, are you giving your Higher Power the credit?
Q5. Have you had an experience so that you are able to really mean but for the grace of God, I am sober? No judgment in the answer.
Q6) Stephanie says:
“It’s alright to confront when people are not doing what they said they would; ‘the truth will set you free!’ But, at first, it will make you very, very angry.” Write on that.
“Being convinced, we were at Step Three… The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success.” (BB p.60 para 3-4, sentence 1)
The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self will can hardly be a success.
Q7) What does a life run on self-will (ego) look like in your life?
“On that basis we are almost always in collision with something or somebody even though our motives are good. (On that basis — of self-will; collision- since each one wants his own way.)
Q8) Are you in collision with anybody today? If yes, examine if you are in your self-will.
[Stephanie really recommends that you put in everything that your Higher Power has ever shown you so as to really get the stark reality. And when you do your fourth step you will really understand what selfishness is. For example: Stephanie says when she used to help people she realized that this was how she puffed herself up as ‘a good person’. Now each morning she prays: ‘God help me sit at the back and let somebody else get the glory. Even though I may know how to do something let me guide somebody else into it.’]
Most people try to live by self-will: willing themselves. If you say to yourself, I can do that with God’s help, you’re moving the right muscle. But if you are trying to do it on your own then you are living in b) probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
Q9) What do you do with others when your motive is good and you don’t bring God into it?
( Stephanie says even though she had a good motive of trying to bring others along to recovery, she was puffing herself up over the first 23 years of being in program).
Q10) Give an example from your life of why Stephanie says that any life run on ego can hardly be a success.
Updating the members’ list:
Anyone who is on this line and who listens to the recording, please e-mail Sue and she will compile an updated list of those who are committed.
Will keep the other list and you can call people on that list. They may need your encouragement or they may not return your call.
Recovery is about having healthy relationships with God and with others.
When you are busy trying to rope people into recovery and prayer and meditation and doing the steps and your step one recovery you are not going to feel like doing your drug. You feel on top of the world. Stephanie says: ‘It was when I was a lone wolf, isolated and I believed nobody liked me, poor Stephanie, nobody called me. That was very dangerous and a binge was right around the corner. When I started getting out, taking little jobs in the groups, holding doors open for people, being in relationship with people in the world instead of behind the curtains doing my drug, I got well.’
(week 127) 5 June 2014 www.12stepstudyworkshop.com
12 step study Big Book workshop
Once a month Stephanie will stay on the meeting until 9.30am (EST) to answer any questions we have of her as our Big Book sponsor. It is very important as we are entering into the third and fourth step to have good generalship. You can also e-mail her: stephaniew324@gmail or text/call: 617 774 7916.
She says: ‘We will set time aside and make a private appointment if you really have something you need me for as your Big Book step sponsor’.
Next week: Thursday 12 June 2014
Continuing taking Step 3 commitment at the Big Book workshop.
Set Aside Prayer.
Stephanie believes this is the most important prayer. She says: ‘If you stay humble and teachable there is a darned good chance to stay in recovery. Living a life of recovery is not a formula. 1 + 1 = 2 is a formula. When it comes to addiction which is cunning, baffling, powerful if you don’t have that peace of being humble before your higher power the formula is not going to work. Take it from me living the formula for 23 years and I ate again. Then I really got to the end of myself. And I sought God like we talk about in the AA 12 x 12. I was that desperate. Then had a white light experience with God’.
You take this third step is the beginning of your journey. It is only the beginning. It is a lifelong relationship with the God of your understanding. This is a turning point.
You are making a commitment to turn over your will (your ego, how you think about yourself and how you fit into the world) and your life (your actions).
Write this down:
So this is a turning point to start a new life truly being humble and teachable.
Stephanie’s definition of humble: I don’t know or pretend to know all the answers.
Teachable: I can learn from everyone. I can learn from people I like and those I don’t. I can learn from people I respect and those I don’t. I can learn from books I like and don’t like.
Teachable is when we learn that what works for us and what doesn’t. And those we do and do not want in our inner circle.
Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point.
Don’t take this third step if you are not ready to go forward, to start asking the God of your understanding what is your plan for me? Not what I want but Thy will be done. That’s the turning point. If you are not willing to do that don’t take third step. You are making a covenant. Saying to your Higher Power: ‘I am turning my ego what I do, what I don’t do, over to you. You run the show. And I may not always want to show up for that show, but I will anyway’.
Then we ask God’s protection and care with complete abandon. That means no strings attached. God I don’t know whether you want me to take this job or not. You bless it or block it. I am totally open. I am not going to analyze whether its good for me or not. Whether I will feel comfortable. Do you want me at this job? Do you want me to make this amend? You may not feel like making an amend. If you have hurt or harmed someone you have got to make amends.
Are you willing to give up perfectionism? To pick yourself up and grow through any mistakes that you make? Or are you going to get into the feelings of depression or ‘I am no good’ our disease just loves that. Thy will not mine be done. Got to get out of what our feelings dictate and do the next right action. That’s the turning point. Are you willing? Feelings will tell you not to do something when it is the next right action.
We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection. Circle that.
“But’ says Stephanie, “and it is a big ‘but’, don’t use that as an excuse,
When you know you need to do something and it is the next right action but you get on the line and say: ‘I am not doing x y z: it is not spiritual progress not perfection’. That is denial. You are saying: I don’t want to do it and nobody is going to tell me to do it and I am not even going to pray about it. I have dug in my heels. I have come a long way and this is too much.’ That is not what this means. It is not a blanket excuse. Just be honest.
Don’t use the Big Book and this beautiful sentence that tells us that we have a loving and caring Higher Power that never expects us to do everything 100 percent. We can be 100 percent honest 100 percent of the time. When you find yourself using an excuse you are standing at the turning point. Is it your will God or mine be done? If it is not God’s will, be honest. Say ‘God I can’t go there. I am not willing to go there. But I am willing to pray’.
If you are not willing to do something the action plan is to pray about it. Pray to be willing.”
Taking Step 3 commitment.
Stephanie will ask each person who wants to take step three the following questions:
1. Do you know what being convinced is? What it is to be at step three, which is a decision to turn your will and your life over to God. Do you know what that means?
2. Are you convinced that you are an alcoholic and could not manage your own life?
3. Are you convinced that no human power could have relieved your alcoholism?
(Stephanie says: ‘I am leaving out ‘probably’ no human power could relieve you. You would not be here, you would be a moderate or a problem alcoholic and have flown through this a long time ago. I am speaking to real alcoholics’.)
4. Are you convinced that God could and would if God were sought?
5. Are you willing to make a covenant before your God and a commitment before your group members and Stephanie as your Big Book step study sponsor that you will write your fourth step and to do a fifth step? You will bravely and courageously give it away, you will look at your shortcomings and character defects no matter how hard that is and even harder to go out and make amends to those who have harmed you. And then to live in steps 10, 11 and 12: looking at yourself, doing a nightly review, daily prayer and meditation, giving service to others in whatever arena God asks you?
The reason Stephanie asks if we will do God’s will in any arena is there are many of us who have to take care of elderly parents, relatives, friends. That is not easy. It is a lot of thankless work. A lot of physical, emotional and spiritual work to give service. That is why she is saying it is not just in the halls of recovery that we may be called upon to do service.
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#.
P O Box 531
North Pembroke MA 02358
You can listen to our recorded meetings at (641) 715-3900, pin 95666# for our Thursday Big Book Step Study workshop. You can also hear our Tuesday Big Book Study recordings at (641) 715-3900, pin 298913#. These meetings can be accessed at any time.