- Step 11

Step 11




12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.

Step 11

Postby Dallas » Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:58 pm

The daily self-examination in Step 10, and meditation in Step 11, have become the most powerful tools in our Spiritual toolkit, for my life.

It amazes me, the things that I can accomplish with Daily Steps 10 & 11, the things that I can change, my improved efficiency, improvement in my job performance, my health, my sleep, improvement in my income... and the levels of serenity and peace, the positive thoughts, peace of mind, happiness, joy, and the improvement of all my relations with myself and others... as a direct result of using these two Steps daily.

For me... God is Good, God is Life, and God is Love (among many other qualities) :lol: And, as I improve my conscious contact with God, I'm improving my conscious contact with Good, Love and Life!!! Pretty simple. And, as I improve my understanding of God's will for me... I do get the power to carry out the right actions and the ability to make the right choices and decisions that make a better experience of Life for me!

Dallas
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Step 11

Postby Dallas » Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:19 pm

Life goes on regardless of my perception about Life. Life happens. What makes it good or bad for me is how I think about it.

The 12 Steps change my perception about Life, and they change my perception about me and about what's going on in my life.

I may never know what Reality really is or what Reality really isn't.

What I do know is that my perception of Reality is what determines my reality in a given situation. And, my perception of reality can change my life.

Dallas
Last edited by Dallas on Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Dallas » Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:22 am

Before the 12 Steps of A.A.'s Program of Recovery had finally been written down by Bill Wilson, some of the alcoholics in the Akron and Cleveland areas who became pioneers of A.A. practiced what they referred to as prayer and quiet time to seek the guidance of God in their daily lives. And, the main idea was to actually receive guidance from God.

Often, some of the pioneers would start their day with a morning prayer, some type of devotional reading, and then they would have paper and pen ready while they practiced "the quiet time." At the end of the quiet time, they would write down what they believed to be as "their guidance that they had received from God." They often used a procedure, or process -- to measure it and check it out -- to discover if the guidance was just coming from their heads (self-will) -- or, if it was really God communicating ideas to them (God's will). And, this is what Bill was familiar with and was referring to as he was writing down Steps 10 & 11 and the instructions for Steps 10 & 11, as it appears in the Big Book, on pages 84 through 88.

Step 11 calls for prayer and meditation. Prayer would be considered as communication to God --- and meditation -- as a time of receiving communication from God.

When I turn back to page 72 (Big Book), it's explains what all this activity and action is focused towards -- "We have been trying to get a new attitude, a new relationship with our Creator, and to discover the obstacles in our path."

A relationship...

Can you imagine -- (or, perhaps you've experienced) -- a relationship where only one party to the relationship is doing all of the talking?

I discovered that if I desired to establish a conscious contact -- a relationship -- with God, as I understand God -- it was just important for me to be listening ---- and observing -- and inspecting -- as it was for me to be doing the talking!

Also, I needed a sure-fire way of deciding, and checking it out -- these "intuitive thoughts" -- to determine if I was only listening to my own head (motivated by my self-will) -- or if what I thought that I was receiving -- had sufficient merit for me to believe that "yes... this really could be God's guidance and God's will for me in this situation."

One day -- after doing this process for several days in a row -- I eventually came to believe in how very possible that it really was for God to be communicating His will and guidance to me through these intuitive experiences.

After I had several days of experiences written down, and as I looked over my Daily Inventories -- to inspect and observe the results of implementing the ideas and considering this as guidance in my daily actions, circumstances and situations (all my affairs)... I can honestly say that it appears that when I use this method to tap into my own inner-resource -- it works well when I work it. :wink:



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drifted away from 10 and 11 How?

Postby Vickie V » Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:36 pm

Hi Dallas,
Thanks for the post on 10 and 11. I went back and re read 84-88. The funny thing is just last week I asked myself (first mistake). What I could do differently because I was still finding myself caught up in chaos at my job. So I decided to start spending more time in the mornings in prayer and meditation. So each morning last week I started a new prayer and meditation process. I got up, lit some candles (yes I need candles :wink: ) and began to read the 24 hour a day book, then sat and deep breathed for a few minutes. I am not kidding you, the thought never came to my mind to listen for the guidance or that I could spend more time than a few minutes in meditation. (Duh) I was more focused on my breathing. How did I drift so far from 10 and 11? I realized just today after reading your post and pg84-88 that I am applying 10 and 11 with minimal effort. I became accustomed to ((((thinking))) I reflect enough naturally at night so I don’t need any sort of structured daily inventory reflection. In addition in the mornings I have been praying and not meditating. So I guess moving out of God’s way is in order. The first change I am going to make tonight is the reflection about my day. I will use page 86 as my guide. In the morning I will ask God to direct my thinking. I bet I will have better days to come. Thanks again, Vickie V
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Postby Dallas » Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:57 pm

Hello Vickie,

Thank you for sharing! I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience, strength and hope. I always get a lot out of reading the messages of experience.

One thing that has helped me in countless ways ... has been keeping a spiral bound writing pad -- and adding the written parts of Steps 10 & 11 to it each day. An awesome experience for me has been -- when my head would begin to tell me that I wasn't making much progress in something -- rather than listen to my head -- I had the evidence in the notebook that it really was working more than I was noticing. (Hopefully, I'm the only one with a noisy head that's constantly trying to tell me things that I don't need to be listening to!) :oops:

I usually keep my writing part very simple. I'll include a small "To Do List" for the day... and then somewhere on the page, I'll write a little informal note to God... Kind of like "God, thank you for helping me stay sober, and thank you for the many good things that you've put in my life. I'm experiencing a difficulty in making a decision about (whatever it is, or)... there are a couple of things that I would like to change in my life, and they are: (then, I name them) ... and, I would appreciate your guidance and your help in this. Thank you in advance for your help God! I'll be watching for evidence of your guidance."

I used to call the little notes "My God letters." When I first got sober a nice lady member of A.A. shared with me how she wrote God letters... instead of just praying. And, she shared that when she would have a difficult time, or it would seem like she wasn't getting through with her prayers... she would look back on her God letters... and discovered that God really had been answering her prayers all along!

I know that this probably sounds goofy, weird, strange or nuts... to some folks! It sounded that way to me, also... until I tried it! The results... for me, have amazed me!

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Good Tools

Postby Vickie V » Mon Mar 05, 2007 12:43 am

I had to ask myself how I drifted from an effective daily inventory process and improving my conscious contact with GOD and this is what I came up with I have been spending time taking others through the steps,starting a new meeting in town,and talking to my sponsor.
That is my story and I am sticking to it :lol:
Thanks for the response.
I am going to take advantage of the formats you use and have offered so freely. The spiral notebook also sounds good. Vickie V
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Postby chinook2 » Mon Mar 05, 2007 3:53 am

Hello Dallas and Vicki - Enjoyed reading your experience of 10 and 11.

My daily inventory, unless written down - tends to be far too exclusively about what plan of mine failed or who encroached on my turf. Gotta get back to the more balanced approach.

Took training in a form of meditation long ago. The last "guided" one I did - I remember my extremities going to sleep cuz I was so relaxed and heart rate so slow. Happens now just from sitting in one place too long(mirth). Candles work for me...always dreamt of buidling a room for that purpose which would help me enforce the time...got some really unrealistic ideas which'll just have to manifest in vision for now.

In the end - if/when I actually adhere to doing it - works very well as a part of this program! Thanks for your sharing.

Jim
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Postby Dallas » Mon Mar 05, 2007 7:31 am

Thanks for sharing Jim and Vickie!

Wow! Candles! It's been a long time since I've used candles! Thanks for the reminders! And, the reflections on "guided meditations"! I used those often during my first few years of sobriety. And, now... I'm sitting here wondering why it's been so long since I've done those enjoyable things!


So... rather than just think about it -- I'm logging off and going to look for the candles and a serenity-sounding CD to pop in the player! Be back with you soon!

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My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic

Postby musicmode » Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:47 am

God-letters :) ...I find that when I pray, often, it's dictation type, or..."I've memorized the words so well--look how fast I can rattle it off" :oops: . No-no---if I want to slow down to "God's speed & time", it helps for me to write out what I'm saying, how I'm feeling, etc. By writing it out, if fact, helps the old hamster-wheel upstairs stop squeaking (at least-so loudly). My head can get so noisy. When I first sobered up, I went to a mental health worker...and when I told her that my head was noisy, her concern was that I was schizophrenic :roll: ; no, man--just an alcoholic who's gotta think about the enter last century, the entire next century, and today--all at the same time :shock: . I can physically hear myself talk--slow down and pray, consciously trying to stop my thoughts long enough to spit out the serenity prayer, and sometimes those thoughts won't back off. I'll spit out 'Help me, God--please stop my head.' Next thing I know, it's like the end of a thunder storm, when the rain stops and the sky begins to clear. Those letters to God, for me, tend to keep the communication line a 2-way. Great topic, and great shares :D ...glad I dropped in :wink: .

Keep it simple, kids,
Anne
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Re: Step 11

Postby anniemac » Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:41 pm

Dallas wrote:What I do know is that my perception of Reality is what determines my reality in a given situation. And, my perception of reality can change my life. Dallas


Quite profound there, Dallas. So true, and so easy for me to forget!

I can easily fall in to some delusional intellectualization regarding these Steps. Because I know that these Steps are vital to my recovery, sometimes I can convince myself that understanding this fact is just as good as actually setting it in to motion. :shock: Ya see, just knowing how much better I feel when I meditate tells me that I don't have to actually meditate, cause I've already grasped the concept! Yikes, talk about a sick mind can't cure a sick mind! :oops:

So thanks all for posting on these 2 Steps.

With Step 10, I go back and forth as to whether I truly practice it or not. I'm mostly of the belief that if my belly barometer doesn't pick up on my transgression as it's happening, then I'm not going to become aware of it during an end-of-day review. Yet I know there's more to this Step, and somehow it is elusive to me.

Guess it's time to crack open my books and reread this section......
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12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Step 11