Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: September 30th

Recovery Meditations: September 30th


“A single sunbeam is enough
to drive away many shadows.”
St. Francis of Assisi

There are many tools I use to maintain my abstinence, but none of them is as important to me as service. I do a lot of service, but it’s not for fame or glory: I do service in order to keep my program strong. I came into program for the first time back in college, and got there only because someone offered to give me a ride.

When we first walk into these rooms, we often feel lost and alone in the dark world of addiction. But at that very first meeting we hear people talk about their experience and strength, and a small glow of light comes into our view. All it takes is that "single sunbeam" and we have hope again and our world seems brighter.

As we keep coming back and working the Steps, we encounter lots of different sunbeams, and slowly the shadows in our lives are cast away and the world becomes bright again. It is then our responsibility to let our own light shine. One of the beauties of this program is that everyone can find a way to give service. Whether it be on the group or Intergroup level, whether by sponsoring or just making a call, whether by serving as secretary, treasurer, or just by helping to put chairs away after a meeting, there is a job for everyone.
No one should feel "unimportant." I’m sure that the lady who gave me a ride to my first few meetings didn’t feel like she was doing anything special, but she was the first sunbeam in my life. All these years later, her act of giving has ignited in me a burning desire to give back to others the miracle of this program.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will be unafraid to let my light shine.
Any act of service that I can give will not only help another, but will ensure that my own light does not burn out.

~ Laurel


Each Day a New Beginning
Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?
  —Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

We choose the lives we lead. We choose sadness or happiness; success for failure; dread or excited anticipation. Whether or not we are conscious of our choices, we are making them every moment.

Accepting full responsibility for our actions is one of the requirements of maturity. Not always the easiest thing to do, but necessary to our further development. An unexpected benefit of accepting our responsibility is that it heightens our awareness of personal power. Our well being is within our power. Happiness is within our power. Our attitude about any condition, present or future, is within our power, if we take it.

Life is "doing unto us" only what we allow. And it will favor us with whatever we choose. If we look for excitement, we'll find it. We can search out the positive in any experience. All situations present seeds of new understanding, if we are open to them. Our responses to the events around us determine whatever meaning life offers. We are in control of our outlook. And our outlook decides our future.

This day is mine, fully, to delight in - or to dread. The decision is always mine.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation. 


Food for Thought

When our vision was clouded by self-will, our perspective was narrow and subjective. We saw people and events only as they fostered or frustrated our egotistical concerns. The world was a frightening place, since we thought that our welfare was entirely dependent on our own efforts.

Coming to believe in a Higher Power gives us a new, broader perspective. We learn the security of trusting eternal values and moral principles. When we pray only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out, we begin to see ourselves as serving rather than surviving. Particular acts may or may not be successful from our point of view, but we can move on in confidence, knowing that our past, present, and future is in His hands.

The new perspective, which comes to us as we work the OA program, enables us to accept defeats as well as successes and irritations as well as satisfactions. All experience is for our growth and development.

Create in us a new perspective.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.


The Language of Letting Go
Not a Victim

You are not a victim.

How deeply ingrained our self-image as a victim can be! How habitual our feelings of misery and helplessness! Victimization can be like a gray cloak that surrounds us, both attracting that which will victimize us and causing us to generate the feelings of victimization.

Victimization can be so habitual that we may feel victimized even by the good things that happen to us!

Got a new car? Yes, we sigh, but it doesn't run as well as I expected, and after all, it cost so much. . . .

You've got such a nice family! Yes, we sigh, but there are problems. And we've had such hard times. . . .

Well, your career certainly is going well! Ah, we sigh, but there is such a price to pay for success. All that extra paperwork. . . .

I have learned that, if we set our mind to it, we have an incredible, almost awesome ability to find misery in any situation, even the most wonderful of circumstances.

Shoulders bent, head down, we shuffle through life taking our blows.

Be done with it. Take off the gray cloak of despair, negativity, and victimization. Hurl it; let it blow away in the wind.

We are not victims. We may have been victimized. We may have allowed ourselves to be victimized. We may have sought out, created, or re created situations that victimized us. But we are not victims.

We can stand in our power. We do not have to allow ourselves to be victimized. We do not have to let others victimize us. We do not have to seek out misery in either the most miserable or the best situations.

We are free to stand in the glow of self-responsibility.

Set a boundary! Deal with the anger! Tell someone no, or stop that! Walk away from a relationship! Ask for what you need! Make choices and take responsibility for them. Explore options. Give yourself what you need! Stand up straight, head up, and claim your power. Claim responsibility for yourself!

And learn to enjoy what's good.

Today, I will refuse to think, talk, speak, or act like a victim. Instead, I will joyfully claim responsibility for myself and focus on what's good and right in my life.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

There is no such thing as "best" in the world of individuals.
--Hosea Bellou

We live in a society driven by the concept of competition. "We are Number One" is drummed in our ears daily via advertising and sporting events. The message is that we must be or must have something "better than" if we have any sense of pride at all. Failure is the only other option.

But human behavior can't be judged according to this kind of rating system. How could we ever determine who is the best listener, the most insightful or compassionate? At any given moment, the best for us may not be the best for someone else. If it goes right to the heart, a simple word spoken at a meeting is the best word. If someone we hardly know nods and smiles from across the room, that smile is the best smile for us, here and now. The extended hand, the brief word of encouragement, will never be proclaimed "Number One" on television, never be memorialized in record books as better than the support someone else got, but for us, it's the best.

I am surrounded by a multitude of blessings. I need look no further for what I need.
You are reading from the book:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: September 29th

Recovery Meditations: September 29th


“Take my hand, and no matter how dark the night,
the light of day will come, and we will share the tomorrow.”

Ken Grant

When we first walk into our recovery rooms, we are all afraid: afraid of more rejection, afraid of more failure, and afraid of more loneliness. Once we sit and listen, we realize that we are not much different than the other people there. We ease up, start sharing, begin trusting our Higher Power and ourselves more.

Our darkness of the past is drawn out by our sharing with other addicts. We realize our deep, dark secrets are not as bad as we thought.

We are not alone! Then hand-in-hand, we begin climbing the ladder of recovery and the light of day begins to shine brighter and brighter.

One Day at a Time . . .
When we let our guard down and let Higher Power
and other people in, we learn that at the end of a
dark day is the light of our next today. We learn
that together we can do what we can never do alone.

~ Jeanette


Each Day a New Beginning
Female friendships that work are relationships in which women help each other to belong to themselves.
  —Louise Bernikow

To have anything worth giving to a friend, we must belong to ourselves. Are we someone we like? Does our behavior agree with our beliefs? Do our friends share our values, and when we are together do we support one another?

If we don't like our own company, we will try to hide our real selves. The more we hide, the further we are running from wholeness and health. We can assess ourselves, calmly and lovingly, so that we can keep on becoming the women we want to be. The more congruent are our behavior and our beliefs, the more we belong to ourselves. The better we like ourselves, the better friends we can be.

The love and sympathy of my women friends can help me in my spiritual journey toward serenity, and I can help theirs. Today, I will accompany others on their journey, and thus find company for my own.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation. 

Food for Thought
The Satisfaction of Work

Using our God-given talents and abilities to do the work He assigns us brings deep satisfaction. Many of us used to eat a lot of "idle bread" which we did not need. Now that we are eating less, we find that we derive satisfaction from working more.

Work is an opportunity to give away the gifts we are given. It is sharing which requires effort and discipline. If we do not work up to our maximum level of ability, our satisfaction is reduced. As we give away our gifts, we are given more.

Maintaining abstinence improves the quality of our work and increases our output. Instead of doing just enough to get by, we are challenged to give the best that we have. Abstaining from compulsive overeating can give us the courage and confidence to change jobs when necessary.

When we are emotionally upset, turning to a task, which absorbs us physically or mentally, or both can have a healing effect. Rather than a curse, work can be a blessing, especially when we realize that ultimately we are working with and for our Higher Power.

We give thanks for the satisfaction of work.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.


The Language of Letting Go
The Importance of Money

We cannot afford to allow our focus in life to be money. That will not lead us into the abundance we're seeking. Usually, it will not even lead to financial stability.

Money is important. We deserve to be paid what we're worth. We will be paid what we're worth when we believe we deserve to be. But often your plans fail when our primary consideration is money.

What do we really want to do? What do we feel led to do? What are our instincts telling us? What do we feel guided to do? What are we excited about doing? Seek to find a way to do that, without worrying about the money.

Consider the financial aspects. Set boundaries about what you need to be paid. Be reasonable. Expect to start at the bottom, and work up. But if you feel led toward a job, go for it.

Is there something we truly don't want to do, something that goes against our grain, but we are trying to force ourselves into it "for the money?" Usually, that's a behavior that backfires. It doesn't work. We make ourselves miserable, and the money usually goes wrong too.

I have learned that when I am true to myself about work and what I need to be doing, the money will follow. Sometimes it's not as much as I want; sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised, and it's more. But I'm content, and I have enough.

Money is a consideration, but it cannot be our primary consideration if we are seeking spiritual security and peace of mind.

Today, I will make money a consideration, but I will not allow it to become my primary consideration. God, help me be true to myself and trust that the money will follow.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


Today's thoughts from Hazelden are:

One day at a time.

You've got to give time, time.

Doing exactly the same thing over and over,
expecting different results.

The Serenity Prayer is the handrail to grab
until you can work the Steps.
You are reading from the book:

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: September 28th

Recovery Meditations: September 28th


“Those who have learned by experience
what physical and emotional pain and anguish mean
are a community all over the world…
One and all, they know the longing to be free from pain.”
Albert Schweitzer

Whether we isolate or are on the go constantly, whether we're in the disease or out of it, whether we've found all the Promises or we haven't, we are bonded for a lifetime by the disease of our addiction.

I was alone until I found other compulsive eaters. Yes, I had a family and friends and relatives and doctors and church and careers, but I was emotionally alone with this intricate, enigmatic, hellhole of a disease. The moment I met and connected with other compulsive eaters, my "real" life began.

One Day at a Time . . .
I share what I have learned with those who haven't.
I give what I have to give, and I get so much more.

~ Mari


Each Day a New Beginning
I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome.
  —Golda Meir

Living a principled life is what the inner self desires. It's what God desires. And it's what the healthier ego desires. Living the program's principles is giving each of us practice in living a principled life, one that is free of guilt for our shortcomings.

Having principles assures direction. We need not ponder long how to proceed in any situation, what decision to make regarding any matter, when we are guided by principles. They offer us completeness. They help us define who we are and who we will be, in any turn of events.

As women, particularly as recovering women, we have struggled with self-definition. Often we were as others defined us, or we merely imitated those close by. Sometimes we may slip into old behavior and lose sight of who we are and how we want to live. It's then that the program's principles come immediately to our aid.

There is no doubt about how today should be lived. I will do it with confidence and joy.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation


Food for Thought
My Own Body

My body is where I live. Its size and shape is a matter between my Higher Power and me. No one else is responsible for my body. In the past, I may have permitted other people to influence what I ate and how much I weighed, but I now take full responsibility.

Other people may think that I am too fat or too thin, but that is their problem, not mine. I am learning what my body needs in order to operate at peak efficiency. I am learning to avoid the foods, which I do not handle well. What and how much I eat depends on my own preference and the requirements of my metabolism.

My body is a gift to me from my Higher Power. Maintaining it in the best possible condition is my response to God's gift. No one else can tell me how best to maintain my body, since no one else is living in it or receives its inner signals. If I honestly interpret the signals, which come from my body, I will stay abstinent and healthy.

Thank You for my body.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.


The Language of Letting Go

Here are some of my favorite prayers:

Help. Please. Don't.
Show me. Guide me. Change me.
Are you there?
Why'd you do that?
Thank you.

Today, I will tell God what I want to tell God, and listen for God's answer. I will remember that I can trust God.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

All the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is our life.
--M. C. Richards

What you do for a living is not who you are. You are more, much more, than that.

It's easy to get so caught up in what we do that we're only identifying ourselves through our daily tasks. I am a mechanic. I am a parking lot attendant. I am a doctor. I am a dishwasher. When we link ourselves too closely to our jobs, we deny ourselves the chance to ever be anything else.

God gave us the power to change. You're more than what you do. You're a vital vibrant soul that came here to experience, grow, and change. Make a masterpiece out of your life.

God, help me realize the glory of my soul. Thank you for my mortality and for the ability to learn and grow.
You are reading from the book:


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: September 27th

Recovery Meditations: September 27th


“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect
before which difficulties and obstacles vanish.”

John Quincy Adams

When I first walked through the meeting doors, I wanted recovery and I wanted it now! Give me the magic wand, I’ll waive it, then get on with my life. At least that’s what I thought.

One of the most difficult things I’ve had to learn is the art of patience and allowing God to work within his own time while I do the footwork to the best of my ability. It is my belief that the universe and my Higher Power will order the next level of my physical recovery. Physical recovery does not grow without spiritual progress. This Program is a journey, not a crash-course in fad dieting.

When I struggled with bouts of pride connected to my levels of patience and God’s timing, I knew I was uncovering yet another character flaw that could delay my spiritual recovery. Spiritual recovery, as “Old-timers” have told us again and again, is the actual foundation of the program. The inner-person will eventually make its way to the outer-person.

One day at a time...
Today I will slow down, take a deep breath, and just remind myself that my Higher Power is in control and that my natural pattern will develop under His nurture, care, and control.

~ January


Each Day a New Beginning
The wisdom of all ages and cultures emphasizes the tremendous power our thoughts have over our character and circumstances.
  —Liane Cordes

"As we think, so we are." We are gifted with the personal power to make thoughtful choices and thus decide whom we are. Our actions and choices combine to create our character, and our character influences the circumstances of our lives.

Our personal mind power will work to our advantage when we think positively, or it will contribute to our disadvantage. Imagining our good fortunes will prepare us for them. Imagining the successful completion of a task heightens and strengthens the commitment we must make daily to it. Imagining the steps necessary to the successful accomplishment of any goal directs our efforts so we don't falter along the way. Our minds work powerfully for our good. And just as powerfully to our detriment, when fears intrude on all our thoughts.

The program has given me positive personal power; it lies in the relationship I have with my higher power. My outlook and attitude toward life reveals the strength of my connection to God. I will work with God and imagine my good fortune today.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation


Food for Thought
We Admit

Three of the Twelve Steps have to do with admitting. We admit that we are powerless over food and cannot manage our own lives; we admit our wrongs to God, ourselves, and another person; we continue to take inventory and admit when we are wrong.

Out of honest admission of our weakness comes strength. We are able to see ourselves realistically and with clarity. When we are humble enough to admit our wrongs, we get rid of the false front we had tried to maintain. This frees us to be who we are, without pretense.

When we admit our faults, we are cleansed. We no longer have to try to hide and cover up our weaknesses and mistakes. Instead of pretending to be perfect, we can be human and satisfied with progress.

We admit that we have a progressive disease, and we learn how to control it. We do not pretend to ourselves or others that we can eat like everyone else, because we are compulsive overeaters. We cannot manage our own lives, but there is One who can.

I admit that I am powerless, and I am grateful for Your Power in my life.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation

The Language of Letting Go
Temporary Setbacks

Sometimes, after we begin recovery, things in our life seem to get worse for a time. Our finances, our relationships, or our health may seem to deteriorate.

This is temporary; this is a normal part of recovery and healing. It may be the way things will be for a time, but not for long.

Keep working at recovery, and the trend will reverse. Before too long, things, and us, will be better than they were before. This time, the foundation will be solid.

God, help me trust You and recovery, even when I have setbacks. Help me remember that the problems are temporary, and when they are solved, I will be on more solid ground.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
-- Chinese Proverb

With all the negativity that surrounds us, it is easy to become overwhelmed. It is also tempting to fight against the negative or to declare war on it. Yet a master teacher offered a better way: "Resist not evil, but overcome evil with good."

Imagine you are in a dark room. Wanting the darkness to leave, you curse and fight against it. But no matter how much effort you make, the darkness remains. Turn on the light switch, however, and the night vanishes in an instant.

In a similar manner, when the light of truth is shed on a situation, fear and disharmony dissolve. When you send out a positive thought to another person or take a constructive action, an enormous amount of good is accomplished. Each good act begets another until a network of love and light is created.

The purpose of life is to reflect this light into places that are dark. Let your light shine and stay focused on the power of love. When enough of us have turned on our spiritual light switches, the earth will become as bright as a shining star. Where, then, could darkness dwell?
You are reading from the book:

Friday, September 26, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: September 26th

Recovery Meditations: September 26th


“We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

Joseph Campbell

It’s hard to give up old habits. Although my former solutions to dealing with stress, anger, and emotional and physical pain had never worked and only made the problems worse, they were familiar. I had high hopes the results would be different each time. I wasn’t too surprised when it didn’t happen because this was familiar ground.

Then I heard about this program, half-heartedly joined and began working the Twelve Steps. It was scary! Things began happening to me that I’d never dreamed possible. I was given abstinence! I had not planned for that to happen. How could I, when I had no idea what abstinence would really be like?

At first I felt very anxious, sure the abstinence would be snatched from me just as I was beginning to feel comfortable with it. While I enjoyed abstinence and not having to focus on my eating disorder's requirements, I often felt like I was in foreign territory without a map. I couldn't plan my life like I had before because my life was busy evolving in ways I couldn't imagine.

But the longer I worked the program, the happier my life became. To my utter shock I’ve recently discovered that I, a control freak and ultimate planner of everything, have begun to enjoy the unpredictability that my Higher Power has so graciously put in my life.

Before the program I never appreciated spontaneity; I couldn’t. Now, a day without plans is an opportunity.

One day at a time...
I will pray to let go of my will
and instead to be open to my Higher Power's will for me.

~ Rhonda


Each Day a New Beginning
Why is life so tragic, so like a little strip of pavement over an abyss? I look down; I feel giddy; I wonder how I am ever to walk to the end.
  —Virginia Woolf

As we look toward the hours ahead, we can be thankful that we need be concerned with only a single day's worth of hours. No more. What may come tomorrow, a decision that might be necessary next week, a big change in our lives coming next year, all will be handled with ease, when the time is right.

How fortunate we are, those of us who share this program for living! Our worries about the future are over, if we want them to be. We need to take only one step at a time. One day at a time. And always in the care of God. Relief from our lives of worry is immediate when we live the axiom, "Let go and let God."

Life does present us with tragedies, and we learn from them. They need not detour us, however. In fact, they strengthen us and encourage personal growth. And no experience will ever be more than we and our higher power can handle.

I will turn to the program and everything it offers today. Just today, and no more, is my concern.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation. 


Food for Thought
Character Defects

Beginning the OA program, we are inclined to feel that our problems and difficulties are largely due to circumstances and other people. The enemy seems to be outside. The more we work the Steps, the more we realize that our troubles are within, rather than without. Furthermore, we learn that the only person we can change is our self.

We see that the root of our difficulty lies in being centered on self instead of centered in our Higher Power. Our egos can take us only so far before we reach a point where continued growth demands that we begin to abandon them. What a relief to get rid of the anxiety, frustration, and fear that goes with an ego-centered life!

Our Higher Power removes our character defects as we become willing to let go of them. Honest awareness is our first task, and this is facilitated by maintaining abstinence from compulsive overeating. Abstinence gives us the honesty and the energy to change. As we change, circumstances and relationships improve.

I ask that You remove my character defects according to Your will.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.


The Language of Letting Go
Feeling Protected

Our task is not a naive one of feeling safe, of living and loving in a utopian world. One woman commented that our task is making ourselves feel safe while learning to live and love in a world that is unsafe.

We do not want to dwell on the danger for that gives power to the negative. Neither do we want to ignore them or pretend they don't exist.

If we were going to sunbathe, we would not be naive about the dangers from the sun. We know that harmful rays can burn. We would take steps to protect ourselves, so that we could enjoy the benefits of the sun.

That is our task in recovery.

This is what a woman, a helping professional, told me:

Picture a sunscreen surrounding you. Place it around yourself - not too heavy and thick so no light can penetrate, and not so thin that you are exposed to danger.

See yourself protected by a sunscreen that is effective. Make certain that the screen is open to the good. For a while, your screen was too heavy. It held back what you wanted. Now change it to let the good come through.

This is your screen for life and the world. See it. Imagine it surrounding you always. It wraps you in love, in comfort, in protection. No harm can enter. No negative energy can penetrate the screen.

Go in peace; go in safety. Go now, knowing you are protected. Go anywhere you need to go. The evil has been blocked; the goodwill comes pouring forth. You do not have to work so hard at protecting yourself. You can relax and enjoy life trusting that you are safe. Go without fear, for you are wrapped in love and protection. And you shall always be.

Today, I will envision myself wrapped in a shield that blocks the negative and harmful rays of the world, but it is constructed so that the good can enter.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.
--D. H. Lawrence

Sometimes when we feel sorry for ourselves we will sit alone in our bedroom. We may even feel so down in the dumps that we decide to stay there, indulging in self-pity, thinking about how the world is against us.

However, if we use our imagination to step outside our own point of view for a moment, we might think differently. If we were deer in the forest, we would be thinking about keeping safe from the wolves, and where our next meal would be coming from.

The animals have no time to feel sorry for themselves, they are too busy doing what has to be done to survive, and each thing that happens presents a new survival problem to be solved.

When we feel blue, it helps to keep this in mind. If we have the time to feel down, and can get physically comfortable while doing it, how bad can the problem really be?
You are reading from the book:


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: September 25th

Recovery Meditations: September 25th


“Courage faces fear and thereby masters it.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I've never been a brave person and was always very fearful. I would watch movies where the hero would rescue the heroine, someone would climb Mount Everest or perform some feat of daring, and I would be totally in awe. I was afraid of the dark, of rejection, of failure and of most other things that I was convinced took courage. There’s no way would I go parasailing or deep sea diving as that seemed to require the courage that I lacked.

I didn't understand then that people who do those kinds of things are not totally without fear, but they have a way of overcoming their fear and still doing it anyway.

When I came into the program and learned that I would have to do an inventory and then, worse still, make amends to the people I had harmed, I was paralyzed by fear. Eventually I realized that, even though I feared doing these things, all I had to do was ask my Higher Power for strength and guidance and then do the things I'd most feared. Perhaps these weren't the feats of daring that I had seen heroes perform, but for me they were great victories and in being able to do them, I knew that I was developing courage.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will continue to walk through my fear with my Higher Power at my side, knowing that I am developing the courage that I thought I lacked.

Sharon S.


Each Day a New Beginning

.....we do not always like what is good for us in this world.
—Eleanor Roosevelt


Most of us can look back and recall how we fought a particular change. How certain we were that we wouldn't survive the upheaval! Perhaps we lost a love or were forced to leave a home or a job. Retrospect allows us to see the good of the change, and we can see the necessary part each change has played in our development as recovering women. We've had to change to cover the distances we've traveled. And we'll have to continue changing.

The program and its structure, and our faith in that structure, can ease the harsh consequences of change. Our higher power wants only the best for us, of that we can be sure. However, the best may not always "fit" when first we try it. Patience, trust, and prayer are a winning combination when the time comes for us to accept a change. We'll know when it's coming. Our present circumstances will begin to pinch.

Change means growth. It's a time for celebration, not dread. It means I am ready to move ahead--that I have "passed" the current test.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation


Food for Thought

Don't Hang On

As long as we are alive, we will experience times of joy and times of sadness. Trying to hang on to the periods of elation and avoid the inevitable depression which each of us feels from time to time causes us to seek artificial stimulation. Using food to try to stay on cloud nine did not work, and neither does anything else.

By turning over our lives, we become willing to let go and move through the periods of joy and sadness as we come to them. Trying to hang on arrests our progress. Nothing is certain in this life except change, and when we stop overeating we are better able to deal with the variations in our feelings and circumstances.

Whatever our current mood or situation, we can remain abstinent. Abstinence gives our lives stability and order, in spite of changes. Being centered in the Power greater than ourselves keeps us from being overly affected by either elation or depression.

By focusing on You, may I move calmly through the times of joy and the times of sadness.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation


The Language of Letting Go
Peace with the Past

Even God cannot change the past.

Holding on to the past, either through guilt, longing, denial, or resentment, is a waste of valuable energy - energy that can be used to transform today and tomorrow.

"I used to live in my past," said one recovering woman. "I was either trying to change it, or I was letting it control me. Usually both.

"I constantly felt guilty about things that had happened. Things I had done; things others had done to me - even though I had made amends for most everything, the guilt ran deep. Everything was somehow my fault. I could never just let it go.

"I held on to anger for years, telling myself it was justified. I was in denial about a lot of things. Sometimes, I'd try to absolutely forget about my past, but I never really stopped and sorted through it; my past was like a dark cloud that followed me around, and I couldn't shake clear of it. I guess I was scared to let it go, afraid of today, afraid of tomorrow.

I've been recovering now for years, and it has taken me almost as many years to gain the proper perspective on my past. I'm learning I can't forget it; I need to heal from it. I need to feel and let go of any feelings I still have, especially anger.

"I need to stop blaming myself for painful events that took place, and trust that everything has happened on schedule, and truly all is okay. I've learned to stop regretting, and to start being grateful.

"When I think about the past, I thank God for the healing and the memory. If something occurs that needs an amend, I make it and am done with it. I've learned to look at my past with compassion for myself, trusting that my Higher Power was in control, even then.

"I've healed from some of the worst things that happened to me. I've made peace with myself about these issues, and I've learned that healing from some of these issues has enabled me to help others to heal too. I'm able to see how the worst things helped form my character and developed some of my finer points.

"I've even developed gratitude for my failed relationships because they have brought me to who and where I am today.

"What I've learned has been acceptance - without guilt, anger, blame, or shame. I've even had to learn to accept the years I spent feeling guilty, angry, shameful, and blaming."

We cannot control the past. But we can transform it by allowing ourselves to heal from it and by accepting it with love for others and ourselves. I know, because that woman is me.

Today, I will begin being grateful for my past. I cannot change what happened, but I can transform the past by owning my power, now, to accept, heal, and learn from it.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

A thousand eyes, but none with correct vision.
--Isacher Hurwitz

William Shakespeare referred to envy as the "green sickness." There are only losers in the game of envy. When we envy someone else, we have judged ourselves and found something lacking.

Lack of self-love is the soil in which envy grows. Envious people are never satisfied. Self-pity is never sitting far from envy. We feel sorry for ourselves for what we don't have. Self-pity is like a swamp, the longer we stand in the muck, the more we stink.

Concentrating on what we do have is the perfect antidote for envy. Every one of us has our own special gifts and talents. We find these by looking at ourselves instead of looking at others. By becoming grateful for what we have, we can rejoice in ourselves.

Today let me be grateful for what I have.
You are reading from the book:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: September 24th

Recovery Meditations: September 24th

~ The Future ~

When I look into the future, it's so bright it burns my eyes.

Oprah Winfrey

I receive the gift of abstinence one day at a time. I am relieved from the obsession to eat one day at a time. With the help of my Higher Power, I can live life on life's terms... one day at a time.

As my recovery builds and builds, I start to imagine all the possibilities for my life. Things I never had the confidence or emotional stability to pursue are options for me. Now that I am free from the despair and self-destruction of overeating, there is space to actualize new adventures. But before I become overwhelmed or grandiose in my thinking, the Program gently reminds me that it is STILL just one day a time.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will work my program so that I have a future.

~ Christine S. ~


Each Day a New Beginning
Woman must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.
  —Margaret Sanger

Let us not stifle ourselves any longer. Let us dare to dream and realize those dreams. Let us dare to take risks, having faith that to advance in any respect implies taking risks. Fortunately, we have the support of the program and one another to cushion the fall, if it should come. But more important, we have one another's example to inspire us as we contemplate our own agenda for self-expression.

Many of us for far too long passively watched others move forward. No longer need we be passive observers, but the familiarity of no action, no choice making, and irresponsibility, makes passivity attractive at times. We must remember responsible choices, for only those make possible our very special contributions.

Not every day do we awaken with the strength needed to "do our part." But the strength will be available just as quickly as we call for it. Alone, we are strugglers; however, we have a ready partnership, and it guarantees us guidance, wisdom, and strength when we ask for it.

I have so much to offer other women. And I need another's example. Every expression of my strength will boost another woman's strength. I will give.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.


Food for Thought
Accepting Where We Are

Wherever we are when we come to this program is where we begin. Some of us have further to go along the road to self-actualization than others. No one of us ever arrives in this life. There is always more work to be done.

Believing that our Higher Power has a plan for each of us, we accept the place where He has put us right now. We do not expect to stay in this place, but it is a necessary part of our growth and development. We cannot move on until we understand where we are now and how we got here.

Our Fourth Step inventory gives us an opportunity to examine past actions, which have led to our current situation. We may not like what we discover, but an honest appraisal of our weaknesses and faults as well as our strengths is preparation for constructive change. Accepting where we are frees us from morbid obsession with the past and enables us to move on into the future.

May I accept where I am as the best place for me to be today.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.

The Language of Letting Go
Allowing Ourselves to be Needy

We can accept ourselves as people who have needs - the need for comfort, love, understanding, friendship, and healthy touch. We need positive reinforcement, someone to listen to us, someone to give to us. We are not weak for needing these things. These needs make us human and healthy. Getting our needs met - believing we deserve to have them met - makes us happy.

There are times, too, when in addition to our regular needs, we become particularly needy. At these times, we need more than we have to give out. That is okay too.

We can accept and incorporate our needs, and our needy side, into the whole of us. We can take responsibility for our needs. That doesn't make us weak or deficient. It doesn't mean we are not properly recovering, nor does it mean we're being dependent in an unhealthy way. It makes our needs, and our needy side, manageable. Our needs stop controlling us, and we gain control.

And, our needs begin to get met.

Today, I will accept my needs and my needy side. I believe I deserve to get my needs met, and I will allow that to happen.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

About the time I wish I were dead, something falls in my path about which I make a difference. Then I figure God was saving me for that.
--Janice Clark

Not everybody has the easy faith that Janice has, but perhaps we could all cultivate it. They say it's never too late to make a friend of God who's been waiting in the wings all along. But some may question this point, particularly if they have lived long without attending to their spiritual side. Indeed, it's not a requirement. However, those who have sought the counsel of a Higher Spirit have found comfort in the knowledge that they are never alone.

One of the plusses of believing in God is knowing that we don't have to handle any situation that occurs without guidance. We never have to have all the answers. We never have to have any of them, in fact. All we have to do is seek them from the only Source that really has them.

If we haven't allowed our lives to be this easy up to now, let's give this process a chance. There's no reason to keep struggling with the circumstances that happen to us.

I will acknowledge the rightness of whatever comes my way today.
You are reading from the book:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: September 23rd

Recovery Meditations: September 23rd


“A life lacking the emotional upheavals of depression and despair,
fear and anxiety, grief and sadness, anger and the agony of forgiving,
confusion and doubt, criticism and rejection,
will not only be useless to ourselves, it will be useless to others.”

Scott Peck

Because I have always thought of myself as such an ordinary person, as life moved along I was surprised to find so many emotional events happening in it. I have had severe periods of depression and despair; I have known fear, anxiety, anger and doubt. I have wrestled with grief and known the agony of rejection. I have been subjected to criticism and experienced firsthand the difficulty of forgiving those whom I once thought I would never be able to forgive.

What I have learned about life and recovery is that no one is ordinary, that everyone experiences emotions of all kinds, and what is important is that each of these upheavals are instructive and not wasted.

Whereas once I would block my feelings, I now allow myself to feel them. Instead of sweeping my emotions under a rug, I express them. Rather than blocking grief from my soul, I experience it ... then heal from it. When I am rejected, I try to move on by exploring the reasons why.

One day at a time...
I will turn my negative emotions into positive ones by transforming them into useful learning experiences both for myself and for others.

~ Mari ~


Each Day a New Beginning
Who will I be today? The "Cosmopolitan" woman, the little girl, the scholar, the mother? Who will I be to answer the needs of others, and yet answer the needs of me?
  —Deidra Sarault

We wear many hats. One aspect of our maturity is our ability to balance our roles. It's often quite difficult to do so; however, the program offers us many tools for balancing our lives.

Fulfilling some of the needs of significant others in our lives brings us joy. Our own needs must be given priority, though. We cannot give away what we don't have, and we have nothing unless we give sincere attention and love to ourselves.

In years gone by, we may have taken too little care of others, or we overdid it. In either case, we probably neglected ourselves. Most of us starved ourselves spiritually, many of us emotionally, a few physically. We were all too often "all-or-nothing" women.

Today we're aware of our choices. We've been making a number of good ones lately: We're abstinent. We're living the Steps. And we're choosing how to spend our time, and what to do with our lives. But no choice will turn out very well if we haven't taken care of ourselves.

I will center on myself. I will nurture the maturing woman within and then reach out. 
From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation


Food for Thought
Positive Leads

As our serenity grows, the clamor and confusion inside our heads die down. Instead of being pulled in many different directions and uncertain of which way to turn, we gradually discern the positive voice that leads us forward. Rather than trying to analyze all possible alternatives intellectually, we gain the confidence to choose the positive way without agonizing indecision.

To worry and speculate about the roads not taken is counter productive and wasteful of our energies. We pray that we may know the will of our Higher Power for us, and then we act according to the best of our knowledge. The more we practice listening to the still, small voice within, the more positive direction we will receive.

The mental calmness which we experience as we abstain from compulsive overeating clears away our former confusion. We may make mistakes, but as long as we can admit them and stay in contact with our Higher Power, we will continue to follow His positive leads.

Keep me on Your positive path.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation


The Language of Letting Go

Practice tolerance.

Tolerate our quirks, our feelings, our reactions, our peculiarities, and our humanness. Tolerate our ups and downs, our resistance to change, and our struggling and sometimes awkward nature.

Tolerate our fears, our mistakes, our natural tendency to duck from problems, and pain. Tolerate our hesitancy to get close, expose ourselves, and be vulnerable.

Tolerate our need to occasionally feel superior, to sometimes feel ashamed, and to occasionally share love as an equal. Tolerate the way we progress - a few steps forward, and a couple back.

Tolerate our instinctive desire to control and how we reluctantly learn to practice detachment. Tolerate the way we say we want love, and then sometimes push others away. Tolerate our tendency to get obsessive, forget to trust God, and occasionally get stuck.

Some things we do not tolerate. Do not tolerate abusive or destructive behaviors toward others or ourselves.

Practice healthy, loving tolerance of ourselves, said one man. When we do, we'll learn tolerance for others. Then, take it one step further; learn that all the humanness we're tolerating is what makes ourselves and others beautiful.

Today, I will be tolerant of myself. From that, I will learn appropriate tolerance of others.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

I believe that every single event in life happens as an opportunity to choose love over fear.
--Oprah Winfrey

When our past is strewn with tragic and abusive experiences, it's not easy to recall events as opportunities to love. Yet today we are safe, and we have come to believe a Higher Power has been watching over us every moment. Through the principles of this program, we are learning to forgive and to trust that we will always be cared for.

We cannot change the past. What happened and how we responded helped carry us to this point in our journey. We can cultivate love, now, for the present. The people who care for us will support us. The experiences designed for our progress will come to us. Our Higher Power will never leave our side. We can be free of fear today, if that's our wish.

I will not fear the events in my life today. I am ready for them. They need my involvement.

You are reading from the book:


Monday, September 22, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: September 22nd

Recovery Meditations: September 22nd


"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.
I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed
in the world as what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

Dissatisfaction has been part of my disease and it played a significant role in bringing me to recovery. It is the human condition to dislike where we are. Like many of us, I used to think that only some mystical, non-existent person, place, thing or situation would make me happy. If only my spouse loved me as I want to be loved; if only the boss would see and appreciate my contributions; or if only my house and children were perfect. I sat year after year speculating and fantasizing my life away.

The Serenity Prayer tells me to ask God for the wisdom to know His will for me. I lived in darkness and despair until I learned that my Higher Power is here. He is in charge. I must, through prayer and meditation, seek God's will and do the next right thing. I need to cooperate with my Higher Power to change my attitude. To that end, I do the footwork just for today.

One day at a time...
I will seek and accept God's will for my life.

~ Danny


Each Day a New Beginning
Anger conquers when unresolved.

Emotions need recognition. But not only attention; they also need acceptance as powerful dimensions of who we are. Their influence over who we are capable of becoming is mighty.

Respectful attention and willing acceptance of our emotions, whether fear or anger or hateful jealousy, takes away their sting. We can prevent them from growing larger than they are. Like a child who screams and misbehaves more and more fiercely until attention is won, our emotions grow larger and more intense the longer we deny their existence.

Our emotions bless us, in reality. They enrich our experiences. They serve as guideposts on the road we're traveling. How we "feel" at any single moment flags the level of our security, how close we are to our higher power, the level of our commitment to the program. They serve us well when acknowledged. On the other hand, when ignored or denied, they can immobilize us, even defeat us.

My feelings frequent my being, always. They steer my behavior. They reflect my attitudes. They hint at my closeness to God.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.


Food for Thought

During our dieting days, we probably spent much time getting on and off the scales. In OA, we are advised not to weigh more than once a month. Though we want to get rid of excess weight, we do not want to be obsessed with pounds and ounces. This program involves much more than weight control, and to make the scales our ultimate judge is to miss the mark.

If we are honestly abstaining from compulsive overeating and working our program, we will lose weight. The rate of loss will vary from person to person and from week to week. Even, and especially, when the scale registers what we want it to register, we continue to honestly abstain and work the OA program.

In OA, we are more concerned with the progress we make in controlling our disease than we are with our specific weight on any particular day. If our illness is under control, weight control will follow. Scales are useful for measuring physical progress, but they are not a god.

May I use the scales wisely?

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation.


The Language of Letting Go
Trusting Ourselves

Many of us believed that heeding the words of God or our Higher Power meant following rigid rules, an instruction booklet for life.

Many of us now believe differently. The rigid rules, the endless instructions, the exhortation to perfection, are not the words our Higher Power whispers.

The words of God are often those still, small words we call intuition or instinct, leading and guiding us forward.

We are free to be whom we are, to listen to and trust ourselves. We are free to listen to the gentle, loving words of a Higher Power, words whispered to and through each of us.

Today, help me, God; to let go of shame based rigid rules. I will choose the freedom of loving, listening, and trusting.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

If there's a harder way of doing something, someone will find it.
-- Ralph E. Ross

When we used alcohol or other drugs, we did most things the hard way. We could turn a simple task into a day-long project. We could turn a simple problem into an argument. We were creative giants in doing things the hard way!

We need to change this. We deserve easier lives. It's okay to take the smooth road. In our program, we have slogans for this: Keep It Simple, Let Go and Let God, First Things First, and Easy Does It. These slogans remind us that it's okay to live with as little trouble as possible.

Prayer for the Day

Higher Power, show me how to live a simple life. I don't have to do everything the hard way if I listen better to You.

Action for the Day

I'll list three or four things I do that make my life harder than it needs to be. I'll share them with a friend.
You are reading from the book:


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Daily Recovery Readings: September 21st

Recovery Meditations: September 21st


“The universe is transformation;
our lives are what our thoughts make it.”
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

            The power of our thoughts is astounding, and my negative thoughts kept me in chains for many years. I was constantly thinking of what was not right, what I didn't do right, what needs of mine went unmet. My life was miserable by my own making. My own thoughts kept me in a prison of negativity. The only person who had the key was me. For many years I stayed locked in, not knowing the key was in my possession..

            When I came to the program I learned that I had responsibility for my “side of the street.” I finally came to understand that I was able to change my thinking, one day at a time. It was a slow process. It took a life-time to learn negative thinking patterns, and it took years to learn positive thinking patterns. Using the tools of the program was the key to re-educating my mind. At meetings I heard positive statements that others made about themselves and me. Reading program literature was always a positive experience. As I chose nurturing, loving sponsors, they affirmed me and my baby steps toward wholeness and healing. All of these, and other tools, worked slowly to bring about an awareness that I held the key to my own prison door and gave me the courage to take the key and free myself from negativity..

            One day at a time...
            I will choose positive thoughts and actions that bring me freedom.

            ~ Carolyn H.


Each Day a New Beginning
Praise and an attitude of gratitude are unbeatable stimulators . . . we increase whatever we extol.
  —Sylvia Stitt Edwards

What outlook are we carrying forth into the day ahead? Are we feeling fearful about the circumstances confronting us? Do we dread a planned meeting? Are we worried about the welfare of a friend or lover? Whatever our present outlook, its power over the outcome of our day is profound. Our attitude in regard to any situation attracting our attention influences the outcome. Sometimes to our favor, often to our disfavor if our attitude is negative.

Thankfulness toward life guarantees the rewards we desire, the rewards we seek too often from an ungrateful stance. The feeling of gratitude is foreign to many of us. We came to this program feeling worthless, sometimes rejected, frequently depressed. It seemed life had heaped problems in our laps, and so it had. The more we lamented what life "gave us," the more reasons we were given to lament. We got just what we expected. We still get just what we expect. The difference is that the program has offered us the key to higher expectations. Gratitude for the good in our lives increases the good.

I have the personal power to influence my day; I will make it a good one.

From Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey © 1982, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.


Food for Thought
Trusting Gut Reactions

Since we could not trust ourselves where food was concerned, we had trouble trusting ourselves in all aspects of life. We became divided internally and unsure of what we thought or how we felt or how we should act. We may have depended on other people to tell us what we liked, what to do, and how to do it.

It is with a great sense of joy that we become aware of our own individuality and preferences. If we experience a negative gut reaction to a certain person or activity, then we need to examine our reasons for continuing the relationship or activity. We do not have to like everyone, nor do we have to do everything. The sooner we become selective, the more we develop as individuals and the more integrity we possess. If we continually force ourselves to do things, which violate our inner integrity, then we are frustrated and growth is slow.

Gut reactions need to be examined calmly and intelligently. They are there to tell us something about ourselves.

Give me a healthy respect for my gut reactions.

From Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters by Elisabeth L. ©1980, 1992 by Hazelden Foundation. 


The Language of Letting Go
Letting Go of Urgency

One thing at a time.

That's all we have to do. Not two things at once, but one thing done in peace.

One task at a time. One feeling at a time. One day at a time. One problem at a time. One step at a time.

One pleasure at a time.

Relax. Let go of urgency. Begin calmly now. Take one thing at a time.

See how everything works out?

Today, I will peacefully approach one thing at a time. When in doubt, I will take first things first.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation.


Today's thought from Hazelden is:

I couldn't hit a wall with a six-gun, but I can twirl one. It looks good.
--John Wayne

Many of us fake emotions because our past experiences never taught us how to use boundaries when dealing with feelings. Now we are oftentimes stumped when it comes to knowing how we should feel or act when we are faced with emotional situations.

Sometimes we need to learn to "fake it till we make it." What is asked of us is to act the part until the part becomes us.

We may not know how to feel anticipation around holidays - but we want to experience joy. We may not know what it feels like to really trust someone, but we would love to be in that position. What we can learn to do is "act as if" - working all the time to liberate the frozen emotions of years gone by - until we actually do experience what we seek.

Like new shoes, my new behaviors and feelings will feel stiff and uncomfortable for a little while. I am willing to live through the "breaking in" period.
You are reading from the book: