Saturday, August 29, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: August 29th

 * I will be on vacation from 8/30/15 through 9/7/15 & will not be posting the daily recovery readings during that period *

Recovery Meditations: August 29th


"First you need only look."
Anne Hillman

My disease of compulsive overeating is fueled by my regrets of the past and my fears of the future. The more I try to rewrite the past, (which of course I cannot do); the more I try to devise a future plan, (which usually does not come to pass), the less I am present for my life.

I learn much from my three-year-old son. Sometimes when running to get a ball, he suddenly stops to look at an unusual insect he sees on the ground. His life flows and he abides by this pattern. He follows his heart and is "there" for life.

When I consciously stay present for life -- when I savor each moment and stay with my feelings -- I am alive and living. In the present there is no worry, no fear, no regrets.

One Day at a Time . . .
I ask my Higher Power to help me to stay present for my life, to stay with whatever is happening at any given moment. I feel feelings. I am spontaneous and life is exciting and inspired.

~ Melissa S. ~



Each Day a New Beginning
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
  —Helen Keller

The next 24 hours are guaranteed to excite us, to lift us to new levels of understanding, to move us into situations with others where we can offer our unique contributions. All that is asked of us is a willingness to trust that we will be given just what we need at each moment.

We can dare to live, fully, just for today. We can appreciate the extraordinariness of every breath we take, every challenge we encounter. Within each experience is the invitation for us to grow, to reach out to others in caring ways, to discover more fully the women we are capable of being. We must not let a single moment go by unnoticed.

When we withdraw from life, we stunt our growth. We need involvement with others, involvement that perturbs us, humors us, and even stresses us. We tap our internal resources only when we have been pushed to our limits, and our participation in life gifts us, daily, with that push. How necessary the push!

None of us will pass this way again. What we see and feel and say today are gone forever. We have so much to regret when we let things slip away, unnoticed or unappreciated.

A special series of events has been planned for me today. I shall not miss it.

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


Food for Thought
Love God and Work the Program

How clear everything becomes when we put abstaining and recovering from compulsive eating first in our lives! As we recover, we grow in love for the Higher Power, which makes possible our new life. Loving God and working the program becomes our main purpose every day. From this, all else follows.

When we are confused and harried by conflicting demands on our time and attention, we need to withdraw for a moment and get back in touch with the God within. As long as we are sincerely trying to do His will, we do not have to be upset by negative responses from other people, whether their disapproval is real or imagined.

As our Higher Power provides a focus for our love, working the program provides a focus for our energies and ambitions. Whatever our situation, we are each capable of growing along spiritual lines, and it is this growth and progress which gives us deep, lasting satisfaction.

Accept my love and work.

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


The Language of Letting Go
Owning Our Energy

Learn to keep your energy inside.
  —From Women, Sex, and Addiction, Charlotte Davis Kasl, Ph.D.

For many reasons, we may have mastered the art of giving away our energy. We may have learned it when we were young because the feelings we had were too overwhelming to feel, and we did not know how to process them.

Much of our obsessing, our intense focus on others, is done to facilitate this "out of body" experience we call codependency.

We obsess, we babble, we become anxious. We try to control, care take, and fuss over others. Our energy spills out of us on to whomever.

Our energy is our energy. Our feelings, thoughts, issues, love, sexuality; our mental, physical, spiritual, sexual, creative, and emotional energy is ours.

We can learn to have healthy boundaries - healthy parameters - around our energy and ourselves. We can learn to keep our energy within ourselves and deal with our issues.

If we are trying to escape from our body, if our energy is spilling out of us in unhealthy ways, we can ask ourselves what is going on, what is hurting us, what we are avoiding, what we need to face, what we need to deal with.

Then, we can do that. We can come back home to live - in ourselves.

Today, I will keep my energy in my body. I will stay focused and within my boundaries. God, help me let go of my need to escape myself. Help me face my issues so I am comfortable living in my body.

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


Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Be grateful for where you are now.

"It doesn't take as much faith to believe that everything happens for a reason as it does to embrace the belief that I am who and where I am now, today, for a reason - even if I don't know what that reason is and even if I don't particularly like who or where I am today," a friend said to me.

"When I can take that in, my dissatisfaction and negativity disappear, and I can proceed calmly and gratefully with my life. To me," he said, "that's what spirituality is all about."

Faith and hope aren't just for the future. Try using them on today.

Could it be that you're who you are and where you are now for a reason? Thank God for your life, exactly as it is, right now.

God, give me enough faith to believe in today.
You are reading from the book:

Friday, August 28, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: August 28th

Recovery Meditations: August 28th


“… the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us.
We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is our experience.
That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.”
The Big Book, p.85

These words, read every morning during prayer time, teach me to live as I am meant to live. Sanely and peacefully. Laid back. Patient and forgiving of myself. I am no longer a part of the war of the worlds. Anger can be dealt with or walked away from. Eating over it is no longer an option. Compulsive overeating is a problem I can live without, just for today.

One day at a time...
I will remember where I came from and how I got here so long as I keep in fit spiritual condition.

~ Jo



Each Day a New Beginning
There are sounds to seasons. There are sounds to places, and there are sounds to every time in one's life.
  —Alison Wyrley Birch

Life is rich and full. Your life. My life. Even when the day feels flat or hollow, there's a richness to it that escapes our attention. We see only what we choose to see. We hear selectively, too. Our prejudgment precludes our getting the full effects of any experience. Some days we hear only the drum of the humdrum.

But the greater our faith in the program and a loving God, the clearer our perceptions become. We miss less of the day's events; we grow in our understanding of our unfolding, and we perceive with clarity the role others are playing in our lives.

We can see life as a concert in progress when we transcend our own narrow scope and appreciate the variety of people and situations all directed toward the same finale. The more we're in tune with the spiritual activity surrounding us; the more harmoniously we will be able to perform our parts.

I will listen to the music of today. I will get in tune, in rhythm. I am needed for the concert's beauty.

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


Food for Thought

When we were overeating, we were negative and fearful. We alternated between avoiding work and feeling responsible for everybody and everything. An important part of our recovery is willingness: we become willing to change, willing to abstain, willing to learn. As we work the program, we become willing to allow our Higher Power to remove our character defects.

All of this does not happen overnight. When we get discouraged and make mistakes, we are willing to try again. We are willing to follow the lead of our Higher Power. As we see evidence of His care, we begin to trust that He will not require of us more than we are capable of doing.

To be willing is to hold ourselves ready and available for God's direction. We do not jump into situations prematurely, and we do not close our minds in refusal to change. We are willing to grow and serve and, especially, willing to believe.

Increase my willingness.

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


The Language of Letting Go
Taking Care of Ourselves on the Job

It's okay to take care of ourselves on the job. It is not only okay - it is necessary.

Taking care of ourselves on the job means we deal with feelings appropriately; we take responsibility for ourselves. We detach, when detachment is called for. We set boundaries, when we need to do that.

We negotiate conflicts; we try to separate our issues from the other person's issues, and we don't expect perfection from others or ourselves.

We let go of our need to control that which we cannot control. Instead, we strive for peace and manageability, owning our power to be who we are and to take care of ourselves.

We do not tolerate abuse, nor do we abuse or mistreat anyone else. We work at letting go of our fear and developing appropriate confidence. We try to learn from our mistakes, but we forgive ourselves when we make them.

We try to not set ourselves up by taking jobs that couldn't possibly work out, or jobs that aren't right for us. If we find ourselves in one of those circumstances, we address the issue responsibly.

We figure out what our responsibilities are, and we generally stick to those, unless another agreement is made. We leave room for great days, and not so great days.

We are gentle and loving with people whenever possible, but we are assertive and firm when that is called for. We accept our strengths and build on them. We accept our weaknesses and limitations, including the limitations of our power.

We strive to stop trying to control and change what is not our business to change. We focus on what is our responsibility and what we can change.

We set reasonable goals. We take ourselves into account. We strive for balance.

Sometimes, we give ourselves a good gripe session to let it all out, but we do that appropriately, in a way meant to take care of ourselves and release our feelings, not to sabotage ourselves. We strive to avoid malicious gossip and other self-defeating behaviors.

We avoid competition; strive for cooperation and a loving spirit. We understand that we may like some people we work with and dislike others, but strive to find harmony and balance with everyone. We do not deny how we feel about a certain person, but we strive to maintain good working relationships wherever possible.

When we don't know, we say we don't know. When we need help, we ask for it directly. When panic sets in, we address the panic as a separate issue and try not to let our work and behavior be controlled by panic.

We strive to take responsible care of ourselves by appropriately asking for what we need at work, while not neglecting ourselves.

If we are part of a team, we strive for healthy teamwork as an opportunity to learn how to work in cooperation with others.

If something gets or feels crazy, if we find ourselves working with a person who is addicted or has some kind of dysfunction that is troublesome, we do not make ourselves crazier by denying the problem. We accept it and strive in peace to figure out what we need to do to take care of ourselves.

We let go of our need to be martyrs or rescuers at work. We know we do not have to stay in situations that make us miserable. Instead of sabotaging a system or ourselves, we plan a positive solution, understanding we need to take responsibility for ourselves along the way.

We remove ourselves as victims, and we work at believing we deserve the best. We practice acceptance, gratitude, and faith.

One day at a time, we strive to enjoy what is good, solve the problems that are ours to solve, and give the gift of ourselves at work.

Today, I will pay attention to what recovery behavior I could practice that would improve my work life. I will take care of myself on the job. God, help me let go of my need to be victimized by work. Help me be open to all the good stuff that is available to me through work.

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


Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

I grew up knowing I had to be a success for others.
--Sandy Warman

The pressure of performance is daunting and extremely stressful. Some, like Sandy, were controlled by it their whole lives. Perhaps that was your experience, too. Are you free of it now?

The desire to be successful never was a bad thing in and of itself. Teachers encouraged it right along with our parents. Employers reinforced the importance of being successful. But there is and always was a difference between enjoying a job done right and driving ourselves ragged to impress others. Sandy's experience reflects the latter.

Whatever reason we used for seeking success isn't all bad though. If it motivated us to stretch ourselves, it meant we discovered abilities we might not have known we were capable of. The contribution we made to the world around us was affected accordingly and that changed our lives forever. We can come to believe that however we lived our lives was simply as good as we were capable of. No matter what motivated us in the past, we can take charge of what motivates us now. Finally, that's all that really counts today.

Today I'll be aware of the motives behind my efforts. I don't have to impress anyone.
You are reading from the book:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: August 27th

Recovery Meditations:  August 27th


“People throw away what they could have
by insisting on perfection, which they cannot have,
and looking for it where they will never find it.”

Edith Schaeffer

Time and time again I have felt like I was suspended from two ropes, being flogged for my imperfections. The tragic fact of that vision was that I was the person wielding the whip!

Before my heart and mind were opened by the Twelve Steps and Traditions, I sought perfection in everything I attempted. A simple letter would be written and rewritten until I was satisfied that perfection had been achieved and the letter could be sent. Frequently the goal was not reached and I would abandon the project in frustration and bitter disappointment with myself. Events that I organized had to be executed with the utmost precision. If, God forbid, a mistake was made, I would berate myself for days until sheer mental and emotional exhaustion prevailed.

Ironically, I never sought perfection in others and accepted that it was okay for them to be human. However, seeking perfection from myself became an obsession tangled with the search for self-acceptance. Needless to say, a rainbow cannot be seen through closed eyes, and I never found that which I sought. Through the teachings of the Twelve Steps I have come to appreciate that the beauty within myself is that I am not perfect. I can grow through my mistakes, and in my imperfections I can find serenity and release from the struggle.

One Day at a Time ...
I will accept that I am perfectly imperfect.

~ Sue G.


Each Day a New Beginning
Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you're going to do about it.
  —Kathleen Casey Theisen

Recovery offers us courage to make choices about the events of our lives. Passive compliance with whatever is occurring need no longer dominate our pattern of behavior. Powerlessly watching our lives go by was common for many of us, and our feelings of powerlessness escalated the more idle we were.

Today, action is called for, thoughtful action in response to the situations begging for our attention. Recovery's greatest gift is the courage to take action, to make decisions that will benefit us as well as the people who are close to us. Courage is the byproduct of our spiritual progress, courage to accept what we cannot change, believing that all will be well, courage to change in ourselves what we do have control over.

An exhilaration about life accompanies the taking of action. The spell that idleness casts over us is broken, and subsequent actions are even easier to take. Clearly, making a choice and acting on it is healthful. The program has given us the tools to do both.

Decisions will be called for today. I will be patient with myself, and thoughtful. I will listen closely to the guidance that comes from those around me.

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


Food for Thought
Accepting Reality
Failure, death, divorce, disease, and betrayal - these are all part of the world we live in. We agonizingly search our minds to figure out why, but are unable to come up with any satisfying answers. We pray for the serenity to accept the reality of life.

Previously, we tried to deny reality by overeating. What that did was make reality worse for us. Abstaining from compulsive overeating and working the steps of the OA program give us the strength to cope with reality and accept the things we cannot change. We often feel as though we are on a long uphill climb. Let's not forget that if it were not for abstinence and our Higher Power, we would be rapidly sliding downhill.

Whatever our situation, it is better to face it squarely than to delude ourselves with excess food. None of us escapes pain and suffering. By turning them over to our Higher Power, we are strengthened by our hardships, rather than destroyed.

May we have the courage and strength to accept life as it is.

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


The Language of Letting Go

Procrastination - not acting when the time is right - is a self-defeating behavior. It produces anxiety, guilt, disharmony, and a nagging consciousness of the task that life is telling us it's time to do.

We are not always procrastinating when we put off doing something. Sometimes, doing a thing before the time is right can be as self-defeating as waiting too long.

We can learn to discern the difference. Listen to yourself. Listen to the Universe. What is past due and creating anxiety and prodding within you?

Is there something in your life you are avoiding because you don't want to face it? Is there a building anxiety from putting this off?

Sometimes anger, fear, or feeling helpless can motivate procrastination. Sometimes, procrastination has simply become habitual.

Trust and listen to yourself, your Higher Power, and the Universe. Watch for signs and signals. If it is time to do something, do it now. If it is not yet time, wait until the time is right.

God, help me learn to be on time and in harmony with my life. Help me tune in to and trust Divine Timing and Order.

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


Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Have you learned lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed the passage with you?
--Walt Whitman

Wouldn't it be grand if we could have everything our way! We'd have people at our beck and call. We'd never have to take responsibility for ourselves, never have to struggle for anything, and never be refused any wish or want.

But how would we mature? Learning involves gains based on the effort we expend. We learned early that we couldn't listen to a music box unless we wound it. We learned we couldn't get good grades unless we studied. And now we've learned we can't change our behaviors without working the program.

If we can't see the results of the energy we put into things, then our motivation, determination, and confidence can't grow. Some things will come easily, some won't. But the things we work on now will mean the most in the end.

I am not afraid to put energy into something I really want. I need to do this for my self-esteem.
You are reading from the book:


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Daily Recovery Readings: August 26th

Recovery Meditations:  August 26th


"When you love you should not say,
"God is in my heart," but rather,
"I am in the heart of God."
Kahlil Gibran

What is love? And what does it mean to love myself? I’ve found from my experience that it is easier to describe what love is not. Through many failures -- and with my Higher Power’s help -- I have discovered that to love myself means choosing to not hurt myself by overeating. Self-love means choosing to no longer ignore my inner-child who sometimes screams to be heard and must have a tantrum to get my attention. Self-love means not isolating or allowing the hurtful, grieving, angry, fearful thoughts to possess my mind to the degree that the disease overtakes any sanity I may have. This list could go on -- focusing on the failures and the negative -- but my Higher Power has given me the desire, strength and power to feel, express and give love. Our Higher Power offers the freedom and joy of self-love to each of us who are willing to receive and practice it.

The more I am able to receive the love of others, the more I am able to love myself. And conversely, the more I love myself, the more I am able to receive love from others. As I work this Twelve Step program to the best of my ability each 24 hours, I am shown love through meetings, my sponsor, meditating, journaling, spending time with my Higher Power, and sharing my experience, strength and hope with another person. Some days, “the best of my ability” may be to just get out of bed and say the Third Step prayer. Other days, “the best of my ability” will seem like I'm working the program close to perfection. Regardless of my ability on any particular day, I’ve found that love can be gleaned from each day.

As the quote above states, "I am in the heart of God." I experience this when I am willing to surrender daily to the will of my Higher Power and to be completely and absolutely surrounded and protected by the heart of God.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will seek to see love in as many moments as possible by looking to my Higher Power and then reaching out to others.

~ Ohitika


Each Day a New Beginning
A woman who has no way of expressing herself and of realizing herself as a full human has nothing else to turn to but the owning of material things.
  —Enriqueta Longeaux y Vasquez

Each of us struggling with these Twelve Steps is finding self-expression and self-definition. Introspection, coupled with self-revelation through sharing with others, affords us the awareness of how like others we are. How human we are. And what we receive from others who respond to our vulnerability diminishes our need for "things" to fill our lives.

The love that we receive freely from a trusting, caring friend or group fills up the empty places in our souls, the places we used to try filling up with alcohol or cookies or sex. New clothes maybe even a new home or a different job served their terms as void fillers too. Nothing succeeded for long, and then the program found us.

The program is the filler for all times. Of this we can be certain. Time will alleviate any doubts we may have. All that is asked of us is openness, honesty, and attention to others' needs as well as our own.

I can share our likenesses and relish whatever differences may surface. The chain of friendship I've created makes me the proud owner of my wholeness. I am a succeeding woman who is moving forward with courage and self-awareness on this, my road of life.

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


Food for Thought
A Living Program

The Twelve Steps are a program for living and they are also a living program. Taking them is not something we do once and for all, but something we repeat over and over in greater depth. They are our guidelines for each day.

Our program develops as our understanding matures. When we first join OA, physical abstinence from compulsive overeating may be all we can handle. As we learn from fellow members and are increasingly exposed to the power of the group, our program comes to include more emotional and spiritual elements. The possibilities for development are limitless.

One thing leads to another. The creative force that guides OA directs our individual efforts. When we are open to the challenges and willing to give up self-will, we make progress, which gratifies and astounds us. This program not only works as we work it; it also grows as we grow.

We thank You for Your creative spirit.

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


The Language of Letting Go
Making Amends

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  —Step Nine of Al-Anon

When we make amends we need to be clear about what we're apologizing for and the best way to say we're sorry. What we are really doing with our amends is taking responsibility for our behavior. We need to be sure that the process itself will not be self-defeating or hurtful.

Sometimes, we need to directly apologize for a particular thing we have done or our part in a problem.

Other times, instead of saying "I'm sorry," what we need to do is work on changing our behavior with a person.

There are times when bringing up what we have done and apologizing for it will make matters worse.

We need to trust timing, intuition, and guidance in this process of making amends. Once we become willing, we can let go and tackle our amends in a peaceful, consistent, harmonious way. If nothing feels right or appropriate, if it feels as if what we are about to do will cause a crisis or havoc, we need to trust that feeling.

Attitude, honesty, openness, and willingness count here. In peace and harmony, we can strive to clear up our relationships.

We deserve to be at peace with others and ourselves.

Today, I will be open to making any amends I need to make with people. I will wait for Divine Guidance in the process of making any amends that are not clear to me. I will act, when led. God, help me let go of my fear about facing people and taking responsibility for my behaviors. Help me know I am not diminishing my self-esteem by doing this; I am improving it.

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


Today's thought from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice.
-- E. W. Howe

Do you let yourself be afraid of your illness? You'd better. Many of us were scared into sobriety. Often, a spiritual awakening directly follows a good scare. Fear seems to improve our vision.

Are you smart enough to run from your addiction? The First Step should create fear inside us. It's about looking honestly at our addiction and what would happen to us if we kept using. Looking at Step One regularly will give us the respectful fear we need to stay sober. Often fear is seen as bad, but it can be good, if we listen to it. It can be a great mover. When you're afraid, your spirit is trying to tell you something.

Prayer for the Day

God, direct my fear. Have me go to You, family, friends, and others who love me. Help me see my fear and listen to its message.

Action for the Day

I'll list five ways that my fear has taught me important lessons. I'll see that my fear can help me as long as I listen to it and not live in it.
You are reading from the book: