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Steps 10 and 11

Sunday Sundries … Cold, Mechanical, Repetitive, Why ???

tumblr_n13s5xEYHg1st07y0o1_500 thebraingasmCourtesy: The Braingasm

“In sport, like life, in order to be good at something, one must practice …”

The Pan Am Games in Toronto started off with a BANG !! And from the start, Canadian Athletes showed the world just how good they are at what they do, with multiple GOLD medal wins.

Torontonians, are not very enthusiastic about the games, we are hearing. If it were The Olympic Games, you wonder, if they could get their heads out of their asses and stop worrying about traffic, and get on the bandwagon and support our men and women who are competing, the Pan Am’s are a dress rehearsal for something much bigger, but it seems the people, really don’t care one way or another.

They also say that these games, are being judged on Olympic Levels, hence, if Toronto pulls of a great games, they might be in the future running to bid for an Olympic Games.

Wouldn’t that be something.

Saturday evening I went to visit one of my guys for a few hours. And we continued the conversation that began the night prior on the way home.

From the foundation of a tenth step inventory, we come around to Step 11, the spiritual practice.

At 11 years sober, I was going to meetings, and doing everything right, but after hearing it said to me, I really needed to step up my spiritual practice, if I really wanted the pay out that sobriety promises, if we stick to the game plan.

Not knowing where to start, Bob suggested Steps Three, Seven and Eleven prayers, daily, nightly. Saying them for as long as it took for them to start making a difference in my life.

So that’s what I did, for months and months.

The principles explained in the book, are universal. We talked last night, about a man who got on the path to be better, and he eventually did get better, following a prescribed plan of action. His daughter spoke to my friend telling him what her father did, and in the listening, he recognized that the man had followed the steps, to betterment.

But he never came in contact with The Book.

People may never come in contact with The Book. But some do find “The/A” path to wellness, and those pathways usually involve some kind of adherence to certain principles and practices.

“In sport, like life, in order to be good at something, one must practice …”

My friend accepts that going to meetings is necessary to stay sober. Meetings are repetitive, we read the same readings, read the same books, say the same prayers, over and over and over again.

Rote, Cold, Mechanical and Repetitive…

He admits to not having a spiritual practice and the reason he doesn’t is because it is cold, mechanical and repetitive. I added that, why do we go to meetings, and do the same things over and over ?

To learn how to get and stay sober.

So I am suggesting to him that he find (Read: Build)  a practice of prayer and meditation. In fact, I tasked him with Prayer and Meditation, every day for the next month.

Just DO IT. Don’t ask me why, I just want you to do it.

I don’t want you to plan it or map it out, I want you to pray and meditate, organically.

Just let it flow.

So we opened the book, and we read the prayers, and we even highlighted them.

We read Step 11 in its entirety from The Book.

I explained it this way …

Usually, we are in our heads and that means a little insanity when it comes to dealing with situations and problems. Something happens and instead of first, thinking and pondering what we are going to say, we just blurt out the first words that come to us.

And usually, that ends up in an apology one way or another, because we shot our mouths off.

It’s not What you say, but How you say it …

If we want to be fully oriented in the spirit, be fully aware of the universe and the Power Greater than ourselves, we need to make that connection. Then we need to practice communicating on that channel. Then we need to be able to sit quietly and patiently, and wait for an answer.

That usually does not come directly from God.

No, it’s gonna come from someone close to us. In a voice we know.

Because that’s how God works, dontcha know !

If, in the morning, we are orienting our minds and spirits with God, then we enter our day, from the right direction and with the “right” side of our brains, instead of the impulsive, “wrong” side of our brains.

Does that make sense to you ?

If, during our day, we are a bit disconnected, we can STOP, and reorient ourselves, with a moment of thought, prayer, meditation.

Stop what you are doing, and if need be, go to the bathroom, and shut the door.

Sit on the throne of thought, and meditate …

If you don’t pray and meditate, then why not ?

I got the answer written above.

Which is why I suggested a months worth of practice.

You may not see a change right away, but if you give it time, and you practice, and you stop, wait and listen, I can assure you, God is going to show up. Be He in the guise of a word, or a feeling or the presence of another human being.

We get up, start our day, sometimes we are off and running as soon as we open our eyes, yet our feet haven’t even hit the floor.

I’ve heard it said, that Prayer and Meditation begins the moment we open our eyes.

You might not get that, or do that, but I do that. Because I was told that it works, and months and years later, I can report that it does work.

Dealing with Life on Life’s Terms, on a daily basis, can get rough, depending on what life throws us at any given moment. And I rather like having a framework to consult, when shit happens and I am not quite sure what the hell to do.

You know, they say, if you are on FIRE, to Stop, Drop and roll …

In life, before you start, Stop, Drop and Pray …

Get on your knees and pray. That is an act of humility.

How many of us humble ourselves before God ?

hmmmmmm ……

Life, for me, seems to run smoother, when I do what I am told to do, and if I can’t, I practice how to do it, until I start to enjoy it, and later, I find that it really does work.

The outcome of practicing the art of Anything is particular to every person.

No two outcomes will be the same.

I can promise you that the end result will eventually blow your mind.

We sat a full house. A good night was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned …