Recently I had the opportunity to speak to a group of Normies about the 12 Steps. The phrase “12-Step Program” is so ingrained in our culture now, but beyond the phrase itself, therein lies a mystery. Many people don’t realize that there really are 12 Steps and that they are a step-by-step process for self-awareness, self-discovery, and self-improvement. Many may not know that each step is affiliated with a universal principle.
Wouldn’t Bill Wilson be a great choice when playing that game of “pick 3 people – alive or dead – fictional or real – that you’d like to sit with at a dinner table and shoot the breeze?” One thing I’d ask is, “How literally did you mean to suggest that the Big Book be taken? Do you think that there is any room for interpretation in the program?” In my imaginary conversation, Bill would say, “Hell,” (because he seems like the kind of crusty old codger who would start off like that) “I just want people to be able to stay sober and live in the sunlight of the spirit so they will know the joy, peace, and serenity I have come to know.”
I was rereading the Big Book recently looking for some references, and noticed there are a few points along the 12 step way where the action we are asked to take is done mentally or internally. Things like making or reaffirming a decision, and reconnecting with the higher power nature of the infinite, and with the higher power nature in ourselves. That’s interesting – I guess alcoholics need that extra reminder to stop and be clear about what we are doing by re-minding ourselves to pause – even when not agitated – but pause and think, reflect, stay tuned in. That’s a big one for me – it’s helpful to slow down and take a breath now and then.
I want to tell you that my new eBook, Think Right Into Limitless Sobriety Volume II, is now available! Think Right Into Limitless Sobriety Volume II explores the spiritual principles of the next three steps in the 12-step program: Steps Four, Five and Six. And those principles include Courage, Willingness, and Vulnerability. I hope that you’ll give it a look, and I hope that you like it and get something out of it. And as always, please know I look forward to hearing your thoughts, your feedback, your comments on the books and on the blog.
Thanks to AA, I found my way to sobriety. Thanks to AA, I also found my way to New Thought spirituality. For nearly three decades, these two life-giving teachings have educated and sustained me. Every day. One day at a time. And it all comes down to the steps, first and foremost. I begin my day with steps 1, 2, and 3. This simple practice is the foundation of my happy, healthy life. Whether thing are going well or I’m having the worst day in history, the steps get me going and carry me through.
Instead of a regular blog post today, I humbly invite you to partake in what feels like a Mega-Blog-Post! Today, my first eBook, Think Right Into Limitless Sobriety (Volume I), is available in the Kindle Store on Amazon. And it’s free – but only for the next 4 days! This short but idea-rich eBook is really a compilation of many blog-post-worthy ideas organized into a concise, three-chapter volume. It takes a look at the first 3 Steps in the 12 Step program, and the Spiritual Principles and New Thought philosophies with which they align.
The spiritual principle of Step 2 is Willingness. February, Month 2 of our calendar year, seems like a good time to re-up our willingness. Can you add more to this list? What are you willing to do?
If you are, or were, a 12-Stepper, you know that the 12-Steps of Recovery start off in a kinda “Think-ey” way. But, it’s a trap! That’s how they getcha. They ease you into it and then — BOOM. They hit you with Step 4, hard, like a cast iron skillet to the head. Working Step 4 (a rigorously honest moral inventory), things get pretty action oriented . . .