WHAT I LEARNED: “The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, & the solution comes to you & you don’t know how or why.” – Albert Einstein quote from Courage to Change (item # B-16), page 81 (March 21st).
WHAT I LEARNED: 1. While perusing through some Al-Anon service tools in the Area Archives, I came across “My Journey in Service” (item # M-57). At roughly 60 pages, the booklet is designed as a journal so it has lots of lined paper & blank spaces for writing, plus it includes a CAL service-oriented quote on each page! It originally came out in 1998 & is now discontinued because it was just an item sold “while supplies last.” As far as its intent, per page 52 of the 1999 World Service Conference Summary, “It is a tool to familiarize the membership with powerful quotes contained in our literature.” I personally don’t do journaling as part of my program study but I do fill out workbooks, so I think that’s similar – which reminded me of this profound quote from page 7 of “Reaching For Personal Freedom” (P-92): “As we write our answers & participate in this process, we become co-authors of the workbook. As we proceed, this workbook becomes a record of our personal path to recovery, while it also connects us to a fellowship-wide process that we have in common with other Al-Anon members around the world.”
2. I have 6 favorite lines from this book (sorry, the pages aren’t numbered in the journal):
- “I know I am in Al-Anon for my own recovery, & by volunteering to serve on the necessary committees, I translate phrases such as, …“Let It Begin With Me” into action.” – From page 124 of “Al-Anon’s 12 Steps & 12 Traditions” (B-8) – the original version from 1981.
- “Our responsibilities & opportunities for service extend far into the future.” – From page 195 of “Lois Remembers” (B-7).
- “Service work heals the emptiness within me by replacing my dark obsession for another with my own loving light.” – From page 308 of “How Al-Anon Works” (B-22).
- “To find the courage to speak up when needed, the maturity to keep silent when I feel like attacking & the ability truly to listen to the other person’s point of view all bring about the harmony & spiritual growth offered in Concept Four.” – From page 274 of “Paths To Recovery” (B-24).
- “I’ve come to think of myself not as a person with limited professional expertise, but as a person with many unclassified but useful abilities.” – From page 49 of “When I Got Busy, I Got Better” (P-78).
- “Thus, whenever we truly give of ourselves, almost magically we find that there is more of our selves to give.” – From page 101 of “How Al-Anon Works” (B-22).
Episode 9 of my “CAL Chat” podcast is now available to listen to! To hear it, please visit the show’s webpage at: www.calchat.libsyn.com (or you can subscribe to it for free on iTunes, Google Play Music, iHeartRADIO, & now the apps: Stitcher as well as TuneIn — you’ll be notified every time a new episode is posted).
In part 1 of 4, Pat shares how one particular sentence from page 199 (July 17th) from the daily reader “Courage To Change” (B-16) impacted her life. She breaks down some of the major components that are involved in her recovery, how this reading ties into the second part of Step One, & which roles she identifies with from the pamphlet “Alcoholism, A-Merry-Go-Round Named Denial” (P-3).
The conversation continues in the second part about “Courage To Change”. We explore more components that contribute to making it in recovery, which slogans have helped us out along the way, & how reading the literature can show that we’ve changed. Also find out a few fun facts about this daily reader!
In part 3 of 4, she highlights sections from her favorite outreach piece of literature, the new “Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2017” magazine. Discover two things that were done on this edition that were a “first” in this magazine’s history. We remember back to how we felt coming into our very first Al-Anon meeting & how desperation can be a gift.
Pat explains in the last part, (#4), that of all the things she has tried, how Al-Anon is the only thing that truly helped. We discuss ways to enhance the magazine while using it for outreach purposes & she wraps up with a “Last Words” section about amends & Step Nine.
**BONUS: If you’d like to follow the “CAL Chat” show on Instagram, visit: www.instagram.com/calchatfan1 or you can search by the username: CALChatFan1. It’s a different way to enjoy Conference Approved Literature. So, as always, I hope you enjoy & happy reading!
WHAT I LEARNED: 1. My next podcast guest said that “Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2017” was her favorite outreach piece that she wanted to talk about on my “CAL Chat” show, so it was time to read it all the way through! I had read entire versions of previous ones so I was struck by several “firsts” that this 2017 magazine has & have listed them below:
A) Ever since this magazine debuted in 2006 (for the 2007 edition), the first page inside always featured a “Dear Reader” welcome letter from Al-Anon’s Executive Director, Ric B. However, now that Ric B. has moved on (as of April 2016), there is no letter in the 2017 edition. It has been replaced with 12 questions to help someone identify if Al-Anon is right for them. We’ll have to see if next year’s edition goes back to having a letter because I have to admit, I kinda miss it. It seemed to make the magazine more personable, but maybe that’s because I enjoyed the 2 times I was able to talk to Ric himself. He was instrumental & supportive when I mentioned to him that I wanted to start this blog about CAL literature & it was his suggestion to start every entry with “WHAT I LEARNED.” Thanks Ric! I’m still learning!!!
B) This magazine also now has the toll-free number & website listed on the right side of every single page. I think this is very helpful! Especially if someone only has enough time to read one article, then that info is right there & they don’t have to hunt for it.
C) On page 18, you’ll find the first time that there’s a page dedicated to just finding Al-Anon on Facebook & it includes 4 QR (Quick Response) codes people can scan with their phones. Why 4 of them?? 1 each for English, Spanish, French, & Alateen! Whoo-hoo – go Alateen!
D) Last but certainly not least, the best thing about this 2017 edition, in my opinion, is that the cover prominently features a black mother & son (& the mom has a tattoo no less)! Per page 29 of the 2016 World Service Conference (WSC) Summary, this is part of their effort to include more people from diverse backgrounds. I love seeing this & it ties in well with the most recent version of the outreach bookmark (item # M-76). In fact, when I leave these outreach magazines various places, I think I’ll put a bookmark in each. That way, if someone doesn’t want to take the magazine, maybe they’ll at least take the bookmark!
2. My favorite line comes from page 24: “My first Al-Anon meeting was the one I didn’t attend.” …Intrigued?? Since this is an outreach piece available to all, I’ve posted the entire magazine here at this permanent link so you can read the rest of the story by clicking here to download it: Outreach Magazine 2017-English.
3. Pasted below are screenshots of this magazine throughout the years that you can also find at my Instagram account that celebrates all things CAL: www.instagram.com/calchatfan1. Al-Anon, you’ve come a long way baby! 😉