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~ My journey & joy through CAL & AFG adventures ~


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PODCAST – Item #’s B-22 / M-12 – How Al-Anon Works / Just For Today Bookmark

Episode 10 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).

Wendy shares, in part 1 of 4, about using the slogans from Chapter 9 of “How Al-Anon Works” (item # B-22 for hardcover, B-32 for softcover) as stepping stones to serenity & how serenity can eventually become a guiding force in our lives for making decisions.  We also look closer at “Let it Begin With Me” as not just something that we say at the end of an Al-Anon meeting or having to do with outreach.

In part 2 of 4, we focus on “Let Go & Let God” (especially the importance of faith in the 2nd half) & how a specific physical token can be used as a reminder to put this slogan into action!  I give recommendations on other CAL pieces to reference for a deeper dive into the slogans & lastly, find out why I consider slogans are similar to prismatic jewels.

The bookmark, “Just For Today” (M-12), is Wendy’s favorite piece of outreach literature in part 3 of 4.  We talk about the current conversation at Al-Anon’s headquarters, the World Service Office (WSO), regarding the recommendation to remove the PRAYER FOR TODAY section.  Using pages 57 – 60 of the “2016 World Service Conference Summary” (P-46), we explore the CAL process to remove, edit, or replace the prayer.  Wendy shares about the interaction between the Literature Committee & the World Service Conference (WSC) & how it’s important to not be afraid to have uncomfortable discussions that affect literature decisions.

In the last part (#4), Wendy shares what she is hoping for with a new change for the upcoming “2017 World Service Conference Summary” (P-46) due in August & what sets this item apart from the rest of the literature in the CAL Catalog (S-15).  She also reveals a unique location to leave the “Just For Today” bookmark that is too high of a risky spot for me.  Discover what is on the second “Just For Today” bookmark (M-13) & what one word on the wallet card version (M-11) is hidden in our literature!

**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!


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PODCAST – Item #’s B-16 / N/A – Courage To Change / Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2017

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!

 


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CAL – Item # N/A – Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2017

afa-2017WHAT 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!

m-76D) 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! 😉

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afa-slideshow_part-4-of-6afa-slideshow_part-5-of-6_2afa-slideshow_part-6-of-6_2

 


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PODCAST – Item #’s P-92 / P-90 – Reaching For Personal Freedom / Best of Public Outreach

Episode 7 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 as well & you’ll be notified every time a new episode is posted).

p92In part 1 of 5 of Episode 7, Mark shares how he used the workbook “Reaching For Personal Freedom” (item # P-92) in studying the Steps, Traditions, & Concepts horizontally.  He also highlights how a section on page 12 led to a spiritual awakening for him.

Freedom is specifically discussed in part 2 of 5.  He compares this book to other Al-Anon workbooks, explains how it differs, & I reveal a surprise  I’ve created an index for this book!  (It can be downloaded here: Reaching-For-Personal-Freedom_Index-Only.)  Also, find out what patterns I learned about the Legacies from creating an index by downloading this document: Reaching_Index-Words-Repeated.

In part 3 of 5 find out what two words I discovered are inter-related after creating an index for the book.  Mark talks about how he used to be before he came in the program & explores what I call a “big ticket item!”

p-90-newHis favorite piece of literature to use for outreach purposes is the service tool “Best of Public Outreach” (item # P-90) in part 4 of 5.  He shares how public outreach is what first got him into service in Al-Anon & calls out a “Getting Started” part on page 7, as well as pages 12-19 for several lists of outreach ideas.  He also explains how the workbook helped with a big outreach project he was involved with that was done in honor of Al-Anon’s founder, Lois Wilson, & how projects don’t need to be big to be effective.  Lastly, we discuss what it’s like to talk to people that are not familiar with the Al-Anon program.

In part 5 of 5, the conversation continues about Alateen outreach to Alcoholics Anonymous & how service has helped his program.  He shares what moved him emotionally at his first Area Assembly meeting & how it was similar to a Newcomer meeting!  Click this link to find this outreach book online: www.al-anon.org/members/pdf/bestofpublicoutreach.pdf & you can view Al-Anon’s two TV public service announcements here: www.al-anon.org/media-files.  Before wrapping up, Mark explains how being powerless & being hopeless are not the same thing!

**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!


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CAL – Item # P-90 – The Best of Public Outreach

p-90-previousWHAT I LEARNED: 1. The guest for my next “CAL Chat” podcast episode (#7) chose this booklet, “The Best of Public Outreach” (item # P-90), as his favorite outreach piece.  I’ll be posting that episode soon at www.calchat.libsyn.com, but wanted to get my review in this blog first.  This hardcopy booklet was originally printed in 2000 & it came in a folder with pockets.  It was subtitled: “A ‘How to Workbook’ for Public Outreach Service Activities” & was a huge success.  So much so that, per page 72 of the 2000 World Service Conference Summary (item # P-46), it made 3 other outreach kits obsolete: Interim PI, Institutions, & CPC kits (item #’s K-3, K-S, K-15) so the World Service Office discontinued them.  Then, in 2012, the booklet became available on-line only.  It can be found at the Members’ website: www.al-anon.org/members/pdf/bestofpublicoutreach.pdf.  It still says it was last updated in March of 2012, but certain parts of it have actually been updated very recently such as the new 2017 “Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism” outreach magazine (on page 18) & the road sign posters available with different backgrounds (on page 26).

p-90-new2. I’m glad they updated the booklet!  The newer version seems more comprehensive, less gender-specific, & references current media avenues.  For instance, there is less emphasis on mailing items, using the phone book & fax machines, plus it doesn’t mention leaving literature in “canteens” or suggest outreach meetings that sound more like Tupperware parties with the recommendation to plan ahead & make “arrangements for a babysitter” (page 10).  (I guess that’s good for a glimpse of how Al-Anon used to be.)  I also learned that because the “Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism” outreach magazines didn’t start up until 2007, copies of The Forum magazine were given out instead!

3. I’m familiar with Al-Anon as a fellowship, but this service tool talks about Al-Anon as a resource.  It stresses the importance of outreach projects mainly to professionals to improve Al-Anon’s name recognition & credibility, but it also has plenty of ideas for simpler outreach ideas to non-professionals.  One idea I liked, that was a small thing, is from page 19: “March 4th – ‘Leave Al-Anon literature’ on Lois W.’s birthday.”  I’ve already marked it on my calendar to make sure I do some type of outreach on that particular day.  Because doing public outreach service doesn’t have to be a big undertaking it’s just planting a seed.

4. And almost last, but not least, it talked about the public service announcements that are available to watch on the main Al-Anon site.  They’re at: www.al-anon.org/media-files.  There are 2 versions for TV, each 30 seconds long & they were interesting to see!

5. I have 3 favorite lines from this piece:

working-on-a-computer-smiley-emoticonFrom page 4: “It is Al-Anon/Alateen policy to interpret Tradition Eleven to include the Internet, as well as all forms of evolving public media.”

From page 9 (of the hardcopy booklet from 2000): “First make it fun & they will come!”

From page 39: “Remember to communicate with the various service levels about successes—and even ‘flops’.”


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PODCAST – Item #’s B-11 / B-22 / B-10 – As We Understood / How Al-Anon Works / Alateen-A Day At A Time

Episode 6 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 as well & you’ll be notified every time a new episode is posted).

In part 1 of 4 of Episode 6, Nancy talks about her favorite book “As We Understood” (item # B-11) & shares how its positive uplifting take on our program has kept her using it.  In particular, we discuss two prayers on pages 213 & 214 & how this book is different than a daily reader.  We explore the spiritual (non-religious) nature of the program, what a Higher Power can be, & a possible new slogan!

b11Find out, in part 2 of 4, what “As We Understood” was the first Conference Approved book to do in Al-Anon’s history.   We talk about misconceptions about the book & the goal of learning something every day no matter how small.  She shares how important choices are, dealing with change, & she answers one of the toughest questions I’ve asked so far!

B-22_B-32Nancy’s pick of literature to use for outreach purposes is “How Al-Anon Works” (item # B-22 for hardcover / B-32 for softcover, eB-22 for the electronic version, & eA-22 for the audiobook version) in part 3 of 4.  She highlights the slogan “Think” (page 71), “Lois’ Story” (pages 152-155), & how interesting it is to get the Al-Anon founder’s point of view on the Twelve Steps (pages 155-160).  We also talk about participating in a Meeting on Wheels & doing outreach at facilities using just the pages 14 & 15.

B-10In part 4 of 4, the conversation continues with Nancy about her favorite Alateen literature & how being an AMIAS (Al-Anon Member Involved In Alateen Service) is her way of giving back.  She explains the requirements to become an Alateen Group Sponsor & shares an innovative way an Alateen Group Representative used the words in the index of “AlateenA Day At A Time” (item # B-10).  Click here to download a PDF document of the list of words: Alateen—A Day At A Time_Index Words

instagram**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!


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PODCAST – Item #’s B-30 / R-18 – Discovering Choices / Parents of Alcoholics

Episode 5 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 as well & you’ll be notified every time a new episode is posted).

B-30In part 1 of 4 of Episode 5, Theresa focuses on chapters 1 & 9 from one of her favorite books “Discovering Choices” (item # B-30) & shares how, after coming in the Al-Anon program, reading the literature can start the recovery process.  We also talk about the benefits of belonging to a CAL study group, setting different types of boundaries, how we use our nose & knees in recovery, & detaching without using a hatchet!

In part 2 of 4, she highlights chapter 13 & breaks down how service work (& especially the Concepts 4, 5, & 10) helped her grow in all areas of her life.  She explains the benefits of having a Service Sponsor, how we’re never alone, & addresses the fear behind willingness.  The conversation then moves into the importance of failure & discover a new way to look at the cover of the book!

r18Theresa’s favorite piece of literature to use for outreach purposes is the reprint “Parents of Alcoholics” (item # R-18) in part 3 of 4.  It’s only 12 pages, but so powerful!  She shares the moment she hit her “bottom” & what brought her into the Al-Anon program.  We also talk about being able to differentiate between helping versus enabling & what is one thing a parent can definitely do for their alcoholic child.

In part 4 of 4, the conversation continues about other Conference Approved Literature that is available for parents & how CAL is not like other self-help/recovery literature.  Lastly, find out why her favorite outreach piece may not be around much longer!

instagram**BONUS: If you’d like to follow the “CAL Chat” show on Instagram, 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!