WHAT I LEARNED: “Later… [Bill W.] expanded the number to Twelve Steps so as to be sure there were no loopholes through which a drunk could escape.” – quote from softcover version of How Al-Anon Works (item # B-32), page 153.
WHAT I LEARNED: 1. Fear is a dark room where negative emotions are exposed.
2. After I make amends, my weapons are no longer licensed.
3. The more I forget, the more I keep coming back!
4. I need to let go… of my need to know.
5. Sometimes I need to experience the consequences of my own enabling!
6. I never gossip out of love.
7. Amends means: do no further harm.
8. I worked the Steps & my friends & family had a spiritual awakening as a result! 😉
9. Let Go, Let God, & get a good lawyer! Ha ha!
**BONUS: Here’s the website for next year’s convention in St. Pete Beach: Imagine. It will be September 6 – 8th, 2019. See you there!!
Episode 8 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 3 of this very special Episode 8, four Alateen members share what they like best about Alateen literature – specifically the “Alateen Talk” newsletter (no item #), “Courage To Be Me” (B-23), page 26 (January 26th) from the daily reader “Alateen – A Day At A Time” (B-10), & pages 25-26 from the “Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual” (P-24/27). They talk about a favorite Step, what Tradition One means, & some powerful characteristics that can define someone affected by alcoholism.
The conversation continues in part 2 of 3 with three more Alateen members talking about their favorite parts from “Courage To Be Me”, page 8 from the booklet “Alateen Talks Back On: Detachment” (P-73), & pages 268-269 (September 24th & 25th) from the daily reader “Living Today In Alateen” (B-26). They highlight a letter written to a parent, how they struggle with expectations of love, & how a member can eventually resemble the image on page 269 from “Living Today In Alateen”. Also find out what message is repeated several times in “Courage To Be Me” & how it’s like a warm reminder!
In part 3 of 3, Alateen members share what they would like to say to Al-Anon members, & they directly address the teenager that is living with alcoholism that hasn’t been to an Alateen meeting yet. They explain how Alateen is like a family environment & that they don’t bite! The show wraps up with a unique “Last Words” section from a couple of Alateen group sponsors, where they cover the importance of hearing from Alateen members, how the Seventh Tradition is practiced from an Alateen perspective, the unexpected benefits of doing Alateen service, & how participating in this podcast is similar to doing a gratitude list!
**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!
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).
In 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!”
His 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!
WHAT I LEARNED: 1. The guest for my next “CAL Chat” podcast episode (#7) chose this workbook, “Reaching for Personal Freedom” (item # P-92), as his favorite literature piece. I’ll be posting that episode soon at www.calchat.libsyn.com, but wanted to get my review in this blog first… This workbook has the rare distinction of being the only CAL item to come from members sharing via several blogs on the World Service Office websites! It debuted at the 2013 Al-Anon International Convention in Vancouver, B.C. & has the subtitle: “Living the Legacies.” What exactly are the Legacies??? 1) Recovery through the 12 Steps, 2) Unity through the 12 Traditions, & 3) Service through the 12 Concepts of Service. To me, the book seems to be more personable than the other CAL books that have questions in them. It has rather short sharings & the questions are based directly on the individual stories. The other nice thing is that each individual Step, Tradition, & Concept is pretty short too – about 3-5 pages, which made it easier to read as well.
2. So I read this book twice, once straight through, then a second time slower because I wanted to create an index (because it currently doesn’t have one). The reason is, I treat this as a regular book that I bring to groups & based on the meeting topic, having an index handy helps me select an applicable reading. It was also a new way to look at the Legacies – patterns of words came up over & over that I wasn’t expecting! For instance under Step 5 (“Admitted to God, to ourselves, & another human being the exact nature of our wrongs”), the words that came up 3 times or more were the following:
Admitting, Alcoholism, Behavior, Help, Honesty, Listening, Realize, Trust, & Understand.
The word that appears the most overall in the book is “help.” …But that’s because it was in a lot of the questions. For example, “How did Tradition One help you to see your role in relationships?”
The word “family” & “relationships” came up a lot though in the Traditions section! In fact, I’ve included my entire index, as well as a list of the words that appear 3 times or more for each Step, Tradition, & Concept, here: Reaching-For-Personal-Freedom_Index-Only & Reaching_Index-words-Repeated. Hope you enjoy these documents!
3. Overall, I felt the theme of the book was about change & I can see why… every Step, Tradition & Concept that is truly lived, not just studied, results in some kind of change. But it’s interesting to note that while I was creating the index, that the word “change” came up a lot along with the word “fear” & I think that’s because the two are inter-related. I don’t think I’ve ever had one without the other!
4. I have 5 favorite lines from this piece:
From page 19: “I limit myself & the world, but God doesn’t.”
From page 32: “…God works within us, without us.”
From page 50: “Having a sense of entitlement is not attractive, serene, or spiritual.”
From page 79: “Once I found myself, I belonged wherever I was.”