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~ My journey & joy through CAL & AFG adventures ~


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N. FL Area Convention 2017 – Days 1 – 3

WHAT I LEARNED: 1. When applauding an alcoholic’s total years of sobriety, I am actually applauding God’s work!

2. Tradition 4 is about protecting Al-Anon for future generations.

3. The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it’s connection Connection to a Higher Power.

4. Sometimes I need to put butter on it, & “let it slide!”

**BONUS: Here’s the website for next year’s convention in Orlando: What’s Your Emoji?  It will be September 14 – 16th, 2018.  See you there!!

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PODCAST – Item #’s P-78 / B-21 – When I Got Busy, I Got Better / From Survival To Recovery

Episode 11 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 any of these sites/apps: iTunes, Google Play Music, iHeartRADIO, Stitcher & TuneIn — and you’ll be notified every time a new episode is posted).

Susan shares, in part 1 of 4, about how the booklet “When I Got Busy, I Got Better” (item # P-78) impacted her life.  We discuss the different types of fear in Chapter One, how service keeps us from isolating, & that we’re so glad there’s no performance review in service work!

In part 2 of 4, I ask her a question from page 23 of “When I Got Busy, I Got Better.”  She explains helping vs enabling, we discuss a quote from page 2, how we could use the second half of the book in a meeting, & the difference between being grateful & thankful.  A NOTE OF CAUTION: this is the first episode to include EXPLICIT language, so proceed accordingly!  😉

In part 3 of 4, her pick for her favorite outreach piece of literature is the book “From Survival To Recovery” (B-21) because she grew up in an alcoholic home.  She highlights the chapter “Picking Up The Tools” on page 107.  We also talk about why 1994 was a good year for Conference Approved Literature (CAL) & how this book marked a turning point for Al-Anon.

Susan & I talk about different ways (in part 4 of 4) to use that book for outreach purposes — including raffle baskets!  We also explore how one can contribute to Al-Anon other than putting money in the Seventh Tradition basket.  She singles out the section “Steps to the Future” from page 255 (or 257 depending on the book’s edition) & we remember what it was like growing up in an alcoholic home.  Lastly, we look forward to the brand new book that will be debuting at the international convention in 2018!  International Convention Website

**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-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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PODCAST – Item # B-23 / Various – Courage To Be Me / Various Alateen Literature

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.

alateen-lit-2The 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!

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 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-92 – Reaching For Personal Freedom

p92WHAT 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.”

praying-smiley-emoticonFrom page 59: “Over the years, my prayers have changed because my prayers changed me.”

From page 79: “Once I found myself, I belonged wherever I was.”