New Beginnings

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The way we see SAPhoneMeeting.org…

Saphonemeeting.org was designed by SA members to serve the needs of the members who are unable to attend face to face meetings. Our contention is that the site has evolved to be a much better resource than the flyer that is currently on the SA.org website. We formed our committee to call attention to the potential of the site and to suggest a forward direction.

The following Website Advisory Committee (WAC) members agree with the aforementioned statement, research and findings. Bill R., Rob S., Steve G., Kelvin P., Len & Brooks S.

Background. SAphonemeeting.org launched in 2009 to meet the immediate needs of some of the phone meetings. It published the available meetings times, phone numbers, access codes, scripts and group rosters. Based on the positive feedback and requests from members, the designer spent hundreds of hours to create a framework where the entire community can make electronic donations to sa, share blogs, news, and links to additional resources. As we shall show, this website compares favorably to the SA phone flyer in terms of useful functionality, presentation, and almost any other reasonable measure.

Personalities before principles. In the last few years, the designer of Saphonemeeting.org turned to SA to ask for help and support to keep the website strong. He has consistently sought out members to serve as committee to provide guidance and oversight to the site. The SA office referred the matter to the Virtual Intergroup (VIG) that had formed to represent the growing number of phone meetings. Personality differences arose when discussing the transfer of the site to SA. VIG members questioned the advisability of having a dynamic site when so many members have not found the Internet to be a safe place. Other issues concerned matters about how to handle anonymity, conference approved material, individual opinion, and financial accountability. VIG members even went so far as to question the motivations and financial propriety of the site. All these matters were worthy of discussion, but for whatever reason, strong personal feelings surfaced and the VIG and saphonemeeting.org divided into two acrimonious camps.

Our committee has formed to provide a series of recommendations to overcome a toxic situation that has developed. It is time that SA welcomed the contribution of this website and provided the support that is required. We do not want to abandon this vital web site that has become important to the recovery of many members of the community.

Promotion not attraction. The advantages of Saphonemeeting.org over the flyer, the saphonemeeting.org designer sought support at the group level. Some members heard this as promotion not attracting and their pushback proved disruptive and contentious. Strong feelings became open disputes. Addicts behaved like addicts. And the VIG initiated an effort to classify SAphonemeeting.org as an “outside” organization, asking other Intergroups to delist the site and remove links to it. They even went so far as to advocate that SA return any donations made to it from SAphonemeeting.org.

From inside to outside. Our contention is that the SAphonemeeting.org has never been an “outside” organization. It was formed in good faith to serve the members and has faithfully done so ever since. See Saphonemeeting.org to read more about traffic to the site, survey results of frequent users, and various testimonials from members of the years talking about the pivotal role the site has played in many, many recoveries. All this evidence should be sufficient to dispel the divisive notion that Saphonemeeting.org is an “outside” organization despite the strong feelings of the VIG committee.

Our leaders serve, they do not govern. Further, it’s clear to us that the VIG overstepped its authority in attempting to expel SAphonemeeting.org and to censure its designer.

7th tradition. It is clear to us that we as a fellowship have not yet evolved a reasonable method of collecting 7th tradition donations from the members who depend on digital and phone meetings. This need was addressed with a simple PayPal tool that has collected more than $1300 to cover expense since its inception. Surpluses have been forwarded to SAICO. In the graph below we show an accounting of the funds that have been received, paid the small expenses, and forwarded to SAICO.

We feel that a further step to create an infrastructure where individual meetings, whether phone or chat or forum or skype, can accept 7th tradition micropayments, maintain their own electronic treasuries, and spend their funds as determined by their group conscience. This is the formula that has fueled 12step programs forever. We need to provide the technology to perpetuate.

Such an effort may help pay for expenses to expand and improve the site and to help in SAICO’s work to carry the message.  Read more

For example, suppose there are 4000 phone and skype meetings a month, which seems reasonable considering there are dozens of daily meetings. If an average of 8-10 contributed $1 a meeting, 7th tradition funds would approach $40,000 a month, or almost $500,000 over the year.

Where do we go from here?

Amends. It’s clear to us that a cycle of amends is necessary on the part of all players. It is also important to bring a level of sobriety and civility into the matter. We’d suggest a moratorium on VIG’s efforts to censure saphonemeeting.org and to set direction of cooperation, not competition.

Guidance from Other 12 step fellowships.   Beyond that, there is a growing need to support members who employ technology in their recovery. This a broader issue than managing the list of phone meetings and instructions on how to use a phone system. Our committee looked to the other 12 step fellowships as a guide. It’s clear that SA is very far behind.  Having a strong digital presence is especially important today because of special stigma attached to our addiction.   In contrast to AA, SA, GA, Al-anon, etc., there are very few meetings in mid-sized and small towns around the world. Our phone and digital meetings are therefore key to our world-wide mission. Please examine Exhibit 5 which surveys the current features provided by the others.

The Rush of Technology.  Whether we like it or not, technology is fast becoming the dominant enabler of human interaction, particularly among our young members. Younger members want to connect with each other with text and social media. Phone, email, even web sites are no longer in vogue. In their place are a wide range of tools which young members use to learn, connect, and become inspired. Unfortunately, there is widespread abuse of this technology which is fueling sexual addiction like never before. The static phone meeting flyer, as well as the entire SA.org site, does not speak to the needs of. most people who are struggling with sex addiction.   Worse, soon our fellowship will be facing the challenges of virtual reality-based meetings, life cameras, eye glasses that project digital images, wearable computers, etc. In every case, people are using technology to connect with each other and with a message. The foundation laid today must be adaptable to what is coming without sacrificing our traditions and concepts. Our primary purpose is to carry the message.

Coordination with SAICO’s effort to revitalize worldwide web sites. The recent meeting of the delegates and trustees initiated a committee to look at upgrading SA’s website. We suggest that the committee considers these recommendations works with those of us that would like to see saphonemeeting.org incorporated into the new sites.

The Traditions and Concepts suggest a path to governance. The Traditions and Concepts provide the guidelines that should guide the fellowship to a policies that foster working together for the common good, adaptability, and promote innovation while not compromising our guiding principles. Please look at Exhibit 2 for our thoughts on how the traditions might guide us to meet the technology challenges ahead as well as maneuver out of the difficult personality problems that have arisen between the VIG and SAphonemeeting.org.

EXHIBIT 1. FEATURE COMPARISON OTHER 12 STEP NON FACE TO FACE MEETINGS

wac-exhibit1

 

EXHIBIT 2. KEY QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED FROM THE 12 TRADITIONS

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon SA unity.

We all trying to survive in a perilous sea depending on each other despite a wide divergence of opinion, backgrounds, and beliefs. Aren’t we chasing a common goal — serving the member who depends on phone meetings? When we have disagreements what is the best way to resolve them?

  1. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern..

What exactly is the fine line one crosses when one begins to “govern”? Bill W provides some instructions on this in the 12 and 12: “…no board of dirctions ..can cast an erring member into outer darkness, when indeed no AA can give another a direction and enforce obedience….” pp 132

  1. The only requirement for SA membership is a desire to stop drinking.

How can we embrace the service work of members who desire to stop lusting but struggle with sobriety.?

  1. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or SA as a whole.

Does the Intergroup or Region have authority over individual groups? Having a portal for each individual group would, we think, vastly increase the strength and service structure at the group level.

  1. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

In this dynamic digital world where many young members have fully embraced streaming, social media, how should the message be communicated and delivered ?.

  1. An SA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the SA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

How can a web site serving the needs of phone members, become an “outside” organization?

  1. Every SA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

What financial support do the phone meetings require? What is the best and most economical way for phone meeting members to participate in the 7th tradition?

  1. Sexaholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

What are the administrative responsibilities required for the technology that is needed to service virtual meetings?

  1. SA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

How should the digital assets committee working on the overall SA technology be working with the current web sites?

  1. Sexaholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the SA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

When members want to communicate digitally through blogs, chat rooms, and social media, under what conditions should the content be restricted or moderated? By whom? and under what guidelines?

  1. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always to maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.

In a digital world what is the best way to announce the existence of a useful website and its new features and capabilities. Secondly, what guidelines should we follow in collecting and distributing personal content information? .

  1. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

When a member violates this tradition in face to face meetings, one can raise a hand or exercise some body language? What is the digital equivalent?

Additional Resources

Governance Model (version 4)

About Us

History

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

http://saphonemeeting.org/blog/website-committee/

http://saphonemeeting.org/blog/virtual-intergroup

http://saphonemeeting.org/joomla

 

Three Franks, Steve and a George

MidLife Crisis

I really feel like I’m going through a very difficult time in my life.  I’m 48 years old and there are so many things I HAVE NOT accomplished.

mid-life-crisisThe good news, I FIRMLY believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, God introduced my wife and I 24 years ago and we have remained somewhat “happily married” for the past 14 years.

More importantly, I have never had an Extramarital Affair and/or committed Adultery.

YET = Your Eligible Too

But I sure have come close!

Midlife crisis is a term first coined by Elliott Jaques referring to a critical phase in a person’s life during the forties to early sixties, based on periods of transition. The period is said to vary among individuals and between men and women. Despite popular perception of this phenomenon, empirical research has failed to show that the midlife crisis is a universal experience, or even a real condition at all.

According to psychologist and writer Oliver Robinson, a life crisis is defined as a period characterized by unstable mental and emotional health, altering the course of life of those affected by it, and affecting them for a year or longer. Life crises usually have similar characteristics for each age group. Those in the early midlife stage are more likely to experience the deaths of loved ones, while declines in physical strength and vitality and impending death or work stoppage are more likely to affect people in late midlife. Effects of crises vary from being beneficial to some and life altering in a negative way for others. About half the people studied found results of their crises to be positive. Read more

Temptation

Text messaging, phone calls, chat rooms…

Remember the story about the “forbidden fruit” in the Bible?

temptationCyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, a group, or an organization. It may include false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. It may also include monitoring, identity theft, threats, vandalism, solicitation for sex, or gathering information that may be used to threaten or harass.

Cyberstalking is often accompanied by realtime or offline stalking. Both are criminal offenses. Both are motivated by a desire to control, intimidate or influence a victim. A stalker may be an online stranger or a person whom the target knows. He may be anonymous and solicit involvement of other people online who do not even know the target.

Cyberstalking is a criminal offense under various state anti-stalking, slander and harassment laws. A conviction can result in a restraining order, probation, or criminal penalties against the assailant, including jail.

Orgasm (from Greek ὀργασμός orgasmos “excitement, swelling”; also sexual climax) is the sudden discharge of accumulated sexual excitement during the sexual response cycle, resulting in rhythmic muscular contractions in the pelvic region characterized by sexual pleasure. Experienced by males and females, orgasms are controlled by the involuntary or autonomic nervous system. They are often associated with other involuntary actions, including muscular spasms in multiple areas of the body, a general euphoric sensation and, frequently, body movements and vocalizations. The period after orgasm (known as the refractory period) is often a relaxing experience, attributed to the release of the neurohormones oxytocin and prolactin as well as endorphins (or “endogenous morphine”).

Human orgasms usually result from physical sexual stimulation of the penis in males (typically accompanying ejaculation), and the clitoris in females. Sexual stimulation can be by self-practice (masturbation) or with a sex partner (penetrative sex, non-penetrative sex, or other sexual activity).

The health effects surrounding the human orgasm are diverse. There are many physiological responses during sexual activity, including a relaxed state created by prolactin, as well as changes in the central nervous system such as a temporary decrease in the metabolic activity of large parts of the cerebral cortex while there is no change or increased metabolic activity in the limbic (i.e., “bordering”) areas of the brain. There is also a wide range of sexual dysfunctions, such as anorgasmia. These effects impact cultural views of orgasm, such as the beliefs that orgasm and the frequency/consistency of it are important or irrelevant for satisfaction in a sexual relationship, and theories about the biological and evolutionary functions of orgasm.

Ejaculation is the discharge of semen (usually containing sperm) from the male reproductory tract, normally accompanied by orgasm. It is usually the final stage and natural objective of male sexual stimulation, and an essential component of natural conception. In rare cases, ejaculation occurs because of prostatic disease. Ejaculation may also occur spontaneously during sleep (a nocturnal emission or “wet dream”). Anejaculation is the condition of being unable to ejaculate. Dysejaculation is ejaculation that is painful or uncomfortable.

Extramarital sex occurs when a married person engages in sexual activity with someone other than his or her spouse. From a different perspective, it also applies to a single person having sex with a married person. Engagement in extramarital sex has been associated with individuals who have a higher libido (sex drive) than their partner.

Where extramarital sexual relations breach a sexual norm, it may also be referred to as adultery (sexual acts between a married person and a person other than the spouse), fornication (sexual acts between unmarried people), philandery, or infidelity. These terms may also carry moral or religious consequences in civil or religious law.

The Petraeus scandal is a series of events that garnered strong media attention when an extramarital affair between retired four-star general David Petraeus, then Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and Paula Broadwell became public information. Petraeus had chosen Broadwell to be his official biographer. She co-authored All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, his biography, when Petraeus was the International Security Assistance Force commander. On November 9, 2012, she was reported to have been involved in the extramarital affair with Petraeus that triggered his resignation as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency when it was discovered by the FBI.

Read more:

Sessions by the Sea

2015 AA Convention in Ocean City, MD

I would like to tell you a story about how I spent this past week. I met 3 different guys name Frank, another man name Steve and lastly an usual fella name George.

It reminds me of the movie, “The Jerk” describing what I need (Watch video).  It also reminds me of a joke I heard many years ago in Alcoholics Anonymous about how God grants miracles. A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says “get in, get in!” The religious man replies, ” no I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle.”

Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in god and god will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause “God will grant him a miracle.”

With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God. He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down.” St. Peter chuckles and responds, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter.” (here is a similar story and another about when God sends helicopter).


The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Living ONE DAY AT A TIME; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as the Pathway to peace.  Taking, as He did, this Sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make All things right if I Surrender to His Will;  That I may be reasonably happy In this life, and supremely Happy with Him forever in The next. Amen

(WB pg. 210 | Reinhold Neibuhr-1926)


The Bible

“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

Jimmy Carter’s ‘Lust in the Heart’: Feeding Frenzy Carter admitted in an unsolicited comment to two Playboy freelance writers that he had “looked on a lot of women with lust” and had “committed adultery in my heart many times,” strange revelations all the more damaging because they appeared in a soft-porn magazine. (Playboy Interview – 1976)  Read more


White Book

“Then he asks me if I believe in a power greater than myself, whether I call that power God, Allah, Confucius, Prime Cause, Divine Mind, or any other name…I am on a train, headed for a city. I have left my wife at home, sick, and I have been unkind to her in leaving. I am very unhappy…A great fear seizes me…Things are not going so well at home. I am learning that I cannot have my own way as I used to. I blame my wife and children. Anger possesses me, anger such as I have never felt before.” (AA BB pg. 214-216)


Acknowledgements
Special thanks to the following people who are the real angels this past week: Ericka, Adrian, Bernie, Sheila and Stephen.

“We can do together what I cannot do alone.”

Concepts, Rewards and Principles

Concept 1: Final responsibility and ultimate authority for SA service should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.

Concept 2: The leadership of SA, as represented by the General Delegate Assembly and the Board of Trustees, has become for nearly every practical purpose the active voice and the effective conscience of our whole society in its service matters.

Concept 3: To ensure effective leadership, we should endow each element of SA’s service structure, the General Delegate Assembly and the Board of Trustees and its staffs and Committees with a traditional “Right of Decision.”

Concept 4: At all responsible levels, we ought to maintain the traditional “Right of Participation,” allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge at that level.

Concept 5: Throughout our structure a traditional ―Right of Appeal‖ ought to prevail, so that minority opinion will be heard and personal grievances receive careful consideration.

Concept 6: The General Delegate Assembly recognizes that the chief initiative and active responsibility for most service matters should be exercised by the Board of Trustees.

Concept 7: The Bylaws of the Board of Trustees are a legal instrument empowering the Board to manage and conduct service matters. The SA service structure documents are not legal documents. They rely on tradition and the SA purse for final effectiveness.

Concept 8: The Trustees are the principal administrators of overall policy and finance.

Concept 9: Good service leadership at all levels is indispensable for our future functioning and safety.

Concept 10: Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with scope of such authority well defined.

Concept 11: The Trustees should always have the assistance of the best possible committees, staffs and consultants. Composition, qualifications, induction procedures, rights and duties will always be matters of serious concern.

Concept 12: The General Delegate Assembly and the Board of Trustees shall observe the spirit of SA tradition, taking care that it never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power, that sufficient operating funds, plus an ample reserve, be its prudent financial principle, that it place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority over others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote and whenever possible by substantial unanimity; that its actions never be personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it never perform acts of government; and that like the Fellowship it serves, it will always remain democratic in thought and action.

SA, as such, would never have an organization in the sense of a “government” that could issue directives by committee or Board to individuals or groups within the fellowship. Our committees and Board could only provide services and we’ve tried to organize them to function effectively. But SA has no government in the political sense*.

*”The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (Biographical sketches their last major talks),” Pg 25. The Twelve Concepts for SA approved by the General Delegate Assembly, January 2004

Download entire SA Service Manual => Click Here


 

Twelve Rewards of the 12 Step Program

  1. We can all have Hope, instead of desperation
  2. Faith, instead of despair
  3. Courage, instead of fear
  4. Peace of Mind, instead of confusion
  5. Self-respect, instead of self-contempt
  6. Self-confidence, instead of helplessness
  7. The respect of others, instead of their pity and contempt
  8. A clean conscience, instead of a sense of guilt
  9. Real friendships, instead of loneliness
  10. A clean pattern of life, instead of a purposeless existence
  11. The love and understanding of our families, instead of their doubts and fears
  12. And the freedom of a happy life, instead of the bondage of an alcoholic obsession.

All this and more through AA, are we grateful enough? Gratitude will continue the miracle of your sobriety, I found that out.
as written by Ann C. of Niles, Ohio – sober April 1, 1948
Ann C. wrote this “a number of years before” the 1985 International Convention in Montreal, Canada where she set it to tape at the Oldtimers Meeting. She wrote it to show the contrast that can take place in any of our lives if we will try to follow the AA principles.

 

12 Spiritual Principles to Live By

Life is hard. It doesn’t matter if you’re living in a huge mansion or standing in line at a soup kitchen, the truth of the matter is not many of us are given the tools while growing up to cope with the many stressors in our lives. But there are people out there who seem to have an idea of how to stay optimistic in these changing times. I spent much of my adult life perplexed by their good natures, and even more confused by their good will, until I learned that there were principles — and, by principles, I mean universal truths — that I could apply to my own life and literally change how I felt, not only about myself, but about the world around me.

Some of them seem like common sense, but you need to understand going into the exercise that reading these principles and actually practicing them in your day-to-day lives are two entirely different things (and that the latter requires vigilance and willingness). The phrase “easier said than done” applies here. But, the truth is, if you’re reading this, then chances are you’re in the same place I was when I first discovered these practices, and that means you’re ready.

Here are the 12 spiritual principles I try to live by on a daily basis:

ACCEPTANCE

There’s this thing called The Serenity Prayer that goes something like this: “God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.” What painful, awful thing in your life are you accepting that, in all truth, you can actually change? Once you deeply accept that only you have the power to move forward in your life, then you can take the action to do it. But there are also things that you cannot change, and the work here is to accept that you can’t manage that situation or this person or that thing. There is power in powerlessness also, because it frees you from conflict and allows you to enjoy the rest of your life with real aplomb.

LIVE YOUR TRUTH

You’d be surprised how many lies I told myself and how many times I suffered because of them. Indeed, the lies I told myself fed into the lies I told other people and left me isolated when all I ever craved was connection. Can you believe that? My cure for loneliness was isolation. But I changed all of that when I started to speak my own truth and gave the people around me the opportunity to truly know who I was and what I stood for. We live in fear of what other people will think or say about us, but do you really want those kinds of people in your life today? Tell your truth; embrace who you are and let the naysayers know that, if it’s going to make a difference as to whether they love you or not, then it should start making a difference now.

REMAIN GRATEFUL

I have a friend who, for one morning every month, pretends to be blind. He wakes without opening his eyes, fumbles his way to his kitchen to make coffee then heads off to the bathroom to shower and brush his teeth. He eats a bowl of cold cereal and dresses himself and doesn’t allow himself to open his eyes until he gets behind the wheel of his car to go to work. And he does this so that he can live in gratitude of the many gifts in his life, least among which is the gift of sight. I try to practice gratitude also, although not with as much verve as my friend; but I recognize that, in today’s world, it is easy to become entitled and walk around with a sense of indignation and lose sense of the things that really matter, and fall away from gratitude. Everything in your life is worth exploring, whether it be the fact that you can walk and run or the knowledge that, if it ever gets to be too much, the world is designed to accommodate you and help you not feel so abandoned or alone.

HAVE FAITH IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

We come into the world, each of us, with our own baggage (sometimes it’s an abandonment issue, sometimes it’s simple trust issues, etc.). We acquire these as children, but we discover that these lessons no longer serve us in adulthood, and we become forced to re-parent or reeducate ourselves. Part of this means learning how to trust our friends and partners and spouses. These relationships are important and you need to think of them as a carefully concocted stew of love and patience and understanding. When we distrust the people closest to us, what we are actually doing is adding negative ingredients to the pot — jealousy, possessiveness, suspicion… of course, they are going to react in a negative fashion. And we are often shocked when conflict arises, but it is conflict that could have been avoided if we’d made a conscious decision to come from a place of love than one of antagonism and unrest. People are sometimes going to let you down. This is a fact of life. But it is our responsibility to not create an arena for them to do so.

BE OF SERVICE

My wife is an amazing woman. I am in awe of her, but still got a bit resentful one night when I did the dinner dishes and didn’t get so much as a thank you when all was said and done. It was then that I realized that I was looking for a payoff for simply being of service, and that was when my life changed. It isn’t an act of kindness if you expect something for it, and once you remove the payoff from the equation, you will find yourself catapulted to the next level of true selflessness, and that is the understanding that the reward for loving is loving; the reward for being of service is being of service. And the self-esteem that comes from reaching out and helping other people is invaluable. Because it gets you out of your own head and helps you not feel overwhelmed by problems or other concerns. It helps you feel connected.

LAUGH AT YOURSELF

It never ceases to amaze me how sensitive I am. People who care about me — who I know absolutely love me — will sometimes point out one of my idiosyncrasies or talk about something stupid I did in mixed company and, for a long time, it would hurt my feelings and I would over-react. Granted, we all need to monitor how we are perceived (you don’t get a second chance at first impressions), but learning how to laugh at yourself can help build stronger relationships. You family and friends should not be made to feel as though they need to walk on eggshells around you; it’s up to you to create a safe, non-judgmental space for those around you because it is only in this space that you can experience the joy of authentic laughter. And, the fact of the matter is, I can’t possibly be the only one to leave a public restroom with toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

LIVE IN THE MOMENT

Your past is inescapable, your future is unavoidable, but your present is forever unrestrained. We sometimes spend more time obsessing over things that have happened and dreading some unforeseen future that we forget the simple truth that, right now, in this moment, we are okay. No matter what is happening, even now — reading this — you are okay. Take a breath. Enjoy this one, perfect moment, because it is yours. You have plans and obligations, sure, but we’re not there yet; right now, it’s just us, living in this wonderful moment, and reveling in the fact that, in and of ourselves, we are complete, we are worthy of connection, and we are enough. When things get hectic, remind yourself of this and get centered. Only in the moment are we ever our perfect selves.

PRACTICE RESTRAINT OF PEN AND TONGUE

This was a hard one for me to learn. But then I realized that a lot of the conflict in my life was of my own design. I had to adopt a new way of relating to other people. I had to ask myself, “Does this need to be said?” then, “Does this need to be said now?” and finally, “Does this need to be said by me?” The three simple questions, in one fell stroke, eliminated so much pain and drama in my life that it left a huge space in my life that could only be filled with a new influx of love and understanding. Not only did people suddenly want to be around me, but the problems that I thought could only be managed by me seemed to work themselves out on their own. I had, for lack of a better term, inadvertently learned how to get out of God’s way.

LEARN TO FORGIVE

This one’s a hard pill to swallow, because I’m not a huge advocate of “Turn The Other Cheek” — I believe that you have to talk about (and really process) some wrongs that have been done to you before you can get to the part where forgiveness is possible. But, I also believe that it gets easier every time you do it, and that the emotional work involved is worth the effort it takes to get there. Some transgressions are unforgivable, true. But most aren’t. Bear in mind, I am not telling you to run out and forgive everyone; I am telling you to LEARN to forgive, because that’s where the spiritual growth will come from: it will come from the journey toward forgiveness.

REMAIN TEACHABLE

I have a friend who is a huge naysayer when it comes to new concepts and ideas. The simple truth is, he’s so busy seeing THROUGH everything that he can’t see ANYTHING. And, sadly, as a result, he will always be right where I left him, because his capacity for growth is stunted by his inability to embrace new ideas. But this doesn’t have to be YOU. Allow yourself to have an open mind. Accept that even the worst-dressed person at the party may have something interesting to say to you and put your hand out to say hello. Rediscover your sense of wonder. No matter how old you are, the world still has a lot to show you. We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having very Human experiences. Avail yourself to each and every one.

EVERYTHING YOU CAME HERE LOOKING FOR, YOU CAME HERE LOOKING WITH

I cannot tell you how much time and energy I wasted searching for some sort of outside “thing” to fix me. And everywhere I went, the answer was always the same: We’re Perfect. In and of ourselves, we are whole and complete. Inner Peace comes from accepting this as Your Truth. Granted, there are things about ourselves that we can change, and there are outside things that we can acquire that will enrich the quality of our lives, but none of those things are the destination of any spiritual journey; every spiritual journey is designed to help you find yourself. Because it is only when you’ve found, accepted, and learned to love yourself that you are capable of connecting with anything else, whether it’s other people, your family, or a God of your own understanding. Believe it.

BE COURAGEOUS IN LIFE

Maya Angelou is a celebrated American author and poet who once taught that Courage is the most important of all the virtues because, without it, you cannot practice any of the others consistently. It takes courage to love. It takes courage to be honest and to speak your own truth. It takes courage to forgive. It takes courage to reach out and help other people. The list goes on and on. I had to learn very early on how not to let fear dictate my behavior; I had to learn how to not let fear inform my decisions. You can do this, too. I promise you. It’s in you. If you’re reading this, then you’re ready to take a few chances and truly grow. And, if worse comes to worst, keep this in mind: A turtle cannot walk — it cannot move forward — unless it sticks its neck out.
Reference

The (Only) Seven Spiritual Principles We Need to Succeed

Virtual Intergroup (VIG)

Our next meeting will be:

Saturday, October 28, 2017 @ 3:00 PM EDT

Dial: 712-832‐8310  /  Code: 763-6210


 

Business resource for SA Phone Meeting discussions inverterd_pyramid

regional_assembly

Meetings are generally held on the 2nd or 3rd Saturday of each month.

3:00 pm EST – Virtual Intergroup business meeting.
Dial: 712-832-8310 | Access Code: 763-6210#.

Important Resource: SA Service Manual

More info coming soon

Service to Essay

Much of the work people do here on SA Phone Mtg website is simular to the newsletter “Essay”. We need your help!  If you would like to volunteer, please send an email to info@saphonemeeting.org

For example, the schedule of teleconference meetings is the #1 purpose of this site.  Next, is the individual scripts and mtg formats. There are many other various reasons why the SA Phone Mtg website acts like a “Virtual Intergroup” but for sake of brevity it is safe to say, people are getting sober and staying sober, so obviously it works. One of the reasons why I personally setup this online vehicle was to help people participate more efficiently on the teleconferences. For example, back in 2009 there was no EASY simple way to read excerpts from the SA literature if they didn’t already have a copy via email. Now, many people can find literature to read and participate!

Getting Started: Step “Zero”

There is an unwritten step underlying all twelve. Call it Step Zero: “We participated in the fellowship of the program.” No one seems able to stay sober and progress in recovery without it, though some try. For most of us, without associating in some way with other recovering individuals, there is no lasting sobriety and none of the fringe benefits of recovery, growth, freedom, and joy. This holds true even for “loners” (those without groups). We don’t try to explain this; it is simply a fact. (SA White Book page 63)

A VISION FOR YOU

We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us. Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.
May God bless you and keep you — until then. (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 164)


 

Suscipe Prayer

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

Learn about Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius’s Journey
Ignatius’s visit to Montserrat was part of an intense and difficult period for him: he was recovering from a battle injury to his leg, and he was struggling to leave behind his privileged and prestigious past as a noble man.

At Montserrat, Ignatius began to live his faith, spending all night in prayer before the statue of the Virgin. He put on simple clothes and gave his expensive clothing to a beggar.

After Ignatius’s visit to Montserrat, he stopped at Manresa, a small town nearby. He planned to spend to spend a few nights writing down his thoughts, but he stayed for 11 months and left profoundly changed. The fruit of Ignatius’s reflections at Manresa became one of the greatest works of Christian spirituality, the Spiritual Exercises.

About Ignatius’s Life (1491–1556)
Saint Ignatius went on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat in Spain. He left his sword on the altar and exchanged his rich clothes for a beggar’s garment. He lived in the nearby town of Manresa, doing penance. In Manresa, Ignatius experienced the spiritual growth that led him to write the Spiritual Exercises. However, Ignatius decided he needed more schooling, so, in his 30s, he began attending school and studying Latin. Eventually, he went to study in Paris, where he became the leader of a group of seven (including Francis Xavier) who took vows in 1534, an event that marked the beginning of the Society of Jesus.