Step 11 Keep it Simple

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.
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Wiganman
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Step 11 Keep it Simple

Post by Wiganman » Sun May 26, 2019 1:07 am

In Step 2 we said we were willing to believe in a power greater then in step 3 we made a decision to turn our lives over to this power. Step 11 is when we use that willingness and put that decision into action. Now we are living one day at a time in the last three steps to allow us to live a sober life that is happy and free.

Step 11 reads "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out".


I don't have any religious beliefs but I can follow this step, I always mention that so that others who are athiest or agnostic know that this is possible.

In this step, I get a daily routine and if I try to follow it I usually have a better day than if I didnt. Its that simple. In the morning it suggests prayer. I say the step 3 prayer, this is me hading my life over to my Higher Power - if I try to be the actor and run the show things usually go wrong and I get frustrated. This prayer is also my daily reminder of my biggest problem "Relieve me of the bondage of self". Note I am not praying to be relieved from alcohol - that problem has been dealt with I am now looking at myself. I then say the step 7 prayer which is my reminder that I have other defects of charachter that I need to manage for that day. The alternative is that I just get up and rush 100 miles per hour into my day. I did that for years and it landed me in trouble.


These are just words though and I need to put in action so have to watch out for my behaviour and correct if necessary. Thats where the Higher Power and self-awareness comes in. If I am doing something that doesnt feel right, I get this nervous tension sensation through my stomach. Is that my Higher Power sending a message? I don't know but I try to listen to it. This step tells me to "Pause when Agitated". Valuable advice. In the past I would instantly react if something as simple as an E-Mail annoyed me. When I now pause and think first I can send a constructive E-Mail back or sometimes its better to not reply at all. If you can do this as a matter of routine it can save a lot of trouble.

I am not perfect, I am a human being so sometimes do react or do the wrong thing, get angry, pick up resetments or act in a selfish and self-centred way. Thats why I do a nightly review. Have I been resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? If I have do I need to do something to correct this (an apology or amend). I used to do a written nightly inventory for the first 6 months now I use an app on my phone. Some people do it in their head. It doesnt really matter how you do it as long as you spend a few minutes each night doing it.

Lastly, meditation. I don't find time in the morning to do this but I find this very useful after work when I can be tired and agitated especially if I have been stuck in traffic. Just 7 minutes of meditation on my phone via YouTube resets my mind and relaxes me for the evening. I sometime attend meditation meetings or play some meditation at bedtime to get me to sleep.

All of this, a simple routine, can take as little as 15 minutes a day. For that, If I do this well I can have a productive, normal and peaceful day and I can contribute to life. That is just fantastic!

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Brock
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Re: Step 11 Keep it Simple

Post by Brock » Sun May 26, 2019 12:09 pm

Another wonderful explanation of a step by Wiganman, the steps as written by him, I believe are as good or better than any other AA guide I have seen, could well be made into a booklet.

One thing I like about this step, is everyone can modify it to suit themselves, providing we stick to the basics. There is no sponsor who can tell me what prayer to say or meditation to do, and when to do it. In our literature they are clear to point out the individual nature of spiritual matters, from the big book - “Experience has taught us that these are matters about which, for our purpose, we need not be worried. They are questions for each individual to settle for himself.” And the 12 & 12 - “...it is essentially an individual adventure, something which each one of us works out in his own way.”

I enjoyed reading the part about ‘nervous tension’ in the stomach, as being a possible signal from our HP when we are going wrong, I agree with this and experience it often. It has reached the point where even a simple ‘white’ lie, is very hard if not impossible to live with. In early sobriety I was loading the car at the grocery, there was a large tub of ice cream on the bottom of the cart I forgot to pay for, I felt the tension and the ‘good voice’ saying take it back inside and pay, but the alcoholic rationalizing was saying, ‘that grocery probably cheated you 100 times in the past.’ I went home, and later while everyone was enjoying the ice cream I could not, so back to the grocery I had to go and do the right thing. Now I try to do what I know is right straight away, and it pays handsomely in serenity.

The idea of a nightly review has changed over the years for me, now I find it’s done during the day as I go along, by pausing now and then I make sure no resentment is building, or if I have been rude and owe an amend. And the meditation I used to struggle with has become second nature, thanks to Eckhart Tolle’s teaching, I can be present and meditative very often during the day. I believe everyone should be encouraged to read spiritual material of their choosing, or watch spiritual teachers on you tube or wherever, again the ones which they like and enjoy. And most importantly, don’t worry about making it a regimented chore, if you don’t feel to pray then forcing it hardly makes sense, sometimes a simple ‘thank you’ while thinking of what you consider a higher power works well, as it says in the 12 & 12 - “...it is essentially an individual adventure, something which each one of us works out in his own way.”
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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PaigeB
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Re: Step 11 Keep it Simple

Post by PaigeB » Mon May 27, 2019 12:38 pm

An old Veteran of the US says, "Make your bed each day and you'll start your day with an accomplishment."

Sticking to our personal commitments, like my commitment to e-aa, everyday keeps me more stable than I EVER was while I was a drunkard. Over the years I have added to my commitments.

I am learning INTEGRITY! :shock: :o :shock: .... :mrgreen:
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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Peter.H.
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Re: Step 11 Keep it Simple

Post by Peter.H. » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:06 am

Wiganman wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 1:07 am
...
Step 11 reads "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out"...
Most important step if one wants to maintain and grow in recovery.
The 12 Step program is about being absolutely honest with yourself. Step 11 keeps our life honest and true. Without that, we will become dishonest, the very thing that drives us to drink.
"...unless this person can experience an entire psyche change there is very little hope of his recovery" - Dr. Silkworth. [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Ed, p xxix.]

rjr34036
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Re: Step 11 Keep it Simple

Post by rjr34036 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:53 am

Brock wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 12:09 pm
. And the meditation I used to struggle with has become second nature, thanks to Eckhart Tolle’s teaching, I can be present and meditative very often during the day.
Hi Brock! Which of his books/audios do you recommend? I went on his site and there are sooo many options. Where did you begin?
ReAnneR

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Brock
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Re: Step 11 Keep it Simple

Post by Brock » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:50 pm

rjr34036 wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:53 am
Hi Brock! Which of his books/audios do you recommend? I went on his site and there are sooo many options. Where did you begin?

I went to Amazon to have a look, and you are right there are many choices. When I first heard about him there was basically a choice of his first two, (and best known) books, ‘The Power of Now’, and ‘A New Earth.’ These are the ones I have and it’s hard to pick which I find best, I think power of now is best to start, then a new earth makes more sense after.

Both of these are generally available free as audios on Google or You Tube. It would be fair to say these books are not ‘easy’ reading, and take a while to understand, but I have found the results worth the effort by far.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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