Featured Post: The Step of the Month
SOUGHT THROUGH PRAYER AND MEDITATION TO IMPROVE OUR CONSCIOUS CONTACT WITH GOD, AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM, PRAYING FOR THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL FOR US AND THE POWER TO CARRY THAT OUT.
When I walked in the second AA meeting of my life back in 1987, I was dumfounded to hear one of the old-timers introduce himself and say that he was “a grateful alcoholic.” I thought to myself “now how can that be?” I had just been released from a 28 day treatment program and was convinced that my life was over. I never dreamed that I would one day be so grateful that I, too, had ended up becoming a recovering alcoholic.
From my earliest recollection in this program, Step 11 has always been my favorite. For one thing it is the one step that I can actually see/feel that something is truly happening. The more effort I put in my relationship with my God (prayer/meditation) the more I get back in return. I remember asking my sponsor how to pray and how do I meditate? I don’t sit still very well. Her response was to “act as if I knew what I was doing and eventually I would get comfortable with it.” That was probably the best advice I had ever been given because I did eventually find my own way to do both prayer and meditation that worked for me. I was also told that prayer is asking/talking to God and meditation is listening to the answers. I really struggled with learning how to “trust my gut” and “listen to the voice of reason” that I possess.
I started by praying once I got in bed at night. I started with such simple requests; like praying for a peaceful night sleep; wisdom and some kind of sign that I was doing his WILL correctly, and courage to actually carry that out. After 9 years of sobriety and my husband’s diagnosis of a terminal brain tumor, my praying became something I did on my knees. When he died, after 16 months, I not only stayed on my knees but started praying out loud. I was given the grace of knowing that my God was right by my side the entire time. My AA fellows taught me that. They promised me that and it was true. They also taught me that I could start my day over at any point in case it was headed in a direction I didn’t want it to go. That requires prayer/meditation. I ask and then I listen. I don’t believe the statement “God won’t give me more than I can handle.” “I believe my God will help me handle all that I’ll be given.”
Below are just 3 of my most favorite readings. I believe they are very powerful and have never let me down.
On page 97 in the 12x12 it tells us that “Those of us who come to make regular use of prayer would no more do without it that than we would refuse air, food, or sunshine. And for the same reason. When we refuse air, light, or food, the body suffers. And when we turn away from meditation and prayer, we likewise deprive our minds, our emotions, and intuitions of vitally needed support. As the body can fail its purpose for lack of nourishment, so can the SOUL.”
On page 105 in the 12x12, it simply says; “Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of prayer and meditation is the sense of belonging that comes to us.”
On page 85 of the Big Book it states “ It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. “How can I best serve Thee-Thy will (not mine) be done. These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.”
Feed your soul, feel the sense of belonging that comes by being a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and keep your spiritual condition in top notch working order. Your God will never let you down, either.
-In gratitude, Beckie L. Squad 7G
RBA Board of Trustees Minutes - Annual General Meeting
Monday, September 26th, 2020
Meeting opened at 7:06pm
Opened with the serenity prayer, tradition 1&2 and mission statement. Our
mission is to manage the property, finances and 501C3 for the RBA
1. Board Members Present:
Jim L, Rocky L, Curt T, Isaac S, Kate M, Jim B, Dana Jo F. A quorum was present with pledging members, and thus, business was conducted.
2. Old Business: In order to maintain the property, the parking lot was repaved. A loan was taken out to pay for this. All of our Certificates of deposit are intact, and were set up to protect the building. We used a line of credit against our CDs. We owe roughly 15,000 to pay off parking lot debt. The loan was refinanced in August and the interest dropped from 5.75% to 4.5%
3. New business: The city requires us to cover the front handicapped parking lot from the street. We will be figuring out the details as far as what foliage to plant and will put that into motion ASAP.
4. Financial Report: RBA is in a solid financial situation. The Covid 19 pandemic made it hard for groups to meet in person and attendance was down considerably. Coffee/cleaning donations were down by $1,500, while pledges increased this year by 1,800. Some groups that were not meeting in person, mailed in donation money. We were unable to do any
fundraising due to covid since Feb,’20. RBA’s total income increased some, while expenses increased, so the money balanced out. Financially we are about the same as we were this time last year. Our bank balance is roughly $8,692. In addition, we still have our CDs.
5. Covid 19 impact: We couldn’t do any of our fundraisers. Rocky, the Vice President, planned the April annual Spring Banquet, which due to covid had to be cancelled. Also, we were starting to plan Gopher State Roundup, which in May, which was cancelled as well. Our annual summer picnic had to be cancelled. No crowds could gather legally. Jim L; our President, chose to keep RBS’s doors open, while most of the other alano clubs and meetings closed temporarily. We have been following the governor’s mandates by limited group sizes, socially distancing and wearing masks. Per Jim L., the benefit to saving lives by
making in person AA available outweighed the risks. Medallions have been challenging to get during Covid, and Jim B will make a call this week, in an effort to purchase some. We need 1 year and less. People have been donating their old ones. Jim B will remain the librarian.
6. Election of new Board members: The following people were elected on this even year and approved by the board:
Wednesday night: Norton
Thursday Night: Jeff S Saturday night: Roger B
Sunday night: Rik L
Daytime: Joe R
Monday night (filling vacancy) Bill M
7. Highlights: RBA has a website which lists current meeting schedules, activities, and other information. This will allow people to find out about our club using the internet. Our dry sheet is finally back and is published monthly on our website. It lists submissions related to the month’s corresponding step, other recovery related articles, as well as sober anniversaries, and events.
8. Future Goals: We will also be setting up an electronic means to make donations via the website, and will create RBA social media accounts. This will help us keep up with technology and attract new members, in an effort to increase donations, attendance and membership at the RBA. We will aspire to set up a financial campaign to pay off the parking lot debt.
Motion made by Jim L and seconded by Jeff S to close the meeting with the Lord's Prayer at 8:10pm. Motion passed.
-Kate M, Board of Trustees
RBA Board of Trustees Minutes
Monday, October 12th, 2020
Meeting opened at 7:03pm
Opened with the serenity prayer, tradition 1&2 and mission statement.
Our mission is to manage the property, finances and 501C3 for the RBA.
1. Members Present:
Jim L, Rocky L, Curt T, Isaac S, Kate M, Lori W, Daniel D, Norton L, Jim B, Joe R, Roger B, Bill M, Rik L, Jerry Z, Jeff S
2. Building & Maintenance Report (Jerry Z) Jerry sanded and painted both sides of the back door, and will caulk them. He also painted the window trim, and trimmed branches that were hanging over the roof. Set the heater at 68 degrees. We’ll see if that is a good
temperature. There was discussion around switching to Z-fold towels, instead of the battery operated machines to save on costs. Coffee legs were lifted 2.5 inches. Patched roof over the back entry has held up well. Curt T purchased an industrial mop bucket for the building. Need to buy coffee. Jeff S motioned to buy 5 boxes of Berry coffee, Rocky seconded, motion approved.
3. Financial Report
Hoping our income will increase with pledge money this month. CD interest decreased to 1.2% Curt T read the September financial report.Jeff S motioned to approve the financial report for September, Rocky seconded, motion approved.
4. Old Business
In compliance with the city, RBA will hide the front handicapped parking space from the street with Dogwood bushes and plant them 10/18/20. Curt T purchased an industrial mop bucket for the building. Jim L will talk to the asphalt company to remedy water drainage in the back parking lot by the dumpster. Kate M. read the August board meeting minutes. Norton L motioned September minutes be approved, Jeff S seconded, motion approved.
5. New Business
Lori W will create a document representing the new board of directors. New officer elections will be held at next month's board meeting. Pledge drive is in effect. Please renew your pledges, and encourage others to as well!
Motion made by Jim B and seconded by Rocky to close the meeting with the Lord's Prayer at 8:05pm. Motion passed.
-Kate M, Board of Trustees
11th Step Prayer
The RBA Experience
"Thank You" A message to my AA Friends
AA gave me more than I could ever give back, almost seven years of sobriety now and I wouldn't take a single drinking day back. A program that when you work it works like magic, helps during dark times to escape the pressure and impact. A program not based on solicitation, but our ability to attract.
Rhymes can't pay enough tribute to the friends I've made, the sacrifices and all the knowledge they gave. Who knew it took another alcoholic for me to be saved. Thank my higher power ever chance I get, leave the past where it belongs now without further regret. Your stories saved me and I hope I can do the same, read the first 84 of the big book to realize drinking is no game.
Groups some see as people have become family. Closer than blood in many cases, I know put names to each of your faces. While we can hug now I can give a lyrical goodbye, to those who held my hand on the days I cried, and I didn't (thanks to you all) pick up the bottle when my mom died. Amazing AA worked miracles after everything I had tried.
A note to those who might consider this program, at first it might go like a slow jam but keep the faith, trust the process and know that you can. Escape the need to drug or drink, things will come together faster than you may think. The promises will come true, I can only speak about what I've been through.
We admit we are powerless and then power comes in, the start of any day is right where to begin. A fellowship of men and women who escaped a sinking ship, a wild ride through the years no happy, joyous, and free what a trip.
My wish is you find the same peace of mind, after all we are all part of one mankind. Hope these words inspire you to try even if you may not know why. Do it for family, do it for friends, there's no reason to fall as far as I did in the end. A disease that can being a grown man to his knees, a message contained within the Big Book you can be free.
These last words are to express my sincere gratitude, another benefit of the program is for me a new attitude. This is my handshake until we meet again, thanks to AA if know it's not an if, but when. When the times get hard may strength be yours, let AA be your umbrella when the rain pours. Let your higher power help you open new doors. Like to thank my higher power for the rhymes I write, dont feel i could do it if i weren't connected to the light. Last I thank you all for giving me a million reasons to drop the drink and fight.
-Will S, Squad 5C
11th Step Insights
Reflection on the 11th Step
Long ago I came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity if I turned my will and my life over. Turning this over did not come easily at first because I needed to rid my mind of the feelings and persistent negative thoughts that resulted from years of self-seeking behaviors. After clearing away the wreckage of my past, I felt a much closer connection with my God. Now the 11th step helps me maintain and strengthen this connection each day. Each day I pray to God to relieve me of the burden of self, and often meditate so my higher power can give me the guidance I need. Prayer and meditation give me the courage and power I need to live a happy and useful life. Like every other part of my program, working the 11th step has evolved over time.
In early recovery I learned the importance of replacing alcohol and other worldly obsessions with the spirituality I had been missing for most of my life. I knew that spirituality meant I would need to pray. I noticed the 11th step mentioned prayer, but this was so many steps from where I was at the time. Eventually another AA told me any step starting with a one should be part of my daily recovery program. I then made a point to pray every morning, but my first prayers were very awkward. I felt prideful and clung to the idea I had the answers to all my problems. I also felt uncomfortable directing subvocal speech to an entity with no physical form. An idea I picked up along the way which helped me overcome my doubts was “acting as if.” This meant I didn’t need to fully believe in what I was doing; I just needed to trust the process and follow through. I was amazed at how natural prayer seemed after following through and taking action for just a short amount of time.
I struggled with meditation in the beginning also. When I first joined AA, I attended a meeting at someone’s house every Tuesday night. I was a regular for years and became very comfortable with the home and the group of attendees. For this reason, I was very open to the idea when someone proposed meditating during this meeting. We used an app that allowed us to choose from many different guided mediations. I enjoyed listening to many of the facilitators but found it difficult to be calm and focused for more than a few minutes. Five minutes into each session I began to think about how many minutes remained. Then I would begin to think about some of the stressful situations that happened during the day and feel anxious about the days ahead. I would also replay the idea that I wasn’t meditating properly because I couldn’t clear my mind completely. I mentioned this to someone, and they stated I was doing the exact opposite of meditation, so I’d be better off not doing it at all. My early experience with meditation was much different than prayer.
Prayer has changed for me over the years. Before AA I prayed a handful of times when I was in serious trouble and needed God to bail me out. After working the steps, I have come to believe it’s not my place to tell my higher power what I want or when I need something because that same self-will brought me to my lowest point years before. If I want to be happy, joyous and free I need to pray for the knowledge of God’s will for me and the power to carry that out. I rarely pray for more. Every morning I wake up before my alarm and let God know that he is in charge today, not me; then I leave my heart open to him throughout the day. I give thanks to God throughout each day when he guides me. Sometimes events arise that take me by surprise, and I have learned to pause and smile when this happens because God is always with me. I enjoy reading the 11th step prayer and other recovery prayers occasionally, but do not make this a habit because I like to keep prayer simple. The more I speak to God, the less I listen.
I am happy to say meditation has also changed for me over the years. After resolving many resentments and making some amends, I found my spirit to be much lighter. For a long period of time I would wake up in the morning and listen to a guided mediation before preparing for work. I learned to maintain a level of peace I never thought possible, even when anxious thoughts passed through my mind. In time I found I was able to focus on the speakers leading the meditations and enjoy the spiritual messages they provided. I still utilize guided meditations frequently, but my favorite way to listen to my higher power is deep in nature. I enjoy camping and hiking in the woods and always take time to allow the wind, trees and water to sooth my soul. In nature I am often able to achieve complete serenity if only for a few moments. This serenity feeds my spirit in ways nothing else can. Meditation has taught me that the words I speak and the books I read are far less important than the feeling of unconditional love that God grants me when I give him the chance. God’s love is abundant and grows stronger within me when I pass this feeling along to others.
When I reflect on the 11th step, I must not forget the mind, body and spirit connection. I have found I must take every opportunity I am given to learn new ideas and find new ways to be useful. This keeps my mind active and attentive to sense messages from my higher power. I also must take action to protect and strengthen the body God has given me by being physically active. I admit I fall far short of the ideal physical condition, but I am rewarded with much needed relaxation whenever I take walks and exercise. The people I encounter seem to trust and enjoy interacting with me more when I am attentive and relaxed. Healthy Interaction with others is one of the greatest gifts my higher power has bestowed upon me. Strengthening my mind and body emboldens my spirit. Conscious contact with God is improved for me through a heathy mind, body and spirit.
Conscious contact with my higher power is also improved when I reflect on my daily inventory. Each day I take a walk and recall my thoughts and actions throughout the past 24 hours. I consider the times I acted dishonestly, resentfully, pridefully, or with self-pity and ensure I ask God how I could have been of better service. I often find I need to be more attentive to the other people in my life. I can also trace my character defects back to fear and ego, which are the enemies of the humility I achieve when following my higher power’s guidance. Acknowledging my wrongs brings me closer to God, which is why I no longer feel prolonged guilt or remorse from my mistakes.
God led me to Alcoholics Anonymous after giving me many opportunities to manage my life and the world around me. I failed repeatedly until I finally realized I wasn’t fit for the job. Steps 1-9 enabled me to establish a connection with my higher power, while 10-12 help me maintain and improve this. Taking the time to improve conscious contact with my higher power reminds me God is in charge, and that I can have complete trust in this. Occasionally my disease tells me nobody is making me pray or meditate, so I can skip this step without consequence. When this happens, I need to remember happiness can only be achieved through action, and that contact with my higher power is the foundation of my spiritual life.
-Joe R, Squad 5C
11th Step Meditation
rbaaa.org Website Updates
RBA is now on Facebook and Twitter!!
To help get the word out about RBA to alcoholics still suffering and in recovery, we’ve added the following social media!
RBA Facebook Profile Page where RBA will post information about the club including important information, events, reminders, and recovery!
RBA Facebook Group where those of you who wish to engage in recovery conversations about AA and recovery topics which refrain from outside controversies and issues while keeping everyone’s anonymity in mind!
Twitter Account where RBA will post interesting information about the club and recovery!
That’s cool, but how do I get there?
In your internet browser of choice, simply go to rbaaa.org and from the top of any page, you will see three icons. The blue icon with the bird will link you to RBA's Twitter account; the gray and black Facebook icon will link you to the RBA Recovery Discussion Group; the blue and white Facebook icon will link you to the RBA Facebook page. Simply click the icon for the service you want to access and log in with your Twitter or Facebook account and/or click JOIN to answer a few simple questions and join the RBA Recovery Discussion Group!
-Doug R, Squad 5C
Tradition of the Month
Tradition 11 of Alcoholics Anonymous says, "Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.”
When Alcoholics Anonymous first came into existence, I am sure that the first members were very tight lipped about belonging to a society of Alcoholics. It was probably not something you wanted advertised. After all these people were viewed as street dwellers and bums. It was a stigma that still exists today maybe in a much diminished way. The fact that alcoholism is a disease is certainly accepted in the medical world, if not quite as quickly in the everyday world.
But the word anonymous to our organization means more than personal anonymity, it is a very carefully thought out strategy to attract the still suffering alcoholic which is the reason we exist. Which keeps us sane.
If a person is seeking help, they won’t see one of us on TV promoting this club or that club. In the Twelve and Twelve Traditions it says “we are all irrepressible promoters and the prospect of a society composed almost entirely of promoters was frightening”. We needed restraint.
The success of AA is best passed on by professionals and word of mouth leaving no room for personal gain and each member has an obligation to withhold this tradition.
–Pete A, Squad 5C
Recent and Upcoming Sobriety Anniversaries
Please join us in congratulating the following people on their sobriety milestones!
Dana Jo F (10/17/87) celebrated 33 years in October!!!
Darryn V (10/16/19) celebrated one year in October!!!
Troy S (10/20/98) celebrated 22 years in October!!!
Judy W (10/19/90) celebrated 30 years in October!!!
Shannon H (8/19/20) celebrates 90 days in November!!!
Journee (8/22/20) celebrates 90 days in November!!!
Mike N (11/11/07) celebrates 13 years in November!!!
rbaaa.org thanks you for visiting the Dry Sheet. Please feel free to submit content for the following month by email to firstname.lastname@example.org . We welcome and enjoy all submissions. rbaaa.org would also like to thank those who submitted items for the current month's edition. These articles will help many on their journey in recovery.