Updated: Oct 22, 2020
Featured Post: The Tradition of the Month
The traditions of AA have been significant to the fellowship’s stability over the past 85+ years. It wasn’t always the case. Back in the early days of the fellowship, the traditions didn’t exist. Alongside the first of the major growth spirts in the 1940’s, there was disunity in AA. The fellowship was at risk of splintering to the point of falling apart. After some time in development and further turmoil, the 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous were adopted by the whole of AA and remain unchanged still today. Tradition Ten is one the most noteworthy of all the Traditions which states that “Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name out never be drawn into public controversy”.
To me, Tradition Ten says that no matter what my religious beliefs, political affiliation, social movement (support or dismissal), or anything that may differ myself from another, I am welcome in AA. In AA, no one is excluded on these outside issues. I’ve met and become close to many wonderful people I likely would not have if not for Tradition Ten. As a result, external to the fellowship, I will not be perceived as in affiliation with specific political movement, religious tenet, or cause by my association with AA. For me, there is safety in Tradition Ten.
As a citizen of the world and human being, I can’t help but have opinions about politics, religion, social issues, even companies’ missions or products I support. But within the rooms of AA, I keep my mouth shut about these topics. I do not express what may separate me from other alcoholics but what unites me with them. In my conversations with others outside of AA, I do my best to exercise restraint, so I do not link my thoughts on these external issues with AA. In these ways I hope to attract other still suffering and/or recovering alcoholics to me and my program.
As well, it is one of the things that helps me keep my connection with a Higher Power I choose to call God in and outside the rooms of AA. If my heart and mind is filled with controversial divisive thoughts, I cannot hear God’s voice. I need God’s voice in my heart, so my head chooses the next right thing while practicing the principles of AA in all my affairs.
-Doug R, Squad 5C
RBA Board of Trustees Minutes
Monday, September 14th, 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. Members Present: Jim L, Rocky L, Curt T, Isaac S, Kate M, Lori W, Daniel D Visitors: Joe R from squad 5C
2. Building & Maintenance Report RBA will cover the front parking lot from the street with foliage, and we are still discussing prices and deciding on what to plant. We will purchase an industrial mop bucket for the building.
3. Financial Report Curt T read the August financial report. Coffee & cleaning income is still down. Pledges are due for the new fiscal year. Kate M motioned to approve the financial report for August, Daniel seconded, motion approved.
4. Old Business Kate M. read the August board meeting minutes. Daniel motioned minutes be approved, Rocky seconded, motion approved.
5. New Business The General Annual Meeting is September 26, 2020. Ballots were distributed 9/19. Discussion around a new Thursday women’s AA meeting at 7:00pm that Dano Jo started a few weeks ago. Kate M motioned the meeting to be approved by the board, Lori seconded, motion approved. Women’s meeting Thurs @ 7pm will be squad 3C. Kate M will check into getting medallions as we are low or out of some.
6. Miscellaneous RBA paving the way to Sobriety” T-shirts are on sale to raise funds to pay towards parking lot debt. Cost is $50. Please contact the President; Jim L if you would like one. RBA WEBSITE Go to rbaaa.org to check it out! The first Dry Sheet for September was published on the website 9/20. Please send AA related material by the 20th of every month, so it will be on the dry sheet for the following month. Send these to email@example.com. Discussion around RBA having social media accounts like facebook, twitter and instagram. Kate M motioned to start RBA social media, Dano Jo seconded, motion approved.
Motion made by Jim B and seconded by Rocky to close the meeting with the Lord's Prayer at 8:02pm. Motion passed.
-Kate M, Board of Trustees
In Memory of Clancy I 7/7/27-8/24/2020
For more information about Clancy, please visit the following site: Los Angeles Times.
The Step of the Month
Continued to take personal inventory and when wrong promptly admitted it.
The first word of this Step is key to working this Step. For me to grow or change, I need to do the action repeatedly so that it becomes habit. One of my character defects is the behavior of not always following through on a plan I have set up. I start out good and then the action falls by the wayside. In working the Tenth Step, I need to utilize the Third Step - make a decision to put it in God's hands. I ask God to make me mindful each evening to go over my day and inventory my actions of the day, particularly the questionable and negative behavior. Hopefully, I have already taken care of most of the disdainful actions. For those I have not, I try to formulate a plan of action to rectify these negative actions. I talk to my God for guidance and possibly I may need to talk to my sponsor for guidance. I also keep the Ninth Step in mind, so as not to hurt or harm anyone when making amends.
Step Ten is all about practicing the changes we are trying to make in our lives since we have become sober. Step Ten is about what we have learned in the previous nine steps. Step Ten is the way to continue to grow and a way live and remain sober. To maintain our spiritual- ity we need to grow. If our spirituality does not continue to grow, we will get worse even though we are sober. For me, I hit that stale place after about 20 years of sobriety. I became complacent, estranged and distant from my Higher Power and became " worse and worse" in my sobriety. This is what the disease of "alcoholism" does to our soul. It is like a thief in the night and steals our spirituality or impedes the continuance of growth in our relationship with our Higher Power.
Joe McQ, in his book Carry the Message, is of the opinion that when one or a sponsee reaches the Tenth Step, they should start sponsoring. He feels this is timely, so that they can practice the steps they have just done. I'm not sure that I agree, but it does make sense to not stand still, but re-practice and re-practice. Practice, practice, practice. Step Ten is broader than Step Four. In Step Ten, we are examining the life we are living " now". It is the interaction with people now in our sobriety, not the rotten, shameful, crazy things in our using life. As we re-practice the action steps, we continue to grow and examine our relationship with " the God of our understanding" and change the things we can.
Promptly admitted it -That means NOW! No dragging of the feet. No lollygagging. No excuses! We cleaned our house in Steps Four and Five. With Step Ten, we can continue to keep it clean. A Day At A Time: March 5: Today I Pray: May I know the blessed relief and unburdening that comes when I admit I have done something wrong. May I learn (perhaps for the first time in my entire life) to take responsibility for my own actions and to face the consequences. May I learn again how to match actions with consequences.
Reprinted from the October 2012 edition of The Dry Sheet
A Grateful Alcoholic
Tenth Step Prayer
The RBA Experience
I remember the day my friend Scott asked me to come to an AA meeting. I am thinking, sure and then I’ll set my hair on fire! I loved to drink and it was nuts to think of life without alcohol, but just to keep him happy I told him I would meet him there.
Well, I pulled into the lot and didn’t see his truck so I parked and went in. Empty. Now what? I did hear voices from behind a closed door but no way was I going to just walk in. For all I knew it was a “closed” meeting. I had seen the schedules and was very concerned about happening in to a “closed” meeting. This organization was VERY mysterious. So I did what I do best and ran out the back door. I was free and oh look what time it is, Cocktail hour!! I had my hand on the door of my car when I heard Scotts truck. Damn!
So in we went and late on top of it. I was very nervous. When it became my turn I actually said Pete, Alcoholic. Wow, those words had never been uttered by my mouth before but it felt kind of good. In fact it felt real good. I had intended to pass but when I announced it was my first meeting ever, well the applause was immediate. I was stunned and while basking in the attention, I decided to say a few words. I was absolutely convinced I had a new home and I KNEW I would be back the next night and many nights after.
The next time I was there was two YEARS later.
I went on a Saturday morning and met guys with names like Joe and Steve, Roger and Richard and they just kept saying keep coming back and for that I will be forever grateful. I am now going on 11 months sober.
-Pete A, Squad 5C
Reflection on Service Work
Hello AA Friends, I wanted to share how service work has impacted my life. First service work to me, I believe let's me be a walking light or beacon to the AA program. I believe it is part of practicing the principals in all my affairs. To me the service work doesn't have to be directly related to AA or your home club. I like to provide free lawn care in my neighborhood as service work. It allows me to give back to my community. When people ask why it's free I have an open door to explain a little about AA and how I'm giving back and why. The why is profound for me, to give back to a world in which I caused so much negative harm, I can give back. Also it helps keeps my mind occupied and I feel great afterwards. I have almost seven years of sobriety and when people ask how I achieved that I am happy to let them know service work played and intricate part in my success. Other ways I've provided service work include (but are not limited to) doing a neighbors dishes, cleaning up cigarette butts, officiating AA meetings, making coffee for AA meetings, and in the winter shoveling snow for free. Recently I helped clear a house out for my sister who was highly impressed I wanted nothing for my service. People truly see through my actions the benefits of the AA program. I'd like to invite, and encourage all who read this to find ways to help in your community. Stay humble but willing to share about your program. Let the service work speak as a testament of your dedication to your sobriety, and desire to give back for what you are freely given by AA and your higher power. May your service work enrich your life and further your path of sobriety. Please use your talents to give back, and push to do all you can for others without expectation. I do my service work somewhat selfishly because it truly gives me more than I ever could give back in service work.
Be well and Best Wishes.
-William S, Squad 5C
Tenth Step Insights
Reflection on the 10th Step
The Tenth Step is part of my daily program of recovery. This program is vital because it enables me to trust my higher power’s guidance and focus on doing the next right thing as life unfolds. Occasionally I lose this focus and allow my self-will to interfere with God’s plans. My willfulness often results in anger, cowardice, pride, and other character defects. These shortcomings alienate me from my higher power and all the wonderful people God has placed in my life. Happy, joyous and free then reverts to restless, irritable and discontent. For this reason, I need to continue to take inventory to ensure I’m addressing my wrongs and learning from them.
I make time daily to reflect on how I have shown up in all my affairs. My day can usually be categorized by family, work and AA. I have a small family made up of my mother and my three sons, and all are very important to me. My mother and I struggled to get along for years but enjoy each other’s company now. I sometimes become upset when she dredges up incidents from our past in group settings. These incidents are often embarrassing, and I feel like she is attacking my self-esteem with the intent of inflating her own. When I reflect on this, I realize how self-centered I am for blaming my feelings on my mother. It is unrealistic for me to expect her to know my fears and act according to my will. As I take my personal inventory I bring awareness to situations like this; I remember my shame comes from within me and can be removed with the help of my higher power.
My inventory helps me maintain balance in relationships with my sons. I am often very focused on their futures and ambitions. Occasionally I grow angry and take an aggressive approach to motivating them. I then realize this anger stems from how I perceive their choices reflect on me as a parent who is expected to teach them independence. Other times I find myself taking a lazy and cowardly approach to parenting by not teaching them independence, because I fear losing their love or friendship. My daily reflections then help me remember the importance of having the courage to set aside my feelings and be truly present in their lives. I feel closest to my higher power when I’m listening to my sons express their needs and encourage them to tell me how I can help. I often acknowledge to them how I want to be more focused on their happiness and less on the paths they take to achieve this.
We all spend a significant amount of our lives at our jobs, so it’s no surprise to me when much of my daily inventory pertains to relations at work. The speed of business these days is incredible; we are constantly asked to be more efficient and more productive. For me this brings about fear and anxiety at times. I need to take steps to ensure the pressure I’m feeling doesn’t lead to anger or resentment directed towards my coworkers. Furthermore, as a leader my job requires some difficult conversations throughout each day. When I guide my team, I need to ensure I act with courage and set the appropriate expectations based on our client needs. Occasionally out of cowardice or laziness I allow shortcuts that result in damage to our reputation. During my reflections I rehash the importance of being fearless because this inspires bravery in my team. Bravery helps us make the right choices, instead of the easiest, which is always the best course of action. I also monitor interactions with my team to ensure I gain trust by patiently listening to their concerns and helping them work through issues. If I notice this is not happening when taking my inventory, I right the situation. The program of Alcoholics Anonymous has helped me shift the focus of my career away from pay raises and promotions to the more rewarding goal of helping others reach their potential. My daily inventory provides a scorecard I use to evaluate my progress towards this goal.
I enjoy the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and spend a significant amount of time attending meetings, working with others, and taking advantage of service opportunities. During meetings my higher power directs me to share from my heart with humility because that is how I truly feel useful. For this reason, I need to admit I am wrong when self-serving pride pushes me to stand out as an authority on the literature of our program. Also at times I feel slighted when working with others if they don’t take my advice. Reflecting on these feelings helps me remember joy comes from guiding and supporting them regardless of their choices. Furthermore, I enjoy accepting service positions because they help me focus on something outside of myself. Service also gives me a reason to feel useful and supportive to our fellowship. My higher power encourages me to share my contributions, so others understand how service helps us feel happy, joyous and free. At times, however, I get prideful when listing these contributions. My inventory then helps my alcoholic mind remember our program works because it is a fellowship of individuals who are of equal importance to each other’s success.
I spent years clearing away the wreckage of my past when I started working the program of AA. Now my daily inventory helps keep my side of the street clean. The Twelve and Twelve reminds me my inventory is not only a list of wrongs, but also assets (strengths) I can build on. Chapter five of the Big Book teaches me the importance of spiritual progress, not perfection. For these reasons, I am convinced my wrongs and my strengths are but learning opportunities if I’m humble and open to God’s will. God’s will for me is to share the grace I have received with those I meet in all my affairs. This grace is abundant and grows inside of me as I share it. I believe the Tenth Step is important because it helps me grow each day as a son, father, leader, and member of Alcoholics Anonymous.
-Joe R, Squad 5C
rbaaa.org Website Updates
Our mission at rbaaa.org is to provide an informational source for current members and a welcoming site for newcomers to Alcoholics Anonymous and Richfield Bloomington Alano. To facilitate this mission, we continually update our content based on feedback submitted by users. Below you will see recent additions to each page.
Home page: Added a section at the bottom of the page to explain the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and RBA services to newcomers. This section has a narrative stating what AA does and doesn’t do, along with three videos from AAWS which explain general information about our program. Access this section by clicking on the ‘About Us’ link on the menu bar towards the top of any page. If you know someone interested in the program, consider recommending this section of the website.
Recourses page: Added 11 links to various websites containing helpful information for current members and newcomers. Everything you need to plan a topic or prepare for a sponsor/sponsee meeting can be found on this page. Links to readings used during the opening of our meetings can be found on the Resources page also. Plan your topics and find support from our literature on this page also.
Meeting Schedule page: Description of what different meeting formats mean has been provided at the bottom of this page. A video has also been added explaining what to expect from your first meeting. Another great section for newcomers.
RBA Dry Sheet blog: Content submitted by meeting attendees. All submissions are welcome and will be published. Provides a place for us to share our program and thoughts about RBA with each other and newcomers.
Please feel free to submit websites updates you'd like to see implemented to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Recent and Upcoming Sobriety Anniversaries
Please join us in congratulating the following people on their sobriety milestones!
Dana Jo F (10/17/87) celebrates 33 years in October!!!
Darryn V (10/16/19) celebrates one year in October!!!
Troy S (10/20/98) celebrates 22 years in October!!!
Bill M (9/9/85) celebrated 35 years in September!!!
Mike C (6/25/20) celebrated three months in September!!!
Theresa M (9/28/14) celebrated six years in September!!!
Journee (8/20/20) celebrated 30 days in September!!!
Norton L (9/1/20) celebrated 40 years in September!!!
Joe R (9/10/07) celebrated 13 years in September!!!
Check out the following website and download a number of free apps that will help you work the steps! 12stepapps.org
This website has an app that will help you with your tenth step by asking questions regarding your daily inventory. The app saves your daily entries and helps you track progress over time.
rbaaa.org thanks you for visiting the Dry Sheet. Please feel free to submit content for the following month by email to email@example.com . 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.