Gratitude 2014 – Episode 97

A power greater than ourselves provides the beauty of a flower.Can you be grateful for painful events? How do you cultivate an “attitude of gratitude”? Can gratitude help you sleep better? Join Spencer and Wendy as we talk about our experience with gratitude.

We used these questions to guide our discussion.

  • What does “gratitude” mean to you?
  • Do you see gratitude differently now than before you came to Al-Anon?
  • Do you practice an “attitude of gratitude”?
  • How has this changed your life?
  • Have you found gratitude for painful occurrences in your life? How or why?
  • What are you grateful for today?

We also found a couple of interesting articles about gratitude. Powerful Lessons in Gratitude starts “As I write this, I am coming to terms with the death of a good friend of mine who was killed in a tragic accident over the weekend. … However, I realize that even in death we have the opportunity to celebrate the beauty of life.” Both of us have found gratitude in the middle of pain and loss, and that gratitude has helped us to live our lives with greater serenity and even joy.

Another interesting article is 8 reasons to love gratitude, which has this list of benefits. The benefits are backed up by scientific study, believe it or not.

  1. It can make you happier.
  2. It can reduce blood pressure.
  3. It makes hearts healthier.
  4. It’s associated with better sleep.
  5. It helps people exercise more.
  6. It helps make vets more resilient.
  7. It can help your relationship.
  8. Even a little bit helps.

Spencer was happy to hear that he doesn’t have to practice gratitude every day in order to gain its benefits!

Our topic for next week is Tradition 12, which states “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles above personalities.” Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading “Gratitude 2014 – Episode 97”

Spiritual Practice – Episode 94

peace at sunset

How do you feed your spirit? Do you struggle with prayer and meditation? What does it mean to be “spiritual?”


Spencer shares his thoughts about spiritual practices, and invites you to share your own spiritual practices by voice mail or email.

  • What is a spiritual practice?
  • What is the purpose/goal of spiritual practices?
    • Connection with the divine, something greater than myself.
    • Centering.
    • Feeds my spirit/soul.
  • What practices are suggested in the 12 steps?
  • What is prayer?
  • What is meditation?
  • What are some (other) examples of spiritual practices?Sitting/walking in nature.
    • Attitude of gratitude
    • Deep breath
    • Dance
    • Song
    • Journaling

Our topic for next week is Tradition 11, which says “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, and TV. We need guard with special care the anonymity of all AA members.” Join our conversation. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

Continue reading “Spiritual Practice – Episode 94”

Not God – Episode 93

fateDo you sometimes feel responsible for the whole world? Would other people be happy if they would do things your way? An critical part of our recovery is that we recognize that we are not God.

Spencer talks about ways in which he has tried to “play God” in the past, about how those increased the unmanageability of his life, and about how the realization that he is not God has simplified his life and provided serenity. He worked from the outline below, illustrating the points with stories from his life.

  • What do I mean when I say I am not God?
  • I can’t control or change other people
  • Things outside my “hula hoop” are not my responsibility
  • I don’t know what is best for others
  • I don’t always know what is best for me
  • Why would I think I am?
  • How did my actions suggest I thought so?
  • When do i struggle with wanting to play God?
  • How is it a relief when I remember that I am nobody’s higher power?

Upcoming topics include Tradition 11 and “Is it caretaking or healthy support?” Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading “Not God – Episode 93”

Faith over Fear – Episode 74

Does fear keep you from acting? Can you move forward in faith instead? This week, we talk about faith over fear.

Spencer and Adrienne talked about their experience with fear and faith, reflecting on these questions and others.

  • How has fear been a factor in your life to date?
  • In what ways did fear direct your actions (or inactions) in the past?
  • How have you experienced faith in recovery?
  • Which steps are acts of faith for you?
  • How does working the steps help you to learn to have faith?
  • How can you move in faith rather than sitting in fear today?

An upcoming topic is Tradition 6, which says “Our Family Groups ought never endorse, finance or lend our name to any outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary spiritual aim. Although a separate entity, we should always co-operate with Alcoholics Anonymous.” Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Continue reading “Faith over Fear – Episode 74”

faith over fear – a meditation

how much love?



“Today, I am choosing faith over fear”



Recently, a friend shared in a meeting, saying,

Growing up in an alcoholic home, I learned to fear change. I have lived my life in fear. Fear has driven my decisions. Because of fear, I thought I had no choices. Today, I know that I do have choices. Today, I do not have to have fear as my constant companion. Today, I can choose faith over fear.

I did not grow up with alcoholism, but I have often let fear drive my life. I have stuck to a job, even when it’s not the right one for me, because I feared not having a job. Fear of the unknown kept me stuck in the status quo. Almost every major change in my life was forced on me, because I was graduating college, because the funding for my job ran out, or because I was fired. I have ignored opportunities because I feared rejection. I hung in the corner at parties because you might not want to talk to me, or dance with me. Fear has kept me in a cage of my own making.

Recovery is showing me that I can break out of that cage. I can take a chance, I can make a choice for me. When fear tells me to “sit down”, I can reach out to my higher power for the strength to stand up. When fear says “you are worthless”, I can look at myself with eyes opened by my inventory and know it for a lie. When fear says, “you will fail”, I can choose faith instead, and walk into the unknown, confident in the guidance and support of a higher power who loves me and wants the best for me. When pain comes into my life, as it inevitably will, faith says, “this too shall pass.” I have learned that I have a choice, that I can choose faith over fear.

How do you choose faith over fear? When has faith let you move where fear would have rooted you in place? Share your experience, strength, and hope by email to, by voice mail at 734-707-8795, or use the voicemail button on this page.

A meditation for May 22, 2014.

Continue reading “faith over fear – a meditation”