Cooperation and balance – Episode 135

do all the thingsDo you try to do “all the things” by yourself or do you work in cooperation with others? How do you keep balance and serenity while moving forward? Can Concepts 11 and 12 help answer these questions?

Concept 11: The World Service Office is composed of selected committees, executives and staff members.

  • How does this concept help ensure that the work of Al-Anon is accomplished?
  • How does this concept help ensure that no one person is overloaded with tasks?
  • What does this concept teach me about delegation? About turning things over?
  • How can I bring this concept into my family?
  • What “committees” might my family have?
  • Who are the “executives” of the family? What are their roles? Do those roles ever change?
  • Who are the “staff members” of the family? How are they fairly compensated for their work?
  • How can me “taking control” make a bad situation worse?
  • How does this concept help me to pause and assess a situation before I react?
  • What is my purpose? In life? In my family? In my job?

Concept 12: The spiritual foundation for Al-Anon’s world services is contained in the General Warranties of the Conference, Article 12 of the Charter.

General Warranties of the Conference

In all proceedings the World Service Conference of Al-Anon shall observe the spirit of the Traditions:

  1. that only sufficient operating funds, including an ample reserve, be its prudent financial principle;
  2. that no Conference member shall be placed in unqualified authority over other members;
  3. that all decisions be reached by discussion vote and whenever possible by unanimity;
  4. that no Conference action ever be personally punitive or an incitement to public controversy;
  5. that though the Conference serves Al-Anon it shall never perform any act of government; and that like the fellowship of Al-Anon Family Groups which it serves, it shall always remain democratic in thought and action.
  • What are the spiritual principles embodied in these Warranties?
    • Prudence, humility, substantial unanimity, personal responsibility, avoidance of controversy, mutual respect, and equality.
  • How do I practice prudence in my financial affairs?
  • Are there other areas in my life in which I could practice prudence?
  • Can I keep an “ample reserve” of all that I need? Money, energy, serenity, etc?
  • What is authority? Do I ever assume unqualified authority?
  • Can I listen to all sides before making a decision?
  • What is substantial unanimity?
  • Can I keep principles above personalities?
  • Do I like to stir things up?
  • How is my family democratic in thought? In action?
  • How can I use all the concepts to live my life more fully and well?

Our topic for next week is new topic. 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 “Cooperation and balance – Episode 135”

perfection and grace – a meditation





Lord, help me to hold myself and others to a standard of grace, rather than perfection.

— Prayer



I frequently need this reminder, and have added it to my daily prayer set, along with the 3rd and 7th step prayers. Much of the trouble in my relating with others comes from an expectation of perfection. Usually it's an unconscious expectation, but when someone isn't acting up to it, I can get annoyed or frustrated. If I can hold myself to a standard of grace, if I can approach every interaction with an attitude of shared humanity, then it becomes easier for me to treat them with dignity and respect.

Recently, I was not able to do this, in a meeting at my workplace. A colleague was asking me for something that I felt I could not supply perfectly. Apparently, my response was not satisfactory, because she asked again. I got more annoyed, stating my position more clearly (I thought), and then asked “is that clear enough for you?” (And not in a friendly tone of voice, either.) She responded “No!” In retrospect, I can see that I was holding both of us to a standard of perfection, and when that standard was not met (in my eyes), I lashed out in frustration. I disrupted the meeting. I treated my colleague with disrespect. And I did not move us towards an acceptable answer to her question.

Later in the day, I realized I needed to apply Step 10, “… and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.” I apologized to my colleague for my attitude. She accepted the apology, and I think, in that moment, we both held each other in grace, because she then said, humbly, “We both need to figure out a way to communicate so that this doesn't happen.” Which I intend to work on with her, so that healing can come from this incident.

A meditation for August 24, 2013.

Continue reading “perfection and grace – a meditation”

namaste – a meditation


Namaste: The Divine in me recognizes and honors the Divine in you. I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the light, love, truth, beauty & peace within you, because it is also within me. In sharing these things we are united, we are the same, we are one.

“Namaste” is a word that is used to greet people in the Indian culture.  I love the meaning of it. When I meet and interact with people around me, especially people that I have difficult relationships with, I try to say this to myself as a prayer. In doing so, I remember that just as I have a Higher Power, so does the other person. I can honor and trust that, and in doing so, I can relieve myself of my need for control over the other person and I can have acceptance. “Namaste” reminds me that just as I am human and a part of the world with my own past and on my own path, so is the other person. When I can respect that, I am able to relieve myself of my tendency towards judging others and I can have compassion. Saying “Namaste” also reminds me that inside me is the potential and need for love, light, and serenity, just as there is in the other person. And when I realize there is this potential and need in both of us, I can relieve myself of my fears and defenses against the other person and I can give and receive love. When I say “Namaste,” I am reminded of all of these things and, in that moment, I can accept, love, and respect other person just as I am able to accept, love, and respect myself. When I do this, I am connected to Higher Power and I recognize that the other person and I “are united, we are the same, we are one.”


A meditation for July 18, 2013.

Continue reading “namaste – a meditation”