November 1st, 2019 Vol. One No.25
2019 Annual Business Meeting a Smashing Success!
The 2019 Annual Business Meeting of Step 2 Men’s group was officially called to order at 11:03 this morning and by any measure it was well attended, with all reporting a good time. David K. reported attendance at well over 20…ok…21, but who’s counting! Treasurer, Dan Mc. opened affairs with the traditional readings, then handing reigns over to GS Tom W.
Our GS began with election of this year’s officers. Surprisingly, each retained their post for another year. Tom W. remains General Secretary, providing steady leadership, while Dan Mc. holds the helm at Treasurer, as he guides the group in financial security. Both men rewarded for jobs well done.
Further, George T. keeps his position as General Services Representative. George claims to actually attend some of our district’s meetings! Today he provided evidence that he really does! George shared topics that included ‘National group trends’ in AA and ‘senior accessibility matters’
Dan Mc’s treasurer’s report was stellar, with our bottom line very secure with more on account than the previous year. Good work Dan Mc.
Donations to the church at Saint Francis were agreed to for both Thanksgiving and Christmas once again in generous sums.
“New Business” included the topic of a possible ‘Step 2 Men’s Group web site. Ummm…interesting.
Our own Mark C. is a web developer by trade and had broached the matter recently to this editor. GS Tom W. recommended a further details be revealed by Mark at any upcoming meeting that might include both him (Tom W.), Dan Mc. and others.
Mark did create a sample “static” site with the clever URL handle of ‘Step2mensgroup.com’. Check it out and tell us what you think. Like, don’t like? Ideas? Preferences? Problems? Love it or hate it?
Also included in new business was a suggestion by John ? John has a library of many past & present AA “Grapevine” magazines. He thinks it might be a good idea to have a kind of “Grapevine Meeting” where the topic could be centered on a reading (or readings?) from an edition of the issue itself. Ok, maybe. Tom W. suggested trying it by “chairing” an upcoming random meeting and doing just that. We’ll see and thanks John!
Special thanks to Tom W. for delicious Mr. Pickle sandwiches, Mike T. for water, Dan Mc. for cold soft drinks and especially, Keith D. (courtesy of his lovely wife, of course) for homemade cookies. Tom W. brought cookies as well…who’s do think were gone first? Yep.
With official business now concluded it was on to the man of the hour and this year’s Grant Miller Award winner.
GRANT MILLER AWARD WINNER Revealed!
No surprise here…Tom W. was given the Grant Miller Award for 2019 and it was a fine choice! Tom accepted the plaque presented to him by Mike T. to the delight of all in attendance. Tom delivered a stirring and ‘uniting’ acceptance to thunderous applause.
Likely there many of you who know of Tom’s plight with hip replacement challenges. He exhibited calmness and patience through what was surely a troubling and uncomfortable time to put it mildly. Beyond that however, we all know Tom to be a “cheerleader” of newcomers and Step 2 Men’s Group’s wise and mature voice. Thank you Tom W. and congratulations “Mr. Role Model!”
METHODS OF MEDITATION
These days, I have grave doubts that anybody knows what they are talking about. Keep that in mind as you read on.
When I got out of my third rehab, I kept up for awhile with what got me to my first rehab, and that was seeing a psychologist, except in this case it was a psychiatrist. He confirmed what I had been told before and that is I have ADHD. He prescribed pills and the whole deal, but the pills made me anxious and my visits with him, I felt were not as useful as going to meetings. Seriously. I decided to stop spending the dough and go to meetings.
Still, when I meditate or try to, often my mind races faster than normal. In trying to clear my mind, I feel like my conscience is stacking up subjects to run through it as soon as I close my eyes.
Does that ever happen to you?
Anybody still here or are we down to Mark’s collection of comics?
I have tried different types of meditation. My friend Dave, a Fellow, told me that he uses a Wii and a Yoga program therein, and it works pretty good. I don’t have a Wii, however, I have found that there are Yoga and Meditation uploads on YouTube and honestly, they are not bad. Check them out.
I have also developed my own meditation. This one I tend to practice after lunch. Let me describe, you may find this helpful. However, it does take practice. Over the last few years, I have found that I can return to my office chair and put my feet up, and close my eyes. It even works better if you have the office chair like I do, that leans back, and even better, you can pull a lever and lean back further. Office Depot, check it out.
Through many sessions, I have been able to train my body and mind to get very still. All outside noise and interference seems to drift away, like it’s moved to the other side of a wall.
For like 30 minutes, I get to a new conscience state. After which, my legs tell me they are in need of blood so I have trained my mouth to open during the meditation and then with my nose, I inhale sharply. This makes that noise you may familiar with from others right before they claim they don’t snore.
But I know I don’t. This is not a snore or a snort, but a perfectly timed bio-functioning mechanism to bring me to consciousness and complete the meditation. C’mon, I can’t pinch myself. That’s too unreliable. This works.
The final step of this meditation, is I stand, stretch, look to the sky and think of my Higher Power whom call God. Then I ask, “What?”
Give it a try.
Contributed by John M.
AA Group Urges Change to Step 6 in AA Publications
Step 2 Men’s Group George T. reports that a northern California AA group is suggesting change to language describing Step Six of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Steps.
The ‘Sunday Night 12×12 Group of Chico, CA. is a member of AA’s District 15. Representatives of that group have directly appealed to the General Service Committee that further exploration be done as to making change to Step Six in both the current printings of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous.
In Step Six, paragraph 13, the current version reads “No one wants to be angry enough to murder, lustful enough to rape, gluttonous enough to ruin his health.”
The group is suggesting that this be changed in either of two ways: 1) “No one wants to angry enough to murder or gluttonous enough to ruin his health”, their preferred version, or 2) “No one wants to be angry enough to murder or rape, or gluttonous enough to ruin his health.”
They point out that lust is not a cause of rape. Rather, the cause of rape is complex and multifaceted. Further, they say use of the word “rape” or sexual assault” in one our (AA) main pieces of literature may be entirely unnecessary.
Umm…no disagreement here. How about you? We’ll try to track this story as it proceeds.
Contributed by George T.
THE LITERARY CORNER: ALCOHOL IN LITERATURE
does not a change a person’s fundamental value system. People’s personalities
when intoxicated, even though somewhat altered, still bear some relationship to
who they are when sober. When you are drunk you may behave in ways that are
silly or embarrassing; you might be overly familiar or tactlessly honest, or
perhaps careless or forgetful. But do you knock over little old ladies for a
laugh? Probably not. Do you sexually assault the clerk at the convenience
store? Unlikely. People’s conduct while intoxicated continues to be governed by
their core foundation of beliefs and attitudes, even though there is some
loosening of the structure. Alcohol encourages people to let loose what they
have simmering below the surface.
ABUSERS MAKE CONSCIOUS CHOICES EVEN WHILE INTOXICATED”
― Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
“The social prestige of wine at table and at the club must be destroyed
through lofty example and polite ridicule; forces which are not always
available, and for whose successful operation much time will be required. But
the outstanding fact remains, that the world has come to regard liquor in a new
and clearer light. Our next generation of poets will contain but few Anacreons,
for the thinking element of mankind has robbed the flowing bowl of its fancied
virtues and fictitious beauties. The grape, so long permitted to masquerade as
the inspirer of wit and art, is now revealed as the mother of ruin and death.
The wolf at last stands divested of its sheep’s clothing.”
― H.P. Lovecraft
“I had never been a dresser. My shirts were all faded and shrunken, 5 or
6 years old, threadbare. My pants the same. I hated department stores, I hated
the clerks, they acted so superior, they seemed to know the secret of life,
they had a confidence I didn’t possess. My shoes were always broken down and
old, I disliked shoe stores too. I never purchased anything until it was
completely unusable, and that included automobiles. It wasn’t a matter of
thrift, I just couldn’t bear to be a buyer needing a seller, seller being so
handsome and aloof and superior. Besides, it all took time, time when you could
just be laying around and drinking.”
― Charles Bukowski, Women
about alcohol, though non-drinkers, non-alcoholics and reformed alcoholics may
falsely dispute this, is that each day, or night on booze, is a different
journey, the destination being a mystery, but quite possibly the final one.”
― Robert Black
From an Idea by George T.
November is Gratitude Month!
They don’t call it Thanksgiving for nothing! As November rolls around again, I’m reminded of the Alcoholics Anonymous tradition of “Gratitude Month” in many AA meetings.
I’ve said often at meetings over the years, “I take sobriety for granted” and “I can’t ever be grateful enough.” Both true, but it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try.
The internet is a cornucopia of gratitude lists, challenges, projects and methods. This simple one is included here. It’s not AA approved and the website noted on it has not been ‘vetted’. Is it a “woman thing” to work on being grateful? Probably…but then…aren’t they always a lot smarter than us anyway?
Our Trusted Servants Remain:
This month we’re grateful for our Secretaries! The current ‘Step 2 Men’s Group’ meeting schedule is Monday through Friday at 11:30 AM. The Thursday meeting is a ‘Book/Step Study’ format. Each of the M-F gatherings are one hour.
Monday: Tim C.
Tuesday: Dick M.
Wednesday: John M.
Thursday: George T.
Friday: Dan Mc.
Group GS, Tom W. says “Many members find performing ‘Secretaryship’ a rewarding experience.” “They believe it fills a ‘being of service’ need and helps them get to know other group members better”. Of course…there’s also something to be said for being ‘in control’! But that’s not a direct quote from the GS.
If being a Group Secretary sounds appealing…please contact GS Tom W. or Treasurer Dan Mc. soon.
‘First Wednesday’ November 6th…
John M. reviews the 11th Step on November 6th (First Wednesday). “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” Uh…ok? A tall order? Maybe. I knew this was gonna be a cult thing! Find out how others tackle it or share your experience, strength & hope!
John reviews the step corresponding to the number of that month on each first Wednesday. It’s a rewarding meeting with John outlining each step and how he was challenged by it. Look for his monthly contribution in this edition!
Thursday ‘Book & Step Study’ w/ George T!
George T. takes us through the Twelve Steps and Big Book portions to start the meeting every Thursday. Each missive is packed with fine prose, fascinating insights and challenging reading. Following the read (about 20 minutes)…the floor is open to everyone’s thoughts on how they may have been influenced or impacted by that writing. It’s really fun to be a part of and members are enjoying it.
Get on in here and show George support and contribute something to the newcomer. Every Thursday at 11:30.
November Birthdays …IF They Make It!
- Bob A. November 15th…Bob celebrates 34 years!
- Dick M. November 23rd…Dick celebrates 6 years!
- Spencer S. November 25th…Spencer celebrates 34 years!
- Josh W. November 26th…Josh celebrates 1 year!
If your birthday has been missed….PLEASE ‘reply’ by email now with:
- Your First Name w/ Last initial
- Your “AA’ Birthday (ex.8/1/18)
We really want to celebrate your AA anniversary because your birthday made ours possible!
Thanks everybody and apologies to you if you were missed or incorrectly noted.
Alcoholics Anonymous ‘Daily Reflection…
I CANNOT CHANGE THE WIND
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.
— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 85
My first sponsor told me there were two things to say about prayer and meditation: first, I had to start and second, I had to continue. When I came to A.A. my spiritual life was bankrupt; if I considered God at all, He was to be called upon only when my self-will was incapable of a task or when overwhelming fears had eroded my ego.
Today I am grateful for a new life, one in which my prayers are those of thanksgiving. My prayer time is more for listening than for talking. I know today that if I cannot change the wind, I can adjust my sail. I know the difference between superstition and spirituality. I know there is a graceful way of being right, and many ways to be wrong.
From the book Daily
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
Q: What’s the difference between self-esteem and ego? A: Self-esteem doesn’t need an audience! Thomas B, Pinellas Park, FL. August 2003
How come if alcohol kills millions of brain cells, it never killed the one that made me want to drink? Daniel M., Smithville,KS. October 1999
The speaker at the AA Convention’s Big Meeting walked up to the podium, looked out at the stadium full of people and said, “My heart is pounding, my knees are weak and my stomach is in knots. I used to pay a lot of money for this feeling!” Christine H., Detroit MI. October 2000
A man sat in front of his home, contemplating his future. He had just gotten a divorce, lost his children, been fired from his job and now faced eviction. He noticed a case of beer bottles in his trash and walked up to it. He took out an empty bottle and smashed it, swearing, “YOU are why I don’t have a wife!” He threw a second empty bottle: “YOU are why I lost my job!” And third exclaiming, “YOU are why I don’t have my children!” He then discovered a fourth bottle, still sealed, pristine and full of beer. He tucked it neatly into his pocket whispering, “Stand aside my friend, I know YOU were not involved.” Ed S. Brooklyn, NY. August 1988
A drunk was sent for treatment at a rehab. Upon his return, a friend asked him how it had been there. “Terrible!” he replied. “For weeks, I lived on NOTHING but food!” Carl B. Chicago, IL. December, 2000
“The Joke Box” features narratives, anecdotes and jokes from the AA publication “A Rabbit Walks Into a Bar”. Available at the AA Central Office, it contains the best material from the historic AA Grapevine. You can learn more at aagrapevine.org. Thanks to Anthony S. for picking up a copy and suggesting it!
My First Meeting ON HIATUS AGAIN!
Memory Lane…Remember the FUN We Had?
Came To Believe: To become conscious again.
“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
We’d never presume that the 12 Steps are not clear. Nor would we imply that they need ‘improvement’. However…for purposes of assisting to keep the meeting pointed in an important direction each day, the ‘Step 2 Men’s Group statement is read as follows:
Step 2 Men’s Group is founded on the belief that spirituality is essential to our sobriety. Our group is non-religious, but we do not oppose anyone’s religious beliefs. We believe that respect for others and their beliefs are essential to our spiritual development. Accordingly we ask that avoid criticism of others or of their religion or lack of religion, their race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, physical appearance, trade or profession, length of sobriety, or personal beliefs. Our goal is to further our spirituality, our sobriety and our personal development, not to confront or belittle others. Always remember to be kind to others.
SPECIAL THANKS DEPT:
Thanks John M. for ‘Methods of Meditation’ Inventory’’. Thank you George T. for ‘California AA Group Urges Change’ & his ‘The Literary Corner‘idea. Thanks to Anthony S. for the ‘Joke Box’. We’re still waiting for you…Why don’t you contribute a short “something?” Any length, most any AA related topic. Reply now and it will get included next month!