I CANNOT CHANGE THE WINDIt 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. 85My 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.
Remembering David K.
There is a dark pall over Lambeau Field and The Step Two Men’s Group Office. It is with a heavy heart that I report that our dear friend, David K. has passed away at the age of 82. David was the Chairman of the Saturday Group at McKinley Park.
Born in Milwaukee in 1941, David had a tough time as a kid. His father died when he was 8. Afterward, his mother had her struggles with Life and David was in and out of St. Aemilian Orphanage until he was 14.
At that time, David’s fate turned with move out to Santa Barbara, California to live with his older brother Charles. Once settled, David attended and graduated from Bishop Garcia Diego High School. Out in California, David developed a very close bond with his other brother, Jim and sister, Lois. Throughout, David kept his loyalty and allegiance to the point of fanaticism to the Packer Green and Gold.
On a blind date at Murphy’s Hotel, David fell in love with his wife Suzanne. They were married and had two children, Lisa and Matthew.
David found sobriety about 17 years ago. Eight years ago, he moved to Sacramento and began attending the Step Two Men’s Group. We remember David as a little cantankerous, a little opinionated, and funny as hell. It’s a wonder, given the open mindedness, seriousness, and almost saint like opened arm loving of our senior members that David fit in so well, so quickly. He did though. That’s what we are going to miss so much.
David was a genuine, true and loyal human being. He gave his time and efforts to this Program. He was, of course, generous in opinions on how I should approach being in the Program in any capacity. That’s why I loved him so much. I didn’t do everything he said. Maybe 40%. Or 10 %, I forget. I admit that for David, because he would laugh vociferously if he could read it.
Contributed by John M.
November Birthdays… IF They Make It!
November 3rd… Jon B. celebrates 5 years
November 15th… Bob A. celebrates 38 years
November 23rd… Dick M. would have celebrated 10 years
November 26th… Josh W. celebrates 5 years
If your birthday has been missed…. fill out the birthday form.
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.
It’s important to attend meetings because you never know what wisdom will be imparted by one of the members. Case in point, Bob pointed out at a breezy Saturday morning meeting that he does a 4th Step Daily. Or, he follows the 10th Step. Take your pick.
The significance was that he uses these steps as a tool to measure his spiritual growth. Not spiritually with a church or specific religion, but for his own personal growth. I might have most of what he said screwed up, but what I thought I heard was that he uses Step 4, in the morning, to plan for his day. He begins by taking his inventory.
Once his inventory is complete, Bob can then bring this newfound awareness into his daily practice of the 11th Step. By incorporating the insights gained from the 4th Step into his thoughts, Bob looks for guidance on how to grow and change. Bob can look at his character defects identified in his inventory and for any strength or skills to improve being a better person.
I pass that on because many of us do not meditate well or have a strong conscious contact with a Higher Power. This is despite effort to do so. As an example, I start most mornings with a stretch. A lazy man’s yoga. I call this my meditation period, but it is hardly. I do think about what looms out in the day ahead. I sometimes think about whether any of that will afford me any improvement.
I briefly review conversations I may have had with my Ex or my daughters from the previous day. I have even briefer moments contemplating contacting them with explanations or apologies. Previous experiences have proven to be like going into a steel reinforced concrete room where a revolver lays on the table with a boron carbide bullet next to it. On a wall is a sign that says, “Load Bullet, Spin Cylinder, Shoot Randomly and See What Happens”.
Consequently, I have many mornings and days where it’s like sailing a single sail dinghy with the centerboard up. I’m adrift. I’ll just see what happens.
That is why I need the Step Two Men’s Group. It is my intermittent anchor.
Still, I do set aside a little bit of time when I first get up to think about this Program and where I am going with it. I am very fortunate to have been honored with some responsibilities with the Group.,
As I have said, being in service, any service, keeps my head in the Program. Being of service often lays out what I must do that day, to be successful in having a good sober day. The point is, there are many ways to work on an 11th Step. The important thing for me is keeping a commitment to working on it. Let me see now if I can get this centerboard down.
Contributed by John M.
“Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.“
“No A.A. group or member should ever, in such a way as to implicate A.A., express any opinion on outside controversial issues — particularly those of politics, alcohol reform, or sectarian religion. The Alcoholics Anonymous groups oppose no one. Concerning such matters they can express no views whatever.“
Outside Issues Can Tear Us Apart
What is an outside issue? An outside issue is anything outside of my relationship with God through sobriety.
The tenth tradition is rather clear as it applies to A.A. We have prospered by having no opinion on outside matters and not being drawn into controversy. For instance, A.A. has avoided the outside issues that tore apart the Washingtonians. A.A. has never become crusaders or taken stands on important but outside issues, “particularly those of politics, alcohol reform, or sectarian religion”. (See the long form of this tradition)
Bill Wilson differentiates the responsibilities of the A.A. member and the A.A. group in this tradition by saying on p. 177 of the “12 & 12” that the tenth tradition does not “mean that the members of Alcoholics Anonymous, now restored as citizens of the world, are going to back away from their individual responsibilities to act as they see the right upon issues of our time. But when it comes to A.A. as a whole, that’s quite a different matter. In this respect, we do not enter into public controversy because we know that our society will perish if it does.”
The relationship of the tenth tradition to the tenth step is this: I can be at peace and avoid outside issues by taking my inventory and not yours. I avoid controversy by taking stands with the attitude of a peacemaker. The tenth concept of service takes the process one step further and specifies what kind of inventory I should be writing about: The responsibilities for which God has given me authority.
The tenth step poses the question, “How can I survive successfully in the world by taking my own inventory and promptly admitting it when I am wrong?” The tenth tradition supplies the answer; “I survive by being a peacemaker with you because I am at peace with myself through my own inventories.”
From an idea by George T.
My First Meeting
Please be “of service.” If you’ve never contributed a “My First Meeting”, please help to keep this column going…we need you! What do you remember most of your first meeting? It can be one sentence; it can be up to two paragraphs. Could be funny, poignant or strictly “clinical”. Write what you want…you might have enjoy writing it!
A.A. member Dave Mc. curates a few selected readings from a variety of A.A. related publications each month.
“My life is filled with honesty today”Alcoholics Anonymous 4th Edition pg. 469
Listening To The Wind
“In Alcoholics Anonymous I knew I had found a protective haven”Alcoholics Anonymous 4th Edition pg. 455
Learning to practice faith and gratitude does not mean that we give up our “street smarts.” It means we start to develop a different kind of intelligence. We can stand up for ourselves without feeling like we are fighting for our lives. We begin to trust that our needs will be met, and to see the imperfections in our circumstances as opportunities rather than barriers to growth.Living Clean page 202
Contributed by Dave Mc.
First Wednesday… October 4th
Come join a review of Step 11 on November 1 (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”
John reviews the step corresponding to the number of that month on each first Wednesday. It’s a rewarding meeting with John outlining the step of the month, how he was challenged by it and how we tackle it ourselves, with and without success! Look for his monthly contribution in this edition!
Step 2 Men’s Group Believes…
“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 is 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.
Our Trusted Servants Continue to Be:
The current Step 2 Men’s Group meeting schedule is Monday, Wednesday & Friday at Tim’s (3809 J St), Tuesday & Thursday online, Saturday in the park is “Daily Reflections” and Sunday is our Rogue meeting in the park. Each gathering is one hour. Great job men!
- Monday: Tim C.
- Tuesday: Mark W.
- Wednesday: John M.
- Thursday: Sean F.
- Friday: Jon B.
- Saturday: TBD
- Sunday: Mark C.
Want to add your name to the “Back-up-Help-Substitute Secretary List”? Just contact Group GS, John M., Treasurer Mark W. or any of our other Secretaries and let them know!
I told you it’d be a stupid fucking turkey, Mark.
Extra Special Thanks Dept:
Thanks to our General Secretary John M. for “Breezing Up”, Dave Mc. for “Mouse’s Corner” and our Treasurer Mark W. for all your contributions. We’re still waiting for YOU gentle reader…Why don’t YOU contribute a short “something?” Any length, most any AA related topic. Reply now and it will get included next month!