Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A lot of gratitude

It was a great weekend in so many ways. I took off from work on Friday and Tuesday which really made for a long weekend with Monday being a holiday.

I made a quick trip out of state, came back and went on the sail boat for a couple of days. The weather couldn't have been better. The breezy conditions kept the temperatures pleasant and the biting insects away.

Unfortunately, I didn't make it back in time last night to chair the Beginners' Meeting at my usual Tuesday night meeting. I like to do that meeting because I believe that Beginners are so important to the program.

Unfortunately, there seems to be little interest by others to volunteer to work with Beginners. If I don't show up, the Beginners get incorporated into the Step Study meeting.

Al-Anon has a great suggested format for doing a Beginners Meeting. I've found it to be particularly useful in introducing them to the Al-Anon program and informing them about the disease of alcoholism. It is also good to let the newcomers discuss their experience and motivation for coming to Al-Anon, something that doesn't always happen in formatted meetings.

I am grateful that I had the opportunity when I first came to Al-Anon to be part of a group that thought the newcomer was important. I found patience, compassion and explanation of how the program worked. I think that it's important to encourage newcomers to come back and to be willing to listen to them. It's a great opportunity to share experience, strength and hope with those who are new to the program.

I'm hoping that others will decide to step up and chair the half-hour Beginners Meeting. So far the interest hasn't been enthusiastic. I am grateful for each newcomer who has the courage to walk through the door. And I hope to be there as much as possible to greet them and make them feel welcome.


  1. You know Syd just lately I have been avoiding sharing at meetings, just cant get any words out of my mouth, that could be why I keep suffering these temper tantrums.
    Next week I promise I will share from the floor rather than sitting there staring into space.
    Its so easy to drift off from the program but my dad being in hospital has made me realise that these AA teachings are not just words they really do work.
    I was reading my AA bible last night for the first time in ages and I said a long prayer to God, I could almost feel his presence and warmth around me.
    Thanks for reminding me of my end of the deal

  2. Bravo on the beginner's meeting.
    I am still new to Al-Anon. I know I belong there, but I don't know what I'm getting from it. So, I'll just keep on comin' back.

  3. I agree - and without newcomers, we oldtimers can begin to stagnate. Some of my happiest moments have been when a newcomer speaks with delight of how a program tool has worked for them. I never get tired of it.
    Bless you for stepping up to chair that newcomers meeting.

  4. I agree with you 100%. I was part of a beginners meeting where we were allowed to share our experiences and what brought us to Al-anon's doors. That is what got me to come back again and again intially.

  5. I too, like you, value the Newcomer. In practicing the same unconditional love that I received, I get so much more back in return.


  6. Sometimes when we can't speak, someone else will and it helps us, then when we speak, we in turn help someone else..and on and on and on. Love that about he program and I am a newbie:) Nice post!

  7. I hope someday I can sit in a meeting with you Syd.

  8. Glad you had a nice long sailing weekend, Syd. Hope your week will be a good one.



  9. I added a Beginners meeting to my schedule. It keeps things really fresh!

  10. I have had to push myself to speak in meetings, but I try to in every meeting. At first I thought my 5 months of sobriety wouldn't really be able to contribute much.

    I have found we are all helping each other with our battle scars. Some helping us to learn to live in recovery, others recounting their own hell-stories to keep that memory fresh.

    I am still scared to death of my alcoholism. I know vivid memories of the last drunks are what keep me scared.

    Thanks for your blog, Syd.

  11. More is revealed and I am always trying to learn and grow this makes me a newcomer. Thanks for showing up for yourself in recovery your blog brings alot of insight.

  12. I am so grateful for people like you who keep coming back. We can't keep it unless we give it away...and it sounds like you're the lucky one. Where would any us be if the ones who walked before us weren't there when we were new?

  13. Welcome back! I love sharing with newcomers and recalling my own desperation and that dawning of hope --

  14. that first meeting is all-important, to build the desire to come back again, to provide the security of knowing you're in good hands...

  15. Glad you had a great time...

    Thank you for your service...

    Blessings and aloha...

  16. I really like the picture with this post. Did you take it yourself? I have a thing for old doors.

  17. A valuable post on gratitude.

    Karim - Mind Power


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