On pages 85 & 86 of the Big Book it says "We shouldn't be shy on this matter of prayer. Better men than we are using it constantly. It works, if we have the proper attitude and work at it. It would be easy to be vague about this matter. Yet, we believe we can make some definite and valuable suggestions." It also says on page 87 "Be quick to see where religious people are right. Make use of what they offer."
How have you combined these definite suggestions with making use of what religious people offer?
I became very restless at 15 years of recovery. I attended an Attitude Adjustment meeting every morning and while I loved the camaraderie of the fellowship I also know fellowship is not the program of recovery. That restlessness was a soul call for me to wake up to something larger. I picked a sponsor that also attended the early morning meeting. She had 14 years more recovery than me and was at least 20 years older - and wiser. I began sharing with her my restlessness and how I wanted to address it. I told her that during a meditation I saw myself sitting among thousands of people in a room where there was great diversity, fabulous spiritual music and warmth and welcome and a powerful message. I wanted to find that community. I tried one local spiritual center, took a course and loved it. The course was called "Foundations" and I took it at the Redondo Beach Church of Religious Science.
When I spoke to the minister about how I enjoyed the course content,but felt something was missing, he asked me to describe what I wanted. I told him my vision of a community from meditations and he said, "I am sending you to Agape International Spiritual Center." That was in 1996 and I have been there since.
I wanted to find a spiritual community while being active in meetings because my soul knew it was the next evolutionary step in my recovery. When I walked into Agape my soul recognized the place. I signed up for classes there (re-did the Foundations class) and without missing a beat or a class ever, completed the four year process to become a licensed spiritual practitioner. I am a woman of prayer and as a practitioner I know the truth of who you are in spirit no matter what your human condition looks like. I hold the high watch for us.
New Thought principles are very similar to AA principles. Some research by ministers and practitioners reveals that Bill W and Ernest Holmes, the founder of Science of Mind knew each other and spent time together when creating the programs I so love today.
The rooms of New Thought churches are full of 12-steppers. The deeper my training the more I could see that natural blend. After sponsoring me for over 2 years my sponsor revealed that she was a New Thought minister of 35 years. She only mentioned it because I asked her what she thought of my becoming a practitioner. Sh had been quietly waiting for me to decided but never influenced me in any way with her story.
When I told her I was definitely getting licensed and asked what she thought, she laughed and said I was a natural and then told me she was retiring from being a minister and my sponsor! We continued to co-sponsor each other for 12 years.
New Thought churches have Freedom Path meetings. I help churches set these meetings up. The meetings are for those in recovery,their families and friends and based on affirmative prayer, meditation and recovery. The meetings are run my practitioners and anyone can attend. There is shared group time, with a speaker, then a split off into smaller circles with a practitioner assigned to each group who takes prayer request from their circle. These meetings have a different flavor in each church and are a safe nurturing place to hear an inspirational speaker, meditate and get prayer for whatever is on your heart. I love this healing work. Many people come to me for private sessions from Freedom Path meetings, many of them are ministers.
Conscious Contact is a blend of my prayer and meditation work, AA and community service work and 12 Step recovery. There is a wonderful synergy and I support anyone who needs help in recovery to find their spiritual path. Why? I believe you cannot sustain quality long-term recovery without it.
I pray for 50 to 75 people a day. I work for the World Ministry of Prayer 800-421-9600. It is available 27, 7, 365 for over 80 years for people all over the world. I am honored to be there. I plan to write a book on what my heart has learned there.
I am still clean and sober in a way that is highly fulfilling because I honored my soul call that looked like restlessness at meetings. I deepened my prayer and meditation work with classes and spiritual community and allowed spirit to create Conscious Contact and use me to deliver it. I feel well used and have never been happier in my life.
Blessing on your spiritual path, Gail www.conscious-contact.com