Tag Archives: Centers for Spiritual Living

Here we are again, back with this word:  power.  Do we have it?  Or not?  If you have read my book, you know that I believe that the 12 steps, as they are laid out in the textbook of Alcoholics Anonmous, are for beginners.  It was never an intention for us to go through life powerless.  Yes, we are very much powerless at certain times in our lives.  But that isn’t a bad thing.  Think of powerlessness as a doorway, through which we can step into and thus walk experiencing lives of power.  We get our power back in the 10th and 11th steps.

In New Thought this week, Centers for Spiritual Living all over the world are following a #100YearsOfScienceOfMind theme, based on the Ernest Holmes book Living the Science of Mind.  This week’s entry is titled “Thinking Affirmatively” and begins with this quote:  “THERE is a Power for Good in the Universe greater than you are, and you can use It.”

Just like in the steps, there is a process to get to the place where we can use this power.  Ernest Holmes describes basically a three step process:  1.  Oneness.  We are One with this Power for Good.  2.  The trend of our thoughts and beliefs will either attract or repel good in our lives.  3.  Change the thinking and the beliefs if what you are attracting is not pleasing to you.

The process is a bit longer in the steps, and a bit more detailed, but basically the same:  1.  admit, or discover, there is something in life not to your liking.  It isn’t working anymore.  2.  Find and develop a higher power.  3.  Take personal responsibility for your life by discovering yourself, your fears and how you react to those fears.  4.  Clean up the mess.  5.  Begin to live life based in spiritual principles.  6.  Continue to do introspection and develop a sense of and connection with a higher power.  This is where you get your power back.

Combine the two teachings, and I can tell you that life gets better than you could ever imagine!

If you want a jump start on creating more good in your life, consider going on retreat with me, to Death Valley in March.  Here is a link with more information.


Matsuo Basho, the famously insightful Japanese poet, said this: “Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought.” From Tama Kieves' book Inspired and Unstoppable.

There is a saying in 12 step wisdom, "if you want what we have, do what we do."

Well, yes. There is some wisdom in that. As long as it is confined to the working of steps, and not dictating the behavior and decisions of people.

But I believe there is a deeper level to this. Kieves points to it with her quote. Maybe you've heard this story before, the one about the Zen master who tells his students to reach for the moon, and points to it. The students concentrate more on the finger then they do the moon.

I believe that when we are in the midst of this process called "working the steps," the tendency is to sometimes dwell in the problem.  After all, part of the addiction picture is drama and worry. So we make working the steps a big fat hairy deal, and we worry. We worry about whether we are doing it right, whether they will work, whether we want to do them, whether we should do them.

It's akin to concentrating on the finger, not the moon. In New Thought, we teach that we must have a vision of what we want. It is called a mental equivalent. Ernest Holmes, the founder of what is now called Centers for Spiritual Living, says that "Prayer does something to the mind of the one praying." He then goes on to describe a version of "if you spot it, you've got it."  What we see is what we get....what we see is what we already have and we will get more of as long as we continue to see it. We must change what we see in order to change what we get.

The point here is that we must change our minds, and it is as simple as that. Change the thought...one thought at a time. That is a form of praying. Instead of concentrating on how hard it is to not drink, instead think about how wonderful life can be in recovery. Instead of telling yourself your thinking got you into recovery as if your thinking was something not to be trusted, think, "YES! My thinking got me here, where there are directions to living life more wonderfully than I ever imagined!" Follow those directions, and aim for the moon.


You can puchase the book A New Thought Journey through the 12 Steps on Amazon in either print or e-version.

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If you are going to be in the San Francisco Bay Area this Sunday, July 19, I would love to see you at the first stop of my book tour!  I'll be speaking at the Center for Spiritual Living Solano Bayside at 11 am, with a workshop to follow at 12:30.  The $30 fee for the workshop includes the book!

I'll be doing this workshop in other locations as time goes by, and I really do hope to meet you at some point.  Of course you can always order your print or e-version copy of the book through either my publisher:  Balboa Press, or Amazon. ...continue reading