Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Women for Sobriety - 13 Statements

A woman-centered approach to the 12 Steps The Women for Sobriety Program - Statements of Acceptance

1. I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.
2. Negative thoughts destroy only myself.
3. Happiness is a habit I will develop.
4. Problems bother me only to the degree I permit them to.
5. I am what I think.
6. Life can be ordinary or it can be great.
7. Love can change the course of my world.
8. The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.
9. The past is gone forever.
10. All love given returns.
11. Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.
12. I am a competent woman and have much to give life.
13. I am responsible for myself and for my actions.

(c) 1976, 1987, 1993 Women for Sobriety, Inc.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

antiga’s thirteen circles

[An anonymously written feminist-theology version of AA's Twelve Steps] 1. We believe that we are not responsible for creating the oppression that permeates our society. 2. We believe that a power outside ourselves and deep within us can restore our balance and give us wholeness. 3. We make a decision to ask for help from the Goddess and others who understand. 4. We acknowledge our beauty, strengths and weaknesses and look at the ways we have been taught to hate ourselves. 5. We acknowledge to the Goddess, to ourselves, and to another person our successes and shortcomings. 6. We make a list of the ways we have acquiesced to oppression. 7. We become ready to say no to oppression. 8. We ask for the courage to resist oppressive situations. 9. We mend our lives with respect for all. 10. We continue to be conscious of our actions and thoughts, promptly acknowledging our mistakes and enjoying our successes. 11. We seek to improve our conscious contact with the Goddess. 12. We believe that every moment we are doing the best we can, and that is enough. 13. We accept ourselves exactly as we are, trusting our experience and affirming that health, joy, and freedom are our Goddess-given rights.


A close friend of mine gave me a copy of this book to read after she finished it. I had a long trip to Bergen yesterday so I have read quite a bit of it on the plane. There are so many parallels here to my own life that it has been a difficult read. At first I found the mother very hard to relate to or like, but half way through I also saw a lot of me in her. It is that same fear that I have had for my own children. I suspect it is the fear most people have when they realize their spouse is an addict. I have often thought that I could not bear to re-live addiction with my kids. I don't think anything could be more painful. But what often happens is that we shut down and become practically dead so that no one can hurt us. What I have hoped is that I could somehow control their lives to the extent that it would never happen. What I realize more and more is that they are on their own journeys. And, painful as it may be, I have to let them live those journeys. That said, I do believe the stability we offer our children growing up does count for something. While I can't stop them from making bad choices, I do believe that children come back sooner than they would without strong families. Sometimes, without that, they don't ever come back. This is a beautiful story about the love between mother and daughter. I'd highly recommend it to anyone dealing with family addictions. "Sometimes, we have to give birth to our children twice....Once your child becomes the "garbage" other parents are afraid of, you never look at any teen, or yourself, the same again. All you see is the child they once were." "Nor did I grasp the capacity of love's absence to destroy, that my lack of love for myself made my own life unbearable. You take someone whose life experiences have taught them they're worthless, string them out on drugs, and you have one miserable person. How could I have given what I didn't have? It's hard to value another life when you view your own as dispensable, hard to understand how you can have so great an effect on someone else when you don't think you matter." - Mia Fontaine

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Burnt Cupcakes

Today is my daughter's 6th birthday. What should be a happy day, is always somewhat painful for me. We moved recently and I am still getting used to the hang of everything in the new place. I burnt 3 batched of from-scratch cupcakes, which was a first for me. I don't think I have ever been to the store so much in a 2-day period. I joked after I finally succeeded with the 4th batch that these were going to be the worlds most expensive cupcakes. I reminded myself coming back from the store for the 5th time that at least I have a child to celebrate her birthday with. Some mothers are not so lucky. But, despite this, I still broke down after I finally got the fourth batch right and started crying. I haven't stopped nearly an hour later. I don't think my new housemate understood how much I had riding on these being right. My daughter still has a hyper-sensitivity about her birthday after several disappointing birthday parties with her dad where he either failed to show up or caused a scene. For years, she asked me why he did not come to her birthday. She was 3. I don't know that that will ever go away for her. I explained to a friend earlier that while I feel that I have mostly moved on myself and healed, it is harder for me to heal the wounds that have been inflicted on my children. At times, it still feels like there is a gaping hole in my heart that will never heal. I wanted so much for them to have good, stable lives. It's painful to know that no matter what I do, that can not always be their reality. There is still so much residue, and so many things that feel unfair. While I am still the same mother I have always been, I get treated very different as a single mother. I suppose that's another reason that the damned cupcakes seemed so important to me. I could just hear my daughter's teacher making one of her snide remarks. I can almost imagine what she would say. I just wish she would say it to her father for once.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

12 Steps to Spiritual Awakening

1. We realized we were powerful but that our EGOs had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a power greater than our EGOs could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to align our will and our lives with our SOURCE of LOVE and LIGHT as we intuitively understood IT.

4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of our desires for ourselves.

5. Submitted ourselves to Higher forms of guidance other than human beings who judged our true nature as wrong.

6. Were entirely ready to remove all defective teachings and beliefs from our character.

7. Humbly removed ourselves from judging any experiences as shortcomings but only as lessons.

8. Made a list of all the ways we could express LOVE and began to fulfill them all.

9. Expressed direct LOVE towards people wherever possible without exception.

10. Continued to monitor our thoughts and actions and when we were out of alignment with SOURCE/GOD, promptly quieted our EGOs and regained our balance.

11. Sought though prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our SOURCE of LOVE and LIGHT as we understood IT, praying only for knowledge of TRUTH and the WISDOM to use it.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we carry this message into the ALL-ONEness and practice these principles in all our affairs.

Created by WYZDOM

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Blessing for ALL mothers

Today we bless mothers who sat up all night with sick toddlers saying, "It's OK honey, Mommy's here. Today we bless mothers who gave birth to babies they may never see. And the mothers who took those babies forever to be their own children. Today we bless mothers who attended ball games, recitals, rehearsals, etc. etc. and said, "I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and meant it. Today we bless mothers who show up for work with milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse. Today we bless mothers who put pinwheels, teddy bears, or flowers on children's graves. Today we bless mothers whose children have gone astray, who haven't the words to reach them, and yet have never put them from their heart. Today we bless new mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation. And today we bless mature mothers who are learning to let go. Today we bless all mothers: working mothers, stay-at-home mothers, single mothers, and married mothers. We also bless all women in life giving and nurturing roles. We thank you. We honor you. We bless you. Amen. - adapted from a prayer of Dan Bottorff

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Imagine a mother who believes she belongs in the world. A mother who celebrates her own life. Who is glad to be alive. Imagine a mother who celebrates the birth of her daughters. A mother who believes in the goodness of her daughters. Who nurtures their wisdom. Who cultivates their power. Imagine a mother who celebrates the birth of her sons. A mother who believes in the goodness of her sons. Who nurtures their kindness. Who honors their tears. Imagine a mother who turns toward herself with interest. A mother who acknowledges her own feelings and thoughts. Whose capacity to be available to her family deepens as she is available to herself. Imagine a mother who is aware of her own needs and desires. A mother who meets them with tenderness and grace. Who enlists the support of respectful friends and chosen family. Imagine a mother who lives in harmony with her heart. A mother who trusts her impulses to expand and contract. Who knows that everything changes in the fullness of time. Imagine a mother who embodies her spirituality. A mother who honors her body as the sacred temple of the spirit of life. Who breathes deeply as a prayer of gratitude for life itself. Imagine a mother who values the women in her life. A mother who finds comfort in the company of women. Who sets aside time to replenish her woman-spirit. Imagine yourself as this mother. -Patricia Lynn Reilly

Trying to Love

"Out of hate, if you try to love that love will just be a hidden hate; it cannot be anything else-you are full of hate. Go to the preachers and they will say, "Try to love." They are talking nonsense because how can a person who is full of hate try to love? If he tries to love, this love will come out of hatred; it will be poisoned already, poisoned from the very source. And this is what the misery of all preachers is." - Osho

Friday, May 11, 2012


“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”- Maya Angelou

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


“Women are the only exploited group in history to have been idealized into powerlessness.” - Erica Jong

Monday, May 7, 2012


"The hardest part about my life ending is that I learned something hard about myself and that was that as much as I would be frustrated about not being able to get my work out to the world, there was a part of me that was working very hard to engineer staying small... Empathy is the anecdote to shame. If you put shame into a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially Secrecy Silence & Judgment If you put the same amount of shame in a Petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can't survive. Shame drives two tapes: Never good enough and, if you can talk it out of that one, who do you think you are?... Shame is highly, highly correlated with addiction, depression, violence, aggression, bullying, suicide, eating disorders..." - Brene Brown To see the entire Ted Talk, cut and paste this link: http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_listening_to_shame.html?source=facebook#.T6HiFTazxsR.facebook

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Why lay yourself on the torturer’s rack of the past and the future? The mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond its capacities will find no rest. Be kind to yourself, dear – to our innocent follies. Forget any sounds or touch you knew that did not help you dance. You will come to see that all evolves us. -Rumi

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Our Purpose

"The purpose of our lives is to give birth to the best which is within us." - Marianne Willliamson

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Anger and Clarity

"My anger has meant pain to me but it has also meant survival, and before I give it up I'm going to be sure that there is something at least as powerful to replace it on the road to clarity." – Audre Lorde