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Archive June 3 2007



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June 2007











"The Big Issue"

The Big Issue Foundation's core ethos is self help. We offer support to homeless and socially excluded people who seek to gain control of their lives and help them move off the streets and into a home and a job.We work with over 2000 vendors across the UK, supporting them with a diverse program of opportunities either delivered through our own services or in partnership with specialist agencies. Each new vendor has a Needs Assessment, and from this an individual action plan is set, which is monitored in supervision sessions with support staff.



Twelve Step Fellowship

For anyone who would like to work the steps, these versions of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous provide a platform for changing our lives and outlook to sober living one day at a time.

AA Step Change
For Human Beings

God Conscious 12 Steps Spiritual

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. 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.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Good Conscience 12 Steps Spiritual

For anyone who would like to work the steps, this version of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous provides slightly different wording of the six steps that make reference to God or a Higher Power. This version of the Twelve Steps seems to have originated in agnostic A.A. groups in California.

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe and to accept that we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.

[Original: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.]

3. Made a decision to entrust our will and our lives to the care of the collective wisdom and resources of those who have searched before us.

[Original: Made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.]

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to ourselves without reservation, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

[Original: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.]

6. Were ready to accept help in letting go of all our defects of character.

[Original: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.]

7. With humility and openness sought to eliminate our shortcomings.

[Original: Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings.]

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through meditation to improve our spiritual awareness and our understanding of the AA way of life and to discover the power to carry out that way of life.

[Original: 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.]

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.



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Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.






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June 2007
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June 4 2007

Happy Or Sad Life Is Life - DonInLondon ‘Day In The Life’

It has been a good day. Some sun, some time spent here doing the website and thinking and feeling about things.

Things

Some things like anonymity are important to me. Anonymity in our fellowship is of prime importance mainly for two reasons. First, the personal issue of anonymity is sacrosanct and we observe great care to keep other people’s life anonymous. it’s a personal decision. And for me anonymity is not my issue, its making sure people do know what is right and wrong with me, because some symptoms I can present can look like someone drugged or drunk. it’s a diabetic thing with low or high blood sugars.

Second, anonymity and the spiritual path. I talked to my mentor this morning, and needed to feel the challenge about these videos. The videos are about me and my three elements of being in a recovering state. That is alcoholism, diabetes and clinical depression. So in some ways there feels like a blur. Anonymity is a cloak for those who require it to keep their personal lives and private lives as they desire. And the issue of being right sized and not ego driven, to utilise media and recovery or and especially AA as a vehicle for "self aggrandisement" does tend to give me some cautious feelings.

In the early days of sobriety I felt drawn to believe the old life and career I had helping others might dovetail nicely in some way to counsel others and develop some sort of living from my personal journey in recovery. As things have turned out, my desire to counsel or behave and make capital out of recovering issues has dwindled to a definite no for me at this time. Finance and recovery are not compatible in my personal journey, but others do find work and professional careers in counselling others with issues to do with recovery. For me though I know I feel burnout if I return to counselling mode for too long, and my spiritual path feels clouded when I do…

I simply feel like I am best able to help in fellowship and not in some professional capacity. But that is me and where I am today. Others are able to this and do it very well. And good that they do.

And spiritual is the journey for any human, whether they are in a fellowship, a community, or society. Some things just don’t work together for me right now. And a living which puts my spiritual path in jeopardy is not my intent or desire. The reverse feels right. And in truth doing anything which I feel would undermine the fellowship of AA is not my chosen path. Fellowship is the key, not individuals or manipulated beliefs expressed as truth.

So having had this debate this morning, I did feel ok about continuing, but for a while. I am not sure there is great merit in continuing too long, or having the energy focussed as it has been over recent months.

We change as we work our spiritual path and as we go along all sorts of issues we never thought of become so close we realise the spiritual is always with us and the world. At the same time we need not confuse or make capital out of others or undermine our own recovery by becoming a guru.

Guru’s

Well I am not sure what the definition might be. As things are these days its easy to become an authority on something and then be called a "Guru." On my journey in sobriety what strikes me is the authentic. Authentic and particular we are as people. We may look similar sound similar and have similar outlooks and beliefs. Yet we are all different and add value to this world as we do. No matter what others may consider, the true status of each human for me is equal, and the same size.

Cult of Personality

As Andy Warhol said we can all have our 15 minutes of fame. And many people do have this. Fame and ego seem to be connected quite often and beyond notoriety there is not much else. And esteem and development of our personal spiritual outlook are very much our own journey and often shared as it feels pertinent in the right place and time, and most likely not in some media way. Not for me anyway.

Spiritual

I seem gifted presently, in the sense that it’s a gift to hear what seems to be truth, to hear and understand more of life and spiritual. And the gratitude for help and guidance is beyond measure. The more I listen, the more I accept this spiritual connection to the moment. That is seeing life on life’s terms in the day.

Filters and Denial

We often fail to hear or see the real picture of the world. We often filter out those bits we don’t care for. And we highlight the good of what we encounter and endeavour.

Life is all about Happy and Sad

We get both, we get more than that as we understand we have in us every capacity to feel this world and what we experience. As we grow and become what we are culture and society and circumstances often help us filter out what is disagreeable to us. Yet it still is with us and we often ignore or suppress what we don’t wish for.

Love

Love will drive us all sorts of ways, and every human will encounter not only love, but every form of positive and negative feeling we have inside us. And best we understand that the spiritual development we have is to utilise our feelings and our living in this one moment with understanding and acceptance of truth.

In other words we are best on the path of truth, knowledge of our true situation and less of wishes and dreams which may happen or not.

Happenstance and Serendipity

Of course circumstances and life push and pull and we may endeavour and work at living as best we can. The best we get back is through trying and accepting and enjoying or feeling quite the opposite as everything we encounter we are generally powerless over. We get choices and opportunity as we move along. And at the same time, time and place and situation can remove everything in the blink of an eye.

We learn, we endeavour, we are gifted as we are born and we all have our separate journeys in fellowship, family and community.

We are unique and special, and so similar we can find hope and experience a more spiritual path in good company and learning to know the difference. Value diversity, this life is the only one we have and we are best served valuing each other equally and with respect whatever we may manifest in one day.

Forgive everyone every day, and make choices as we may. Wisdom is knowing the difference in what we can change, ourselves, and what we cannot change, anyone else! Forgiveness will help us along, just for today..




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Guardian Unlimited OnLine June 4 2007


Olympics get new logo in motion June 4 2007




Mark Sweney

Sebastian Coe, chairman of London's Olympic organising committee, has unveiled a "multimedia" brand image and logo for the London 2012 Olympic games.

The branding, which replaces the multicoloured Thames river-shaped "ribbon" that threads its way through the current motif, is considered to be a key stage in the transformation of the London bid from the status of successful candidate to host city.

London 2012's new brand aims to help establish the games as a credible property among young people in the UK, who the Olympic movement is desperate to reach.

The organisation said that the new emblem aims to be "dynamic, modern and flexible" and "will work with new technology and across traditional and new media networks".

"London 2012 is inspired by you and it's for all of you," said Lord Coe, the chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games. "My pledge is that I will make these everyone's games."

Locog gave members of the public a chance to view the brand ahead of its official media announcement within an online video clip, created by production company New Moon, hosted on the London 2012 website.

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Times OnLine June 4 2007


Putin raises spectre of nuclear war in Europe June 4 2007




Bronwen Maddox in Moscow

President Putin has warned the US that its deployment of a new anti-missile network across Eastern Europe would prompt Russia to point its own missiles at European targets and could trigger nuclear war.

In an exclusive interview with The Times, the Russian leader says: “It is obvious that if part of the strategic nuclear potential of the US is located in Europe and will be threatening us, we will have to respond.

“This system of missile defence on one side and the absence of this system on the other . . . increases the possibility of unleashing a nuclear conflict.”

Russia has been alarmed at America’s plans to install a network of defences in Eastern Europe to shoot down incoming missiles it fears that Iran might launch.

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News June 4 2007


The true value of what the G8 gives in aid June 4 2007



As leaders of the world's richest countries meet, this is the proof that they could do much more for the poor

By Paul Vallely

Published: 04 June 2007

There is something more morally binding about a promise when it is made by the rich to the poor. There is something altogether more shocking, therefore, when such a solemn pledge seems about to be broken.

Two years ago, the leaders of the rich world met at the G8 summit in Gleneagles and undertook to double annual aid to poor nations to $50bn (£25bn) a year. Half of that money was to go to the world's poorest people in Africa.

But on the eve of the latest G8 summit, in the Baltic resort of Heiligendamm in Germany this week, it is clear the rich world is well off track to deliver what the world's eight most powerful leaders signed up to after the biggest political lobby in history, a massive global campaign to make poverty history that culminated in 10 Live8 concerts watched by more than half the population of the world.

Overall aid to Africa has risen by less than half of what is needed to stay on track to reach the Gleneagles goal to double annual aid by 2010. A report by Oxfam yesterday suggested that, if present trends continue, the G8 will miss its target by a staggering $30bn.

Even the country which has done best in keeping its word, the UK, is projected to fall short of its promise of $14.9bn by $1.6bn. The country that has failed most so far, Italy, will be a whopping $8.1bn short of the $9.5bn it has vowed to give.

To those for whom such huge figures are meaningless, Oxfam offers some graphic illustrations. Last year, the rich world spent three times more on bottled water ($58bn) than it did on aid to Africa ($18bn). We spent 10 times more on military expenditure ($1trillion) than we did on aid globally ($104bn).

We Britons spent almost twice as much on champagne and other wine last year as we did on aid. The French spent more on perfume, German women more on shoes, Italians more on ice cream and the Japanese spent more on luxury goods such as Gucci bags and Prada sunglasses than their governments did on the world's poor.

Read The Independent OnLine






BBC OnLine News June 4 2007

More UK imams needed, says Blair June 4 2007

Tony Blair says he wants more Muslim imams trained in UK universities, to reduce reliance on imams from overseas.

There are concerns that imams from another country may not understand British society or speak good English.

He also pledged a £1m boost for Islamic studies at university after a report criticised the quality of teaching.

He told a London conference politicians must listen to moderate voices. Critics said the conference excluded those who had opposed government policies.

In a speech at the conference, hosted by Cambridge University, Mr Blair said his ambition was that more imams and religious leaders could be trained in the UK.

'Small voice'

He also said British politicians must listen harder to the "calm voice of moderation and reason" of the majority of the country's Muslims.

"Those willing to come on television and articulate extreme and violent views make so much more impact than those who use the still, small voice of reason and moderation," he said.

BBC OnLine Full Story




BBC OnLine History June 4 2007

June 4 1940: Dunkirk rescue is over - Churchill defiant

The Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, has described the "miracle of deliverance" from Dunkirk and warned of an impending invasion. His moving speech to Parliament came on the day the last allied soldier arrived home from France at the end of a 10-day operation to bring back hundreds of thousands of retreating allied troops trapped by the German Army. Many French troops remained to hold the perimeter and were captured. Major-General Harold Alexander inspected the shores of Dunkirk from a motorboat this morning to make sure no-one was left behind before boarding the last ship back to Britain. The beach and sea were in chaos. There were bodies floating in the water and we were under constant attack from machine-gun fire, bombing, explosions sending shrapnel in every direction.

BBC OnLine Full Story






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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.





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