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"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 9 2007

World Naked Bike Ride - BBC Narrative (DonInLondon photo‘s/video)

About 700 cyclists in various states of undress have cycled through central London in another leg of the World Naked Bike Ride.

The naked cyclists - and others with strategically-placed body paint, sticky tape or bum bags - were highlighting the damage caused by car dependency.

They were also promoting the environmental benefits of cycling.

Earlier on Saturday, more than 200 naked cyclists rode through Brighton and Hove in East Sussex.

The World Naked Bike Ride is now in its fourth year with more than 60 cities participating in 2007.

The London leg began at Hyde Park and finished in Wellington Arch, a route of about six miles.

Martin Ireland was one of those taking part in the ride.

He said: "We are seeing an increasing number of stories of melting ice caps and Antarctica crumbling away and no government is doing anything serious about this.

"They are paying lip service to the problem so people have been taking to their bikes, unclothing, to express their feelings about it."

Duncan Blinkhorn, 45, one of the organisers of the seven-mile Brighton ride, said: "This is a fun if outrageous way to make the serious point that we should not have to tolerate roads, cities and a planet dominated by the brutishness of cars that routinely foul the air we all breathe.

"Bikes and naked bodies harm nobody. Car fumes... are driving us all to climate chaos."





June 9 2007

Let Go Accept & move On - DonInLondon ‘Day In the Life’

What is this thing of letting go? We talk about a lot in our fellowship. At least it seems I do and also about right sizing me. We all do and we get a bit more practice even when we prefer we had enough!

Letting Go

We need let go of power and control over just about everything we can imagine so we free ourselves. Free ourselves of trying to manage often what is none of our business and none of our concern. Its been another week learning letting go. And strangely like every human who leads a different life these days, it takes time to let go. Let go frustration and misunderstandings. Let go what is not good for us and let go the attitudes of mind which bind us up in powering up our ego, our desire to control and our desire to master our world.

Nature

This world and nature, it works its own way and shifts the balance of anything and everything as we know from hard sciences like physics, chemistry and biology. Other hard sciences see how mankind influences nature through our over use of natural resources and carbon burning. We are changing climate irrevocably. We know it and many would deny it, because they will never face the consequences in their lifetime. We are poor custodians of our new generations future and we make light of truth as we always delay and filter out the obvious necessity to stop polluting and stop burning other generations lives. We live rich and accept the paucity of what follows? It seems we do.

People

We the people, we are driven by our nature and outlook Sometimes distorted and very egocentric, and we plunder and use up and expend our inner resources in search of happiness and love. And we don’t even often know we are doing just that. We are very good at looking for ways to fix and make our lives feel good and one long party.

Life

We have one life and the forces of nature and our own vulnerability will catch up with us if we are out of balance. Like so many, I expended great effort and worked hard, played hard and somewhere lost a plot to make life work in the day. Always a weather eye to what next and stuck sometimes in troughs and lows I could not understand.

I shied away from looking the in the mirror for a long time. A long time till I was truly burned out and done for. And like any out of balance humans the consequences of behaving as if there is no tomorrow and life must be lived as fast as one can, well nature takes over and we are worn down.

Addicted to Fixing

Fixing ourselves with people, places and things. Believing we know better, we know more than the next and a horrible addiction to doing the wrong thing to do the right thing. We experience it because we do it, and we experience it because others do it, we all have our experiences and reasons. Often fear and needing to fit in, it seems we can do the most havoc when we are least aware.

Oblivion

Many of us sought oblivion, many seeking still some magic remedy which makes it ok. And letting and believing that a power greater than ourselves will supply the answers to all our problems today? So we might wish, its not really quite that simple, or is it?

Belief in a Higher Power

And many believe in the higher power. As to what that higher power is, as I have suggested it can be defined as many ways as there are people on this planet and every one who has lived and perished. Explanation and definitions can be accepted by each and every one of us who has a power greater than themselves to defer final judgments to. And in truth many just wish for what they want and not what they need, and this is always a conundrum for those misunderstanding the powers that are being.

My Higher Power?

Collective wisdoms shared in Fellowships, Nature and Providence, a Universe so vast it has no end. All these powers are greater than me. So I need context here and now. My outlook and a power greater than me is here right now.

My higher power is indeed good conscience and the best of living to the good. Is that enough for me? It is and when I hear talk of powerless over people places and things, I accept it as the way it is, a day at a time. And often feel like denial might be better when my wants outstrip my needs.

Simply love, inclusion and choice. Equal and no bigger or smaller than any other.

Ego Fear Bravery

My Dad, my higher power for a long time, he was well and truly hurt by life from the day he was born, and his legacy to me is his experience as much as mine in breaking free from programming from him and my genetic roots.

No blame

We need not find blame or we play to our ego and fret to long at outcomes already in place. Time moves us along or we get stuck and lost, then fear the truth as reality slips into imaginings and dreams.

Fear, bravery and ego will have us believing in our God like status so fast we play at God, and imagine what a God might be, from illustrations made over centuries to some so far removed its beyond our current reality in this spiritual world of now. I need remind myself I am not God and that will do to understand this one life and context where it may go.

Faith Courage Confidence

As much as we have the negative we can turn to our positive, and have faith, courage and gain confidence to live a right sized life.

My faith is in collective wisdoms and good conscience developed over many thousands of years as each generation has met life head on and then found all manner of ways to distort what nature offers and we reject as ego plays and worse addictions become obsessions overwhelming transform to permanent parts of our psyche.

Revolutions

Tonight talk of revolutions and a revolution indeed to stop the nature and nurture which drives some of us to obsession and addiction, and then to let it go, as we may in any one day. There is no end thankfully to this recovering outlook.

Indeed a reminder and timely share as revolution was desperately needed to stop my insanity and early endings and the same for a lot of us in the fellowship. Death is easy as a way to end the pain, and final. And life the harder option in our early revolutionary days as we turn back to sober living if ever we had such a living, seeking sanity and how to make life work in this one day we have.

The revolution is never ending of course as we find as we go, and more come and join in as our fellowship grows. And as we learn from all who try again, there is no way to return to old obsessive ways, without of course that final consequence of life lost and not lived as it may.

So tonight a lot of reflections and acceptance for me and let go and all it entails.

A message from a friend tonight, pretty much where some acceptance can be found. Yet sprinkled with words which suggest power over me. I am used to these words and indeed often they come as the ego is alive, sharing the decision unequally I now do see. Which is as it may be when fear bites at our ankles and pride and all we can muster to make it seem right. I am relieved its over.

Arriving at an end and with humility, I leave the words as they are and will not reply. For there is nothing more to be said. Not without ego and imbalance I now see. And to play the game, well there you see, it’s a game and ego is ready and self willing. I am smiling to myself. Not so evolved as I may feel I might be. We are everything we have learned and acceptance is definitely the key. One day long I hasten to add. We are human and progress and me? I am progressing as I may, and slowly.

Boundaries and Stuff

We serve ourselves well when observe and share boundaries, what we are prepared to do in fellowship, friendship and living. We can do only so much and then find we are more a utility than anything else and often in recovery we accept what we do. And accept our utility to an extent. For in there somewhere there is reciprocity? Not always, and there is another debate another time.

And then as we are able we make our way as we can, open honest and willing and yet we will find, those concepts so poorly understood. We need be aware how we are used, and check out our choices, as all of us can.

And accept our gullibility and with a conscious let go. Accept and move on. And in good conscience leave times spent where they are in the past.

Feelings

We feel differently as life unfolds, the brazen and the falsehoods lived as fear and faking may so. And I realise these days as yesterday, that faking anything to make it so, well its not going to work, not for me. And that faking as a suggestion, makes me everything I don’t want to be. Something I cannot maintain or live as truth undermines and makes me take stock.

So I let go, and feel all there is to feel in me. And relief is there as times settle down. Like all human doings we feel all the bad and good there comes in letting life happen and acceptance offers freedom from our bonds, prisoners to falsehoods and superficial living.

Deep

The deep of human doings, the heights we can achieve in one day. The more we can live and recognise truth, open and willing ways, utilise our wisdom and accept that we meet as we enable, and better for knowing the difference.

Life hurts and delivers our lessons as we need them and in good conscience we forgive and let go. Forgive and let go as we may, a day at a time.. Sometimes we need a few days to settle and make good our next adventure, or we would not be human. And we need our humanity or we are lost to time.

I need not be my own prisoner to fortunes imagined and lost as the Holy Grail is within us and not outside us, in this ever present, present moment of now.




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Guardian Unlimited OnLine June 9 2007


The Bandar cover-up: who knew what, and when? June 9 2007




Attorney general urged to clarify role in concealing $1bn payments to prince

David Leigh and Rob Evans

The government was last night fighting to contain the fallout over £1bn in payments to a Saudi prince as the attorney general came under renewed pressure to explain how much he knew about the affair.

While in public the government was issuing partial denials about its role in the controversy, in private there were desperate efforts to secure a new BAE £20bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

And any hopes that the furore could be halted were dashed last night when the Guardian learned that the world's anti-corruption organisation, the OECD, was poised to resume its own inquiry into why the British government suddenly abandoned its investigations into the £43bn al-Yamamah arms deal.

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Times OnLine June 9 2007


Airline drives up price of holidays June 9 2007




David Robertson, Business correspondent

Foreign summer holidays are about to get much more expensive after British Airways raised its fuel surcharge for the second time in six weeks despite opposition from passenger groups.

Other airlines are expected to follow with their own price rises, even though the price of oil fell more than 3 per cent yesterday.

BA’s surcharge is increasing to £43 one way for flights over nine hours, up from £38. The surcharge for long-haul flights under nine hours rises from £33 to £38 while short-haul flights remain at £8.

The increases mean that a BA flight to New York next month, for example, will typically cost £276 return but taxes, booking charges and fuel surcharges take the total to £428. The extras are equivalent to 55 per cent of the cost of some flights.

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News June 9 2007


The G8: What they said and what they meant June 9 2007



By Andrew Grice in Heiligendamm and Daniel Howden

Leaders of the world's richest nations were accused of watering down pledges to help the poorest countries after they failed to get back on track to deliver aid promises they made two years ago at Gleneagles.

The G8 summit in Germany agreed a $60bn (£30bn) package to relieve suffering from Aids in Africa. But the leaders angered aid campaigners by merely reaffirming their 2005 pledges, which are already $8bn behind schedule, without taking action to bridge the gap.

The $60bn headline figure amounts to $12bn to be spent annually on Aids, TB, malaria and reinforcing health systems.

Of that $12bn, up to $9bn has either been pledged already, according to Oxfam estimates, or is part of existing aid packages. So, the total annual increase in Africa spending amounts to just $3bn.

Adding to the frustration, the leaders' declaration set no specific timetable, saying the money would flow "over the coming years".

Max Lawson, senior policy adviser at Oxfam, said: "The headlines sound impressive but ultimately mean precious little. Instead of delivering what they promised, the G8 has tried to get the biggest possible headline number out of the smallest possible aid increase."

The announcement failed to break down individual countries' contributions or spell out how much of the sum had been previously promised.

"I am exasperated," said Bono, the Irish singer and anti-poverty campaigner. "I think it is deliberately the language of obfuscation. It is deliberately misleading," adding: "I might be a rock star, but I can count."

Kate Krauss, spokes-woman for the US-based Physicians for Human Rights, said that, despite commitments made two years ago, there has been little or no progress on achieving universal access to HIV/Aids prevention programmes, treatment and care by 2010, or toward developing and strengthening African health systems.

Read The Independent OnLine






BBC OnLine News June 9 2007

Police reject UK rendition claims June 9 2007

An inquiry has found no evidence that British airports were used by the CIA flying terrorist suspects for torture in other countries.

The investigation by the Association of Chief Police Officers followed claims by campaign group Liberty concerning "extraordinary rendition" flights.

Earlier a report by the Council of Europe alleged flights did pass through the UK and other European countries.

Liberty insisted that its claims were based on "credible investigations".

It had alleged that 210 CIA flights carrying terrorist suspects for possible torture had entered Britain since 2001.

'Collusion'

Acpo's findings emerged hours after the Council of Europe said there was evidence to prove the CIA had run secret jails in Europe.

BBC OnLine Full Story




BBC OnLine History June 9 2007

June 9 1970: King Hussein escapes gunman's bullet

King Hussein of Jordan has survived an assassination attempt after gunmen opened fire on his motorcade as it was driving near his summer palace.

The king was said to be unharmed but it is understood his driver was wounded in the attack, which took place in the town of Sweileh, 12 miles (19km) northeast of the capital, Amman.

One report said the king jumped out of his car and fired back at the attackers.

The shooting follows two days of fighting between Palestinian guerrillas and Jordanian troops in and around Amman in which up to 400 people are said to have been killed.

Stray bullet

The city is surrounded by Jordanian troops with Palestinian gunmen controlling the city centre and main routes.

Fighting has also spread to the airport and passengers flying out of Amman today have told of a porter killed when he was hit by a bullet as they got onto their plane.

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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