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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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November 12 2007

Reply to Questions

As always I never speak for anyone else, these are personal reflections and my observations of life. I have found my life improves by being in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, I do not speak for AA, just myself.

It is always important to mention that AA, Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship and movement, not an organisation. AA has no leaders, it is simply the people we meet in our local groups to keep sober one day at a time. Indeed this is the primary purpose of the fellowship. Beyond this simple and profound desire to be sober, many people make the best they can of living, using the principles of self help and support, and suggestions on how to live sober. Many utilise the traditions of the fellowship to keep safe. There will always be a fluidity of approach to all that AA is, and more important what it is not. AA enables a person to find their own path to living, improve their choices and get a life back. How a person relates to AA and how a person develops is their personal journey is always their personal choice and no one is bigger or smaller, more or less important. Newcomers to AA however, will always be a priority as early days in sobriety are the hardest when getting a life back. At the same time in fellowship we learn how to make the ’bridge’ to normal living. And without newcomers, we really do leave ourselves in precarious places as we need the experience, strength and hope of newcomers, as always wisdom comes in the door ready for sharing about how bad it is to be drunk, and what we do is keep learning over and over why sober is the key.

Normal Ordinary Extraordinary

As most people in recovery find, the way back to ordinary living often means we need learn what ordinary is. What I have found is AA helped me understand that ordinary living is quite extraordinary. That the spiritual connection to life is here right now, with a clear head and able to see the truth at last. Living with clarity as we understand it, living to open honest and truthful ways. As we get along we realise how often we might have denied the truth over and over about ourselves. Recovery is painful until we get the gift of living today, not in the past or troubled by the future. Just making the most of the day we have.

AA is not a sect, not bound up in dogma, does not want to convert a person to anything but sobriety. AA does have three ways to help. Physical in essence, by getting over the need to self harm with addiction to alcohol. Second it helps a person find their emotional balance if they are able. And third, it helps with a spiritual connections to what life is all about. And as with all matters spiritual it is a personal and very much an inside job. People make their own spiritual path as in any living for any person. It is not the business of AA to substitute or undermine or judge a persons spiritual path, merely let a person have clarity to discover for themselves what their spiritual may or may not be.

My spiritual remains in the now, right now, Absolute Truth my guide and higher power. Wherever a reference to ‘God’ might be made in my case, it is as Ghandi observed, ‘God Is Truth‘. Truth remains my spiritual connection as I have learned and what is right for me.

Blame it on AA

I don’t know if AA can be blamed for much. People in AA, or people in fellowship, look out for each other, go through all the discussions and wonderings everyone has about life, its meaning and purpose. As was said some time back, most people want to be happy and have love in their living. And as the truth of living unfolds, if our happiness and truth prevails we learn our lot in life. Our attitudes and outlook are key, our behaviour the imperative which makes for a happy life, with less denial and filters if we are able.

Just for a Day

Hi [xxxxx]

There are clues to how we find people in our lives. When you mentioned the comments made, it's a hard and horrible expression, about self pity and quite unhelpful. And actually its about not admitting his part in the feelings you have for yourself and him. Being upset and then treated as something "less than" and as the put down is undermining. And we may know enough about a person that such comments come from their experience and how they have been treated. It feels unhealthy to me with someone who puts a person down in order to make themselves feel better, and of course does make us question the balance of equality in the relationship.

So we can forgive those remarks as we move along and recognise if this was their best shot to deal with issues, then we are better for letting go. No matter what we have done to help another person, we can be left and can feel this is the best way eventually. We don't need put downs for our feelings which come from sorrow and not self pity, which is where he was coming from, maybe? I cannot judge [xxxxx] that would be wrong of me.

Friends..

Actually [xxxxx] I made many friends along the way in life. And there are a few out there with busy lives. The concept of long term friendships are about where we live and relating frequently. I know there are people who have been friends in the past, and yet life becomes fragmented, and somehow circles of acquaintance seem more in keeping when life is so much a movable feast or famine.

Partners

Truth for me I had partners along the way. And women and love. I loved deeply maybe a few times, I can count on one hand. And also many short and not too close relationships. This is me being honest, some girlfriends along the way were exactly like me, in need of comfort, physical contact, intimacy, and just plain lonely, again the same as me. And much of my career was travelling and a travelling life affords for lonely encounters with much passion and much missing.

Friends in and out of Fellowship

I don't know that I was that able to form bonds with people [xxxxx] until I started to understand why I felt loneliness. Today I have boundaries, and its based on truth. Truth of me? Simply I am still learning that we can have friends inside and out of fellowship based on real honesty and truth. We can still end up loving the person we cannot have and or loving others who can be very undermining, if we have not sorted out our own sense of self and purpose. Our purpose is to love and have love in our lives and feel life is worth it, because we are worth it. That is some jargon from the fellowship in case you were wondering.

At the same time we need realise we only get to know what we want often by not wanting what we have. A horrible feeling actually and makes us feel awful inside.

And we struggle to give up on partners who we have been intimate with and still hold close in our hearts. I once shared with my closest partner from back then, that she was my best ever lover. And of course that was not what she wanted to hear. She wanted to be forgiven, and I could do forgiving once I knew she had done the best thing ever, to leave me!

We hold to how things have been and feel it is hard to let go. Even now if things were different.. Those if's. Truth is we, me and she, are both changed beyond recognition and so much has gone by, the love back then is never going to be the same again. So I have loving sentiments and feel its best as she said, "to draw a line in the sand." And that was that, and I can share honestly that her suggestion and probably insistence, hurt as much again as being left in the first place. And then it came to meeting her again, and I could not. My fear was I would not love her anymore, and she did not love me. And every feeling would then evaporate. She had moved on and it took me near twenty years to accept it. Not her fault, just me bereft and lost for a long while.

I guess what is best, we need realise who we are now. And who they are now. The difference? Well we need not devalue one moment of the good. And we need let go our pain. As I mentioned I went bonkers and slept with as many available and unavailable women as possible. It made it all worse and cheap, hence my oldest girlfriend from college describing me as a male tart. She understood me and fortunately moved a distance away so I would not look for solace with her, a smart Lady!

We can do better things to get our system free from old connections. A better way, its harder and not so easy. We need find our self esteem and make ourselves stronger with good company and friends we may find as we go out more, or friends we have already.

AA and Friendships

I feel I was not a very good friend maker. And as I was often a lifesaver rather than someone to be saved, and the work I have done over the years was very much about people. Most my life I exhausted myself working in more than one career and making me look right on the outside, and inside there was always a scared small person who never felt able to be close. Knowing the human condition is a nightmare when it came to love. I know now it was my fears, not my knowledge or ability to help others, it was me. Only now do I feel able to make ‘inside’ friends in AA, the ‘outside’ friends are there and far away and always there I guess. And fortunately round here people utilise AA as is meant, a bridge to modern living, not an escape from it! I do have one or two close friends as life affords. Social networks? I was the best social networker you could have met ‘back in the day’ and was told so often, these days I don't do this, I just live as life is. And friendships are as they may be.

I don't know if there is a difference. Certainly we relate and understand there is one reason for fellowship, that is daily sobriety.

Of people I know in partnerships, most often one is AA the other not in AA. It seems women in AA prefer men who are not in AA!! Smiles here this is truly sad for some men [ me too I am able to accept these days, as there are many lovely and very together women in fellowship ] who thought they might find the woman of their dreams in fellowship. Where partners are both in the fellowship they often seem to go to completely separate meetings, and they don't mix up their personal recovery with each others life together. So in all inside or outside AA, people have choices in who they partner, and as usual love is blind and all the understandings and misunderstandings abound as per usual. We humans! Time needed and time to make good our understandings, there are no short cuts to living.

Love is Key

I feel many people make do with half what they need [xxxxx], because of misplaced loyalties and love maybe we feel we have. In truth often love can be a one sided affair, so it's a one way street.

The ‘Gift’ He Gave You

For you it's a symbol of something achieved with your love and support and he gave it to you with sincerity I am sure. In early recovery this is often done. Sincerity is something near to authentic, yet it changes as we change in honest living. We either grow together and share, or grow apart in sadness, sorrow and hopefully not self pity.

Maybe the best thing is to place this ‘gift’ somewhere which is significant to you, far enough away not to be a constant reminder, but handy enough to honour as you may do, the reality of the love you had for this man at that time. It was absolutely right for you then to support him and love him.

And now its about let go maybe, slowly and not dishonouring anything. Place the ‘gift’ in some place, say a beach or particular walk or somewhere when you can revisit and remind yourself the love was never wasted, the feelings you had were genuine and the symbols need be distant enough not to be constant reminders or get in the way of new living.

That's my feeling just now, we change every day. I am sad I kept little from my big time relationship. But realise now I had been undone and left. Abandoned indeed. So I chucked all her stuff in the trash. It felt good for a moment and then as awful can be. Not a recommended item on my to do list today..

And then I abandoned myself. So in my experience.. As you might see by now, there has been a lot of mending and repairing over these last few years. And in truth I wish all my ex's, love and happiness, and maybe always there will be circumspect feelings. Love is best, honour it, and know there is love for us all where we find it is in happenstance and taking care of ourselves with love and care inside first, or we may miss our next partner along the way.

As to friends who drink, smiles they are ok and happy. I see them outside bars, more often in cafes or places not designed for drinking. Or if its an event then accept it, keep safe and don't let people buy me a drink. Friends can do silly things and I need be vigilant no one takes my choices away and puts me on a path which might take a while to find sober again. Sober is simply being ok with ourselves by the way, like normal people not in stressful situations..

I hope this helps and best regards

Don-




12th November 2006

How To Be Myself - "All we need is Love"

When I awoke this morning, I was not quite myself. Something was out of balance. It was me! Sometimes when we have changes in our lives, we have not control over, we might apply measures to ourselves which are unhelpful!

How to Define Me

This may seem obvious to some, for we are forever comparing and measuring something of ourselves and others. This may be helpful sometimes. Most of the time we need find the real gifts we have each day to endorse the human we are "being" today.

I am part of a fellowship which tries to help make sense of life. We have some values and principles. We look to develop our emotional, physical and spiritual well being. So here we have three measures we can apply on a daily basis and work out how we are feeling and why.

Emotional

When I feel well and right in my own space, its is likely that my emotional well being is maintained for this day on what is inside me. I need not feel better or worse by what others may say or how they are feeling. I may be happy with myself and my emotional balance. If I need external help to buoy me up, this is perfectly acceptable to get a view and make good my inside understanding of me. I need not fix myself on others and how they are towards me.

Physical

When I know I am feeling well in my body, that I have enough to maintain my present satisfactory state, I need no more. And if I need alter some way I live to help me stay as able as I may be, then I am keeping myself as well as can be. Even with my physical impairments, associated with age and with ailments which cannot be fixed, I can be happy I am doing as well as I may. I need not compare myself to others.

Spiritual
We develop our outlook and way living to make best use of each day, the ever present, present moment. Our spiritual path is our conscious contact with real life as it presents, as Nature and Providence afford. We live in our conscience, our spiritual nature and with good conscience, we develop our spiritual perceptions and way of living, a day at a time. All humans are equal in this gift, we are able to develop our spiritual outlook to appreciate the life we have just for today. Spiritual connection is as good as it may get in just this one moment. How we make this connection is through endeavour and practice a day at a time. Spiritual connection is as good as we may make as life affords our opportunity and our understanding. We are all equal in this respect.

Spiritual, Emotional and Physical

These are the true ways to understand our progress merely a day at a time. When we are confident in who we are and what we are doing in relation to our aims, we can make progress daily and just for today.

Being right sized

We humans are equal, and equal to the life we have with Nature and Providence. We succeed and see our success in how we apply ourselves to just this day. At the end of this day, when we look openly at our endeavour we may view our progress honestly and endeavour to make changes as we understand them..

If we see we have kept to our endeavours and made progress in terms of spiritual, emotional and physical well being as best we can, we can accept our lot in life.

Status and the Material World

We so often place our value on material worldly measures and our status in society, or in our endeavours beyond our human nature. We so often compare ourselves to celebrity and success we see in material forms and status. What use are measures of status and material success when we try to define our progress daily and in our own understanding of our living?

The answer maybe for you, and certainly for me

The answer to how I define myself and my endeavour is most helpful when I understand my emotional, physical and spiritual well being for just this one day, the ever present, present moment.

We cannot accumulate better definition or gravitas for ourselves through material or status driven measures. Indeed we will never be happy if we apply material or status measures to ourselves, for we always compare ourselves to others and their relative worldly wealth. True ways to define ourselves are merely progress and moving with our evolution throughout our living.

We May Find Acceptance

We will find happiness is a work in progress, not perfection, for we do travel and evolve and never stay the same. We make good our living when we develop our daily connection to real life as life is. We encounter sadness as life offers, and make use of our learning and develop our wisdom of life.

Indeed we find Serenity in accepting life

Accepting the things we cannot change
Changing the things we can
And developing the wisdom to know the difference

Above all, "all we need is love" of one another and ourselves to make life work as life is..

As we understand

Fear requires Bravery in equal measures to just be alive when there is no spiritual connection to living.

Faith develops courage in equal measures to make life work as we work at living and our spiritual connection is made, just one day at a time. We become equal to life and living equally as we endeavour…

Let it be so

November 12th 2005

Chill Pill

Panacea Counsellor!

Etymology: Latin, from Greek panakeia, from panakEs all-healing, from pan- + akos remedy : a remedy for all ills or difficulties

I was engaged in conversation for a couple of hours last night. A stranger to me, we talked generalities until old memories came flooding to my companion, caught in a whirlwind of anger and sadness.

This happens to me regularly and I go with the conversation, its too late for the stranger to stop, raw feelings expressed through tight lips and rasps.

"Why am I telling you this?" The question to me and I have no ready answer. We sit and recollect hard times together. After the storm of words subsides, more talk, exploration and questions find their answers as my companion problem solves some heavyweight memories. And the weight is lifted for a while as we part. There were times when these conversations
were fearful and awkward for me, less so with time and…. More time!
The world needs to listen and we need to listen to the world. Counsel and counsellors the world over learn with experience, to be listeners in process.

Counsellors and counsel find wisdom in experience and no panacea. There is no panacea for the human condition beyond self learning and acceptance of the ever present, present.

November 12th 2004

Stability

The foundation of stability is looking after my mind - making it peaceful, loving and thoughtful at all times.

We are touched everyday by things closest and with a world so connected we become aware what we do in our part of the world directly impacts across oceans. So hard then to keep house clean in ones own head, and be alert to our family, our community and the world. It is oft forgotten, that keeping our inside clear, our thoughts and feelings with our nearest and dearest is the much of the answer we can understand. We keep our side of the street clean, and the rest is outside our control. Keeping oneself together is as much any one of us can do. By example we encourage, by example is the best we must expect. We will not change anyone or anything, we can just change ourselves. Free will is a precious element we all have, tread with care if you would bend the will of others...
-/-




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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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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.





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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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.































Don In London
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