I had a year or so of weekly piano lessons when I was a kid but today I can’t play a single tune – not even chopsticks. Practicing spiritual principles in AA is just like practicing the piano. If I don’t practice what I am learning, the tiny light that was awakened inside of me will die out. If that happens, I’m right back to my darkened, dirty apartment with only my bottle of wine, bag of pot and remote control to keep me company. If I want my life to be a beautiful melody instead of a dissonant nightmare I have to practice.
A few years ago, I came upon a twenty-four hour practice plan. It is to show up, pay attention, do the next right thing, stay out of results and be grateful. This plan has served me well.
I show up by living in the present moment with the willingness to do what is suggested. I pay attention by getting quiet and listening for the still small voice inside me. I do the next right thing by following the guidance I receive, even if I don’t want to. I let go of results by not having any expectation of how my actions will turn out. I practice an attitude of gratitude by being aware of all the blessings I receive each day. Of course I don’t do any of this perfectly, far from it. But if my life gets wobbly, I can look at this plan and quickly see where I need more practice.
I am coming to believe that every human is given a unique gift. The gift is using our God given creativity to express love. Each of us expresses differently. I find my unique expression of love by practicing the principles in all my affairs. God does the rest.