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Conscious Contact

 Conscious contact for me means the experience of God showing up in my life, not an idea of God I read in some spiritual book. When I’m awake and aware, I can see my life is everything God does and nothing I do. There is no place God isn’t. But it’s so easy for me to get distracted, fall back asleep, to take God for granted. Then I begin to believe that I am the power making my life happen. I need daily reminders to maintain my conscious contact with God. Fortunately I’m surrounded by powerful reminders everywhere I look.

I become aware of the presence of God in most every meeting I attend. The other big book says, “where more than one are gathered in His name, God is present.” When my mind is not wandering off, sometimes I can actually feel the presence of God in a meeting. Sometimes when I’m sharing with another drunk I hear the words come out of my mouth and I think. “Wow, I didn’t know I knew that.” I reach out to newcomers and occasionally there’s a big payoff — seeing the light come on when the person finally “gets it.”  I listen to you share what your life was like, what happened and what it’s like now. When I hear how God is working in your life, I am reminded God is working in my life too.

Besides staying active in the AA program, I seek to maintain conscious contact by hiking alone in nature with my cell phone turned off. This is my primary Eleventh Step practice. Solitude is so wonderful after a lifetime of isolation. I strive to keep distractions to a minimum. I do not belong to Facebook, I watch very little TV and have no strong opinions on outside issues. Recently a friend called me unpatriotic because I wouldn’t get caught up in politics. It may be selfish, but my peace of mind is more important to me than who is president.

I like to travel extensively in Southeast Asia. It seems like there are ornate temples and beautiful statues of Buddha everywhere I look.  I am surrounded by these symbols, but they don’t trigger awareness of God for me. Yet when I glimpse the beautiful, joyous faces of the little Thai, Cambodian and Vietnamese children, I’m absolutely positive God is real and alive.

What Am I?

 I define myself as a spiritual being having a human experience. I feel extremely grateful to know and experience this truth.

The gentle power of spirit works through me when I open myself to it with the help of the 12 Steps. As I align with this power, my life feels useful and contented. I live in peace, harmony and balance.  I sometimes forget spirit is my true nature. When I forget this truth about me, I also forget the truth about others.

Although my human experiences can be rough sometimes, I know that every painful experience is necessary for my highest and best good. Without the hopelessness I felt before I stumbled into my first meeting, I'd still be sitting on the couch drinking cheap wine, watching stupid TV and thinking life was just great.

I feel grateful for all the gifts I've been given -- the good, the bad and the downright ugly ones. I practice an attitude of gratitude by slowly letting go of my attachment to getting what I want, by suiting up and showing up for life and by trying to be helpful where ever I can. I show appreciation for others in my life. I try not to complain. The willingness to do these things doesn’t come from me. It comes from spirit. It’s all grace.