Dear Fellow OA members,

In mid-September, I was lucky enough to attend the “A Vision for You” conference “The Power of the Big Book” in Newark, NJ. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about working the 12 steps, meet many new OA friends, and be inspired by those who have become recovered through working the program.

Every session was amazing, but the emphasis on Step 11 was extraordinary. Consider this – by Step 11, you have done most of the heavy lifting of the program, cleared out your life, and now it’s easy coasting, right? Well, it is right – and it is also wrong. In order to keep my life manageable and my abstinence and sanity intact, I have to work to strengthen my connection to God.

As one of the leaders said, if you are not working on your spiritual life, you are coasting, and the only way to coast is downhill. Your deterioration may not be evident immediately, but it is coming. The promises will only come to you if you keep in fit spiritual condition, and the only way to do this is to talk with and listen to your Higher Power each day.

This was hard for me to hear, because frankly coasting is my favorite gear! But I have learned that the days that I slack off on my morning and evening meditations are the days that I risk disaster. Days when I spend time with my HP aren’t always perfect, but I manage to make it to the end of the day without giving in to the disease.

But here’s another great thought from one of the speakers: “My will is like swimming upstream; my HP’s will is downstream.” If we concentrate on our Higher Power’s plan, it will all come together in the end.

Kate I.