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NEW! Monthly Podcast on The Importance of Working All Twelve Steps

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Workshop Series – Second Sundays of 2015

In this series of workshops, members share on the importance of working ALL 12 Steps and how working the Steps changed their lives physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

Tune in monthly to hear virtual workshops on The Importance of Working All Twelve Steps.

Available for free download now:

 

Step Zero

The importance of working ALL 12 Steps 

An introductory workshop focusing on the nature of the disease of compulsive eating and what it takes to be willing to go to any length to recover. Members talk about what gave them the gift of desperation and journal questions are offered.

Step One

“We admitted we were powerless over food – that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Speakers read the "Introduction to the Twelve Steps" and discuss each aspect of Step One, sharing how it relates to their recovery.

Step Two

“Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

This week’s workshop leader discusses each aspect of Step Two, sharing her experience, strength and hope. “Ours is a spiritual program, not a religious one.” (p. 13, The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous.)  Step Two “is a bridge” between Step One and Step Three, and the “hoop you have to jump through is a lot wider than you think.”  Give the OA program a chance to work for you. References include the “OA 12 & 12” (Step 2), Voices of Recovery (January 9th and 10th), For Today (March 28th), Lifeline Magazine – February 2011 and February 2014 and Alcoholics Anonymous 12 & 12 (Step 2).

Step Three

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

This week’s workshop leaders discuss the critical importance of Step Three to their recovery. The OA program tells us emphatically that “Once we compulsive overeaters truly take the Third Step we cannot fail to recover” [OA 12 and 12, p. 27]. Step Three allows us to accept help from a higher power, and in Step Three we decide to “follow spiritual guidance in making every decision” [OA 12 and 12, p. 19]. References include the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous (Step Three), the Doctor’s Opinion and the Third Step prayer ( p.63) in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Alcoholics Anonymous’ Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions> (Step Three).

Step Four

“Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

In this fourth installment in the workshop series “The Importance of Working All 12 Steps,” leaders discuss how working the first three steps is preparation for the Fourth Step, how important the Fourth Step is and specifics about working the Fourth Step. Also referenced is the variety of OA literature available to help members take Step Four (Fifteen Questions, OA 12 Steps & 12 Traditions, OA Fourth Step Inventory Guide, AA 12 & 12, 12 Step Workbook of Overeaters Anonymous, Sponsoring through the 12 Steps, Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book and the soon to be released Twelve-Stepping a Problem). “Those of us who have completed Step Four have found that taking this searching and fearless moral inventory was one of the most loving things we ever did for ourselves.” OA 12 & 12 p.29

Step Five

“Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

The Step Five workshop speakers share about how the promises of Step Five came true for them. One speaker qualifies on working the first four Steps to arrive at Step 5; the who, what, where, when, how and why of doing a Fifth Step; and the necessity of working this Step. “We will be more reconciled to discussing ourselves with another person when we see good reasons why we should do so. The best reason first: If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking.” (Alcoholics Anonymous p.72)

The second speaker tells her OA story and the importance of working all the Steps. She shares about multiple techniques her sponsor showed her to inventory, how to be fearless when taking the Fifth Step and the relief she felt after completing it. “As we complete Step Five, we may feel many emotions, among them humility, elation and relief. We often feel nearer than ever before to our Higher Power and more loving and trusting of other people. Whether we feel these things or not, we can rest assured that we are nearer to God and more capable of trusting others.” (OA 12&12 p. 51)

Step Six

“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

The Step Six workshop speakers share their individual stories of recovery and the vital part Step Six, “one of the most difficult of the Twelve Steps”
(OA 12&12, page 53), plays in that recovery process.

One of the speakers discusses why she found it so hard to be entirely ready to part with her defects, explains the concept of the payoff that kept her holding on to them and the key of an attitude of willingness: “Having such an attitude we cannot fail” (OA 12&12, page 58).

The other speaker provides guidance on how to take our Fourth Step defects and resentments and discover the assets many of these defects actually were until our compulsive eating turned them into defects. She helps explain how the Steps help us recapture the assets that were part of ourselves, so we can live happy, joyous and free, without the fear that we will be nothing without these defects.

Step Seven

“Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”

The seventh in the series of “The Importance of Working All Twelve Steps” workshops discusses what to do with the defects of character discovered in Step Six. Two members tell their stories and talk about how OA–approved literature (Big Book of AA, OA 12&12, and Sponsoring through the Twelve Steps) helped them take the Seventh Step.

Memorable quotes from the OA 12& 12 were: “… our goal is … simply to draw closer to being the people God intends us to be” (p.61), “Real humility about our character defects carries with it acceptance” (p.61), and “Our simple prayers, humbly spoken, are answered in wonderful ways as we open our lives to God’s transforming power, and we find that God does for us what we could never do for ourselves” (p.65).

Questions from the pamphlet Sponsoring through the Twelve Steps were provided to help members who might be stuck in Step Seven.

Step Eight

“Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”

Continuing the series, “The Importance of working all Twelve Steps,” the leaders share their personal experiences as sponsor and sponsee in dealing with Step Eight. Emphasis is placed on the concept of making amends—changes—and not just saying I’m sorry. Also stressed is the importance of working with a sponsor, in order to determine if amends are needed, and if so what should be said or done.

While Step Eight encourages forgiveness, it also requires the individual to focus on what his or her part was in the situation . . . to clear off their side of the street, regardless of how the amends are received. Both speakers stress the freedom and relief felt in making the list and becoming willing, without any thought or concern about the future steps. Individual sharing is excellent as members relate their own positive experiences, including the need to add one’s own name to the list and then become willing to making amends to oneself.

Step Nine

“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.”

The series continues with discussion of Step Nine. Both speakers describe their own personal experience with doing Step Nine, giving specific examples of amends they have made. In addition, they emphasize the need to make amends in order to refrain from returning to compulsive eating, and to be released of the negative feelings or turmoil created by holding on to the amends. Also discussed is reviewing the list and practicing amends with a sponsor, remembering the principles of forgiveness and love for others, and that the focus of the amends should be on one’s own role and behavior, being specific and actually making amends and changes. Suggestions are also provided for making amends to people who have died or are no longer in one’s life. The second part of Step Nine is also stressed, ensuring that no further injury or insult occur due to inappropriate amends.

Step Ten

“Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”

This week the speakers share their stories of their experience, strength, and hope. Both speakers describe their personal experience with Step 10. Perseverance is the spiritual principle of this Step. Continuing to do a personal inventory daily helps us identify character defects and feelings that come up unexpectedly and see if we need to make amends to anyone. Working with a sponsor also helps us with the process of Step 10. We cannot rest on our laurels if we are to continue our journey of recovery on a daily basis.

 

Join live the second Sunday each month, 3-4 p.m. EST.

 For instructions to join the workshop, see Datebook Calendar on oa.org.
Or, to listen anytime, go to the Podcast page.
Groups and service bodies are encouraged to use these podcasts in meetings.