I have found that one of the ways to keep my recovery rich and vibrant is to continue to do step work. I'll do this with my sponsor in an ongoing way and I also work on step eleven spiritual practices with my spiritual director--and, of course, I read and write.
But what really brings me back to the heart of recovery and the miracles that I have and the miracles that I want is to do a retreat or workshop. This weekend I had the opportunity to participate in a two-day Big Book Step Study workshop that was absolutely back to basics. This particular workshop focused on the Big Book as a text and walked a large group of people through all twelve steps in two days. Yes, we moved quickly but we also dug deeply. And it was profound.
Indeed this is both a conservative and also quite radical approach. It leans into AA's origins in The Oxford Group when lifesaving "conversions" happened in a singe day. AA borrowed heavily from the evangelical Christian Oxford reformers --that was the message that Ebby Thacher carried to Bill in Brooklyn--and indeed it was the Oxford Group message that Bill brought to Dr. Bob in Akron. It was fast and intense and sometimes harsh. But it did save souls and often lives.
So I enjoyed being led through the Big Book as a process to a "vital spiritual experience" which is what we are promised if we work the twelve steps, and in fact, it happens. What meant most to me this weekend was finding--again--my own commitment to recovery, my desire to have my life healed and changed, and to be part of this exciting spiritual revolution whose basic principles are reforming our society. Whether or not one is an addict or in recovery there is an undeniable fact that the perspective of and the practice of the Twelve Steps of AA has made significant changes in the greater social consciousness.