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12-Step Spirituality And A Modern Psychology Of Self

A Path Through Struggles And Resistance

A Free Zoom Webinar
Saturday, May 15th, 2021
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Pacific
To attend click on the link to join the webinar:

There is no such thing as a perfect recovery! We will all encounter obstacles on our journey to sobriety and transformation. Some of us will need a new way of relating to our selves and to our struggles if we are to move past them and reach
our destination.


All experience is mental, including the spiritual! We approach and experience the transcendent through our minds. And it is our psychology- our Self-concept and mindset- that generates our understanding and interpretations of our encounters with the divine. Thus, psychology and spirituality are linked. They are two sides of the same coin and should not be thought of as separate entities. Consequently, a change in our ideas or theories of Self should prompt us to adapt our interpretations of Spiritual principles.
This link between psychology and spirituality is one most recovering people actively benefit from. For us, they represent the wings that launch and sustain our journey of transformation. We stay aloft longer, and we travel farther on this journey when our spiritual program of action is coupled to an ongoing process of psychological exploration and healing.
Although millions of people have found a path to freedom from destructive compulsions by working a 12-step program of recovery based on Alcoholics Anonymous's (AA) interpretation of the spiritual principles inherent in the steps (or their adaptation to a compulsion other than alcoholism), many others have not. Some are unable to surrender the need to self-soothe and struggle to follow the instructions that AA's literature (or their program's adapted literature) guarantees can help them. Others achieve abstinence and their lives are improved-often in dramatic fashion- yet they remain subject to their addictive impulses at times of increased stress. And some of us, despite our attempts at working the steps as instructed, find it difficult to transform our abstinence into a stable and rewarding sobriety. For us, the complexities of the adult world- intimacy, financial setbacks, a loved one's death, parental responsibilities, and relationships (both at home and at work)- trigger our fears and fuel the return of addictive coping and of our defects of character. We may continue to give our power away to others to whom we outsource our sense of safety- we make them, our Higher Power. We might remain stuck in Victim Consciousness. Life is once again unmanageable.

In confronting these challenges to a sober life, most recovering addicts revert to the same ideas and instructions for working their program that they first learned from their sponsors, program literature, and fellow recovering friends. We attend more meetings, work the steps again, pray for surrender or willingness, keep coming back... Others grow frustrated and leave their chosen 12-step fellowship.

Is there anything we could be doing differently? I believe the answer is “Yes!” 

We must remember that it was through the psychological filter of AA’s founders (their shared, unrecognized notions regarding their “I amness” or sense of Self) that the spiritual principles at the heart of the 12-steps were distilled into specific instructions for “working” the steps and for the application of the steps' spiritual principles to all areas of our lives. For those of us who’ve reached a plateau in our recoveries or who struggle to overcome the barriers to sober living noted above, repeating the same process we previously failed at may not offer us the desired result. There is another way. But we must be willing to evolve in both our psychological notions of Self and our interpretations of spiritual principles (things most of us unknowingly relate to as established facts).

The truth, however, is that life is in a constant state of evolution. In all fields of study and in all areas of human experience, yesterday’s “truths” become outdated and are replaced by new ideas or beliefs. Our 12-step programs are not exempt from the natural forces that drive such change. Challenging ourselves to evolve our thinking is in keeping with the flow of life. And because of the link between psychology and spirituality, if we dare evolve our understanding of our Self-concept (if we change our psychological filter), so must we willingly pursue and embrace a shift in our interpretations of spiritual truths.
Over the past three decades, the field of psychology has evolved to provide us with a promising and powerful new psychological understanding of our sense of Self. Vitalized by this new understanding of who we are at the level of personality (and by the tools for promoting change that arise from it), a recovering person can make significant headway in addressing the obstacles to abstinence and sober living that I noted above. It becomes possible for those of us who have struggled with our recovery to achieve a solid abstinence and to experience greater stability, serenity, integrity, intimacy, and authenticity than was previously available. But getting there requires a willingness to exploit the link between psychology and spirituality, a willingness to embrace a shift in our interpretations of spiritual truths- to align these interpretations with the evolution of psychological thought made possible by this new psychology of Self. What I am advocating for is a reinterpretation of the instructions for applying a 12-step program's spiritual principles in a manner consistent with the axioms of this new psychology, not a change to the spiritual principles embodied in the steps themselves.  
I have personally benefitted from this approach, and so have countless others who have joined in the evolution of spiritual realization that is possible when we tap the link between these two areas of life- the wings that keep our recovery aloft.
Please join me on Saturday, May 15th from 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Pacific for a free Zoom Webinar titled, 12-Step Spirituality and A Modern Psychology of Self. In this webinar, I will introduce you to a novel shift in your perception of your sense of Self. Together, we will explore the transformation of our program’s spiritual instructions that follow from this quantum change in our Self-concept and its impact on the quality of our lives in recovery.

To attend, please click on the following link (or copy/paste into your browser) on the 15th of May at the scheduled time:

All who attend and provide an e-mail address will receive a video recording of the presentation- theirs to keep for future reference. If you can't attend the webinar on the scheduled day and time but would like to receive the video recording of the presentation, please let me know by responding to this email or text me at 310-779-6149 and I will include you in the distribution of the recording.

I'm looking forward to seeing you on May 15th!


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