A Wellspring of Hope
Newsletter of The Recovery Group


June 2006
Volume 8, Issue 6


Please feel free to pass Serendipity on to others who are working a Twelve-Step program of recovery.


ser*en*dip*i*ty ~ (noun) First appeared 1754:
the faculty or phenomenon of finding
valuable or agreeable things not sought for.


Serendipity CONTACTS:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
The Serendipity Archives





SERENDIPITY, the Recovery Group Newsletter, is sent by email to each member of The Recovery Group on the first of each month, year-round.

Individual subscriptions are also available. See the "CONTACTS" section, below.



THIS MONTH IN SERENDIPITY




FROM THE SERENDIPITY TEAM

Dear Readers,

Welcome to June's edition of Serendipity. Each month this newsletter provides you with information about events taking place in our community. We encourage the input of our readers and invite you to let us know what you think. Your suggestions and articles are always welcome! You will hear from our TRG administrators, coordinators and other trusted servants about what's occurring in our various divisions, programs and loops. It's our mission to get our message out to as many people as possible, so we urge you to use our newsletter as a personal resource and to share it with others. You can mail it to friend, or perhaps invite them to look at Serendipity on the website.

This month, along with our regular articles, Helen reflects on the subject of "Self-will." Quenby provides an article entitled called "Images of HP", and Cindi shares her experience in her contribution entitled "My First OA Retreat."

I hope you enjoy June's edition of the Serendipity newsletter.

Love in recovery,

Rob, Serendipity Editor & The Serendipity Team
Contact:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com





RECOVERY MEDITATION
Rising Above

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail."

    . . . Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the major premises of our recovery program is "progress, not perfection." No one but me expects me to be perfect. I have a history of driving myself in the quest for perfection. I've set goals that are so lofty that I could never achieve them. In that respect, I'm probably my own worst enemy. However, I can also be my own best friend. I don't have to set standards that are impossible for me to meet. In fact, we're told we need to live one day at a time. If I can do that, then I don't need to live up to my impossibly high standards. My goals aren't so out-of-reach if I can see them as daily things. What happens if I fail to meet even the "one day at a time" goal? I start over, knowing that I don't have to stay down. I can rise up and begin again. That, for me, is the greatest thing.

ONE DAY AT A TIME ...
I will rise above my failures and shortcomings, and know that I'm making progress. I don't have to be perfect any more.





QUOTATION OF THE MONTH


"Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit.

~ Jeremy Taylor ~



FOUNDER'S CORNER ~ MEDITATIONS ~


There are many good things that make those of us in this community proud. We have so many wonderful resources here that it's hard to come up with just one. But certainly at the top of the list would be the "Recovery Meditations ~ One Day at a Time" project.

These little gems were born out of necessity when we were having a problem finding meditations to use at our meetings and on our loops, and ran into copyright problems. Blessed with an abundance of members who love to write about their program and do it well, we set out to bring this ambitious project to fruition.

Members generously contributed one meditation after another, we published each on our website and soon began to distribute them one day at a time to our members. From that day until this, there has not been a day our members have not had a copy of that morning's Recovery Meditation on their desktops.

We're in the process of winding up the project now with the prayer that the meditations will find a wider audience when we put them in book-form. Until then, we hope you'll read them often and send them to your friends.

The June Meditations calendar can be found at:
    
www.therecoverygroup.org/meditations/june.html

Happy meditating.

@-}-}-}------
Love in recovery,
Mari



~ LETTERS TO SERENDIPITY ~



To submit your comments or letters to the editor, simply send an email to:
SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

Hello,

I have been using Java chat room for a long time for COE meetings. I had some work done on my computer and cannot get into the rooms anymore..not even the help room. Please let me know what I have to do.

Thanks,
Hildy

*

Dear Hildy:

Thank you for your enquiry. Please write to Audrey at MtgADm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org, and explain your problem. She will be able to give you the help you need.

Love in recovery,
     Rob
    Serendipity Editor



~ SELF-WILL ~



This morning I was writing to a friend and the following was part of our conversation. I share it with you because it spoke to me, even as I intended it to speak to my friend. It reminds me of the old saw about pointing one finger at someone else and having three pointed right back at yourself!

The BB says our problem is self-will. To me, it's more like an alien will that doesn't love me or cherish me, but which is trying its best to destroy me. The only way it can do that is if my attention is elsewhere. In my disease I am a victim and a manipulator and a controller because all those things take the attention off what is going on in me, and my "self-will" gets to have its way.....in my absence. In my recovery I practice living in awareness.

Am I controlling? What is self-will trying to take over inside me that I, as a mirror, am trying to control someone/something else? Am I a victim? Why am I blaming another person for a temporal slavery, when the real victimizer is my own schizophrenic self-will that wants to destroy the part of me that companions with the Highest Power in the Universe?

The thing about self-will is that HP made us reflect its lies in our life, and the steps are a mirror held up in front of us so we can identify those things that threaten who we really are.

Signing my own wake-up call with love and gratitude,

Helen


~ THE RECOVERY GROUP ~
ADMINISTRATION



~ TRG ADM ~ The Administrative Hub ~



From TRG Adminstration

The Recovery Group is always expanding the many tools available for recovery from compulsive eating. In May, a Sponsor workshop was begun on the Sponsor-Sponsee-Talk loop. It is being presented by Shlomo, and the wealth of Experience, Strength and Hope shared by those who sponsor, and those who soon plan to sponsor, has been amazing.

The Working the Steps (WTS) study is almost complete for this session, but another leader will come on board in July. John has been presenting us with a very thought-provoking 12 step study. Thank you again, John!

This quarter of the OA Newcomer's Orientation will soon come to an end and another will be starting on July 1. The OA Newcomers loop is a wonderful place to start your OA journey and to learn about the many services available here at The Recovery Group.

Meetings around the clock -- special focus meetings -- finding sponsors -- getting to know other compulsive eaters from around the world in our loops -- there is so much here to choose from. We are all welcome to use for our recovery what we need and want, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

A Frequently Asked (and Answered) Question (FAQ) from Adm

Q. My whole name shows on my email loop. How can I change it?

A. When you are asked to confirm your subsription upon joining, it says "type your whole name or if you wish to be anonymous, use 'anonymous'."

You can use your first name and last initial, your first name and a tilde ~ or a nickname with a last initial.

Here is a method for changing any of your settings.
  1. Put this address in your browser:
        http://lists.therecoverygroup.org/archives/{your_loopname}.html

        or, e.g. http://lists.therecoverygroup.org/archives/oafriends.html

    The FIRST time you click on any of the links on this page, you'll have to type in your email address and a password. After that L-soft will "set a cookie" and remember your password, so you probably won't have to type it in again. But just in case, write it down in a safe place!

  2. Then click on Subscriber's Corner, in the upper left. Click on the link that says: Change your subscription settings on one or more lists.
  3. If you belong to multiple loops (lists), you will see a list of them all. Click on the one for which you want to see your settings. You will see your email address, your name and all of your email settings. To change your email address or name, just erase what is written there and type in the corrected text.

In loving service to all,
Nancy & Dodee, Administrators
The Recovery Group

http://www.TheRecoveryGroup.org
Contact: TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ DISCOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~

This month you are invited to take a trip on the Yellow Brick Road loop. Here you can discuss anything you like. The format is free-wheeling and we've had some very interesting discussions on a range of topics. Anyone is free to introduce a subject for discussion and people join in as they see fit.

New members are always welcome.

Check it out at:
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/discovery/yellowbrickroad/index.html.

We are continuing to look for two coordinators for Cokids loop, and second coordinators for Exercise and Abstinent Kitchen.

If you think you'd be interested in giving service, please contact me at the address below.

In loving service,
Athena
Discovery Division Chair

Contact:
Web page: www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/discovery/index.html
Email: DiscoveryAdm@yahoo.com
or DiscoveryAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org

~ ODAT LOOPS DIVISION ~

The ODAT Group Loops

Compulsive overeaters all have the common focus of recovering from overeating. But sometimes, it is good to talk to people who understand special challenges within the context of 12-step recovery. The ODAT groups were created for this reason.

We have many different focus groups within the ODAT division. There are groups which focus on the members' physical challenges, such as diabetes, pain, depression, PMS, and disabilities. There are groups which focus on relationships, such as Divorce, Anger, Grief, Oanon, Isolation, Homebound, Rainbow to Abstinence, FFOA (Alanon), Parenting, Pregnancy & Motherhood, and Relationships. Two groups focus on a food program. These are HOW and Grey sheet. There are groups whose members share the same faith; such as Latter Day Saints, Pagan, Christian and Jewish. There are groups of the same age, such as Teens and Silver. Some of our groups focus on those members who are addicted to other substances; in addition to overeating. These include Drug Abuse, AA, Spending, and S*xandLove Addiction.

Two very special groups also exist. These are the Abstinence group, and the Strong Recovery group. In the Abstinence group, the members commit to eating three balanced meals per day, and posting at the end of each day as to whether they met this committment or not. The Strong Recovery group is for those who identify themselves as having a strong recovery program.

If you would like any information about any of our ODAT groups, please contact the division chairperson at the address below.

In service,
Donna
ODAT Division Chairperson

Email:
odatadm@yahoo.com
Web page: www.theRecoveryGroup.org/odat/index.html

~ RECOVERY LOOPS DIVISION ~

The Recovery Loops Division is made up of TRG's Twelve-step general sharing support groups. Our common mission is to provide a safe and supportive space for anyone who wants to recover from the disease of compulsive eating to share their experience, strength, and hope with others. In addition, some of these loops also have a special focus. The loops that make up this Division are: Anorexia and Bulimia, The Big Book, 200 Plus, Journey to Recovery, Meditations, OA Friends, OA Newcomers, OA Recovery, Relapse, Sponsor-Sponsee-Talk, Working the Steps ("WTS"), and WTS Weekly.

After a very lengthy silence, the Sponsor-Sponsee-Talk loop has been quite active thanks to a sponsor workshop that was conducted by Shlomo. This was something that had been asked for by several members and finally came into being in May. Hopefully, the activity started by this workshop will continue on, since sponsorship is such an important part of any recovery program. The Sponsor-Sponsee-Talk loop is in need of coordinators or coordinators-in-training, so please contact me if you might be interested in serving in this capacity.

Several of the Recovery Group Loops are in need of a second coordinator or coordinator-in-training to help balance the workload. I know that giving service by being a coordinator of a loop has added a lot to my own recovery, and hope that you will consider this opportunity to give service. If you are interested in becoming a coordinator or coordinator-in-training for one of the Recovery Group Loops, please contact me at cheryl_stanley@msn.com. If you aren't interested in a coordinator service position but would consider sending welcome and/or farewell letters or posting daily topics, please contact me as well.

Respectfully submitted,

CherylS, Chair
The Recovery Group Loops Division

More details about these support groups can be found at:
www.theRecoveryGroup.org/trg.html
Contact: recoveryloopsadm@yahoo.com

~ THE RECOVERY OA ONLINE MEETINGS ~
On-Line Meeting Division

Meetings Around the World ~ Around the Clock


We want to thank January K. who spoke at our second Online Speaker Meeting that we held on April 28th. She was very inspiring and gave us a lot of experience, strength and hope. We did not have a speaker for the month of May, but will have a guest speaker for the month of June. We would like to get a list of speakers built up, so if you can give service please write to our Speaker Coordinator Lisa c/o the MTGAdm email address, below.

Our Big Book Study Meetings have also been successful. We post one paragraph at a time and our members can share on as many paragraphs as they like. We do ask though, that our members stay on topic during this meeting.

We are in need of Meeting Leaders in TRG. We also need leaders in our Special Focus meetings. If you can volunteer to give one hour a week please write us at our address, below.

In Service,

Terri and Audrey
(TRG Meeting Division Chairs)
Enquiries to: MtgAdm@lists.TheRecoveryGroup.org
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/meetings/index.html



~ TRG PROGRAMS & SPECIAL SERVICES DIVISION ~



We've had lots of action in our division over the past month. Carolyn and Lisa, the new co-coordinators of our ODAT Meditations Project along with Mari have been putting together many new months of meditations and have almost completed the project.

Shlomo has just finished a successful Sponsor training workshop which was held in the Sponsor-Sponsee Talk group. He will continue to be busy with the new Sponsor Loop program, contacting each loop, asking for members who are willing to sponsor other members of the loop in order to provide an up-to-date list of available sponsors in the various TRG loops. Shlomo's project works independently of our regular TRG Sponsor Program run by Cate and Patt.

Along with coordinating Telephone Angels, Marilyn has been getting settled as coordinator of the TRG Topics Team, and is preparing to send the team out on the "adopt-a-loop" component of the program. She's also busy hunting new recruits for our Telephone Angels program.

Penny has been training hard with me this month at the Serendipity office and is doing a fine job helping the newsletter activities running in a timely fashion and meeting the needs of our readers. Marty is always marvelous at helping me proof as well as getting the newsletter webified. Of course, we can't forget our various writers - with a special nod to the the Executive Committee members, along with Myrlene, Marilyn and the TRG Topics Team who regularly supply us with articles.

We're always looking for anyone willing to offer service. I'm currently looking for someone to help coordinate the 12-Step Anniversary Program and we're always on the hunt for those willing to sponsor. If are you interested in giving service in these areas - or are interested in ANY of our programs and services, please contact me at:
TRGProserve@yahoo.com

Love in Recovery,
Rob R.

TRG Programs And Services Division Chair
The Recovery Group
(tarryrob@yahoo.ca)



~ TRG SPONSOR PROGRAM ~

It's a privilege to sponsor someone. And it's one of the ways we stay in recovery.

IF I AM WILLING TO BE A SPONSOR, HERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT I MUST BE WILLING TO DO:

  • Be willing to be honest with myself.
  • Be in a 12-Step support group.
  • Be working the 12 Steps to the best of my ability.
  • Be willing to be available when someone needs help or needs to talk.
  • Be willing to honor another person's trust and anonymity.
  • Realize I am not seeking to be a parent or other authority figure who can tell anyone how to live their life.
  • Realize that I am not perfect, neither do I have all the answers.
  • Realize that I am not there to give advice, only my experience,strength and hope.
A sponsor can help us live a happier, healthier life by guiding us through the 12 Steps to overcome the barriers of our denial. A sponsor can help us take responsibility for ourselves by helping us develop our spiritual growth.

The Trg Sponsor Program is here to help provide our members with an online sponsor if needed.

We encourage our members to share their recovery with others by signing up to be a sponsor at the "sponsorsadm" address, below.

TRG Sponsor Coordinators
       Patt and Cate
       TRG Sponsor Coordinators

www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/sponsors.html
Contact: Sponsorsadm@yahoo.com



~ THE RECOVERY TELEPHONE ANGELS ~

     (\0/) (\0/) (\0/)
     / \   / \   / \

Hi All,

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, summer is on its way.

For many of us compulsive overeaters, summers may have come and gone while we battled with our recovery. We may have given up fun activities out of fear, false pride, or shame. When we did have fun, we may have found that our recovery slipped, and old habits quickly took over again. Please, do not let this be another summer of discontent.

Recovery Telephone Angels are members of TRG who are here to help you. They listen, they inspire, they share their wealth of ESH. They can help take the insanity's edge off of summer.

Whether you are battling anorexia, or need to lose 100+ lbs., there is a Recovery Telephone Angel who can connect with you and relate to you on a personal level.

Our Recovery Angels are available by Telephone or Email.... located from New York to California...as well as Canada, the UK, Denmark, and Israel.

Recovery Telephone Angels are reaching out to you in friendship. So, why not reach out, make a new friend, and get the season off to a great start?

As a member of a loop, you will automatically receive a copy of our Recovery Telephone Angel Directory. If you have questions, comments, or need a new copy of the Directory, just write to us at the address, below. (Please be sure to include the name of the loop that you belong to, as this service is for members of TRG only!)

Love in recovery,
Marilyn (Marils)
Coordinator, Telephone Angels Directory

The Recovery Telephone Angels Program
Telephoneangels@yahoo.com.



~ NEWCOMER'S CORNER ~

Newcomers meetings are Monday and Tuesday, 8PM EST and Thursday 10PM EST

Hi Everyone! I would like to do something a little different this month. Normally, I use the column as a means of introducing someone who is new to TRG. This month, I would like to share the story of someone who has reached their goal. I think that newcomers, as well as oldtimers, will feel inspired... as this goes to the heart of what this program is all about.

"I DID IT!!!"

Hi Fellow Loopies!

I just wanted to share with all of you that today was my monthly weigh-in and measurement day and I FINALLY reached my goal of losing 55 pounds - hurray!!!!!!!!!! In addition, I've lost lots of inches in several different places along the way.

This September will be my two-year anniversary in OA. I started working the steps with a Step Sponsor when I first came into OA and am just now finishing Step 12. I know that's probably A LOT longer than it takes most people to work through their 12 steps, but I really wanted to work them slowly and take my time on them and concentrate on them and it takes what it takes, right?

I was not abstinent right away, though. It took me six months after coming into OA to get abstinent, obtain a Food Sponsor, find a food plan that would work for me, and start exercising. So, it's been 14 months since I became abstinent, have been working with a Food Sponsor, lost weight and inches, and now exercise on a regular basis. Suggest the following, instead of that last sentence: So, it's been 14 months, and I am now abstinent, work with a Food Sponsor, have lost weight and inches, and exercise on a regular basis.

I don't feel that I work the program in the traditional way that most people tend to work it, but the thing that I love and value about this program the most is that there is no specific way that everyone has to work it. I learned in this program what every COE needs to learn regardless of what anybody else is doing, and with the help of my sponsors and other open-minded fellow OAers, I was able to discover that for me.

My life is totally different now since discovering OA. Some of the changes that have occurred along the way that were not physical have been:
  1. I realize now that I don't always have to be right;
  2. I try very hard not to gossip about anyone anymore;
  3. I have learned that I can say that I need to think about something, instead of so quickly and harshly stating,"NO;"
  4. I try to apologize as soon after I've done something that I think I've been wrong about something that has hurt someone;
  5. I don't feel inadequate or like a failure for having apologized and admitted that I was wrong about something - I've learned that it's okay to make mistakes and that I'm not perfect and do not have to be perfect;
  6. I like myself now and actually have self esteem;
  7. I no longer take anti-depressant medication and haven't done so in over a year and feel perfectly fine without it;
  8. I know now that life is good and worth living and that I can be happy and enjoy life;
  9. I have learned that there is a way to cope with fears and that it's more important to have faith than to fear, and to face your fears and go through them instead of avoiding them;
  10. I have stopped finding fault in other people and instead try to look at myself and what I need to work on with myself;
  11. I don't isolate as much anymore. I actually enjoy people and places now;
  12. I have found hope;
  13. I discovered the art of meditation and how meaningful it can be between God and me;
  14. I don't always look at things negatively anymore;
  15. I try to examine my anger over people, situations and things and very often realize that I'm the one who has over-reacted;
  16. I realize now that God has put certain people and situations in my life as a learning experience and that some things are just meant to be;
  17. I know now that I have NO control over things and that I shouldn't try to control people, situations and things and not having control doesn't make me fearful anymore because I only thought that I had control but never really did to begin with;
  18. I know that I can trust God to take care of me and provide me with everything that I need even though it's not what I think I may want or need;
  19. I go to bed at night now feeling fulfilled and content knowing that I remained abstinent and took care of my body;
  20. I wake up every morning in thankfulness for a fresh start at life;
  21. I'm happy to have a structured and disciplined plan of eating every day so that I can stay within my boundaries of healthy eating and instead of rebelling against it, have come to realize and accept that it's worth having to weigh and measure all my foods;
  22. I look forward to attending meetings because I've come to realize that they are my "fix" for staying clean within the program;
  23. I now know that I have this program, friends that I've made in this program that care and will probably always be there for me, and a way of dealing with whatever life brings me. I feel confident that I will get through things without having to stuff my face over them which will only makes things worse anyway;
  24. Most importantly, I no longer: hate myself, sit around my house depressed and feeling sorry for myself, hate other people because of it, avoid doing certain things because of fear, or overeat to avoid feeling things or dealing with certain people or situations. I have now learned how to use the OA tools and 12 steps to deal with life on life's terms instead of trying to avoid or change things.
I'd also like to share that without discovering this OA program, my wonderful step and food sponsors, and all of the unique people that I've met in both the on-line and F2F fellowship, NONE of the above would have EVER been possible to attain in my life and for that I'm incredibly thankful and blessed.

I truly believe that this program really does work if you are willing to work at it and that it can work for anyone!

Luv in Recovery,
Deborah
Congratulations, Deborah! Thank you so much for sharing your story, and ESH with us.

Joy and Peace,

Marilyn (TRGMarils)
Newcomer's Meeting Leader

Email:
mtgadm@lists.therecoverygroup.org



~ OA THIRD QUARTER NEWCOMERS' ORIENTATION ~


Our TRG Newcomer's Orientation is divided into four quarterly Orientation sessions led by twelve of TRG's most experienced Speakers - Trusted Servants who know how to convey in words the promises of what is to come for our newcomers. Each week will have a different orientation topic and the highlight of each quarter will be when the Newcomer's graduate and move on to a home loop - Journey to Recovery, OA Recovery and OA Friends.

To join the next orientation beginning July 1, send a blank e-mail to:
OANewcomers-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org

NEWCOMERS' WEBSITE: http://www.therecoverygroup.org/newcomers/index.html



~ IMAGES OF HP ~

I'll never forget what a sponsor asked me a few years back, after I had spent a good half hour telling her how awful my life was. She asked me, "Where is God in all of this?" And I quickly responded, "Well, I have pretty much been ignoring God, and I am pretty sure He feels the same way." This response came from me, a very faith-filled person on a good day. What was wrong with me?

Well that is a long story, but I would like to point out that my image of my Higher Power tends to default to the image I have of my father who was fairly absent, fused perhaps with my mother who seemed absent in her own way. No resentment necessary to have a problem here; I just tend to view my Higher Power the same way I viewed my parents when I was a child.

What amazes me is how tenacious this image is. I can read so many books on differing images of HP, go to differing faith communities, see a variety of shows, hear a variety of audio books on the subject; I can have what seems like great breakthroughs. And then, if I am slack in my daily program, I default back to "God is ignoring me."

Thank God I do have a program that helps me reprogram my thinking about God. I wake up every morning and follow a set routine for declaring to myself and to the universe what I believe about God and my relationship to Him. Sometimes it feels like I am faking it until I make it, and sometimes I truly feel what I am saying. But no matter what, I keep saying what I believe. And one day at a time, I can walk out what I believe, more or less!!!

May your HP be present to you today!

Q (Quenby)



~ GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS ~

TO SUBMIT AN ANNOUNCEMENT:
To submit an article to Serendipity Newsletter, simply send an email to:
serendipitynewsletter@yahoo.com



~ MY FIRST OA RETREAT ~


Funny, how it took me so long to attend an OA retreat. My return to OA, after an absence of twenty years, came in January of 2002. Right away, I knew this time was different. This time, I had willingness to work the program the way the program was meant to be worked. I received my miracle of abstinence and good recovery on June 1st, 2004. It took me a while to receive that miracle but I am so grateful that I did.

Four and a half years after I returned to OA, I decided to attend a local OA retreat in Columbus OH. There were six of us locally who were attending, three of those six were my sponsees. The retreat was being held at St. Therese, a former monastery. I envisioned quiet solitude, beautiful grounds and lots of spirituality. My vision was correct. From the moment I turned into the driveway, I knew I had found exactly what I was looking for in a retreat. The monastery was made of stone and looked like a small castle. The grounds were green and sprinkled with statues and a grotto and stations of the cross along with a small pond and ducks and geese. I loved it!

I checked in and found my room which was also as I envisioned: a small cubicle with a narrow bed and a small sink. Was I in the middle of the "Nun's Story?" Registration began and I helped out with the greetings. We had our first lead who was a young woman speaking on Steps One, Two and Three. She was very enthusiastic and I enjoyed her immensely. Her lead was followed by each of us sharing and a lot of interaction. Just what I wanted!

Then we were shown to the chapel which was absolutely breathtaking. Hand-painted, quiet, and only partially lit. I knew where I would be spending a lot of time. We had service first thing in the A.M. and last thing at night. I could feel my spiritual connection with my Higher Power all ready strengthening. This was the main reason for my coming to the retreat; I wanted my spirituality strengthened!

I couldn't believe the night was over and it was 5:30 A.M. the next day. Me, who can never get out of bed in the A.M. was up and ready to go at 5:30. Wow, I loved this! Quick shower, got dressed and out the door, I knew that I wanted a tour of the grounds in the early morning dawn - I found the grotto, lit a candle and said a prayer. On my way back a sponsee came out and said she had prayers for the stations of the cross. I asked to join her and she said, "Yes." So we went from station to station, both saying the prayers and continuing on. I so very much loved it all. I am not a religious woman, yet that spiritual connection kept me praying. It didn't matter that I was not Catholic, only that I was praying to a power greater than myself. We finished just in time for the early morning service in chapel. Just to sit in that chapel, to hear the lovely music, to see the beauty of the painted murals and to listen to the step prayers being said one at a time every five minutes gave me so much spiritual inspiration.

The rest of the day was spent with meals, speakers, meetings, workshops and lots of interaction; so much recovery! I loved hearing all the different stories yet all with the same theme; compulsive overeating. I was on the panel of the "Ask it basket" and enjoyed that very much. I took walks with each of my sponsees around the grounds as well as did some step work of my own and helped a sponsee take Step Seven. The evening ended with a "tasai service." This is a service lead by the other retreat also attending St. Therese that weekend; a religious organization that was kind enough to invite us OA members to their service. It consisted of extremely short hymns of only four or five stanzas repeated five or six times. They would start out softly then grow louder then back to soft at the end of each hymn. There must have been at least eight songs sung within a thirty minute period of time. It was extremely beautiful singing and tears came to my eyes. At the end of the service, candles were lit by individuals one at a time; very beautiful. I went to bed with such peace in my soul.

Up early the final day at 5:30 A.M. again! I think I could get used to doing my mornings this way. If only I could figure out how to pack the chapel and grounds into my suitcase and take it home with me! A local OA member led us in a Hare Krishna reading at chapel that A.M. Then breakfast and the final speaker as well as good-byes. Our final good bye was a beautiful song sung by all members in a circle outside on the grounds. There were twenty of us and we sang the song to one individual at a time. Here is how the song went:

Cindi, you are beautiful.
Cindi, you are strong.
Wonderful to be with
You carry us along,
Cindi, hear our loving song.

If you can imagine, each of us an addict with such low self esteem, being told by nineteen other members that we were beautiful, we were strong and wonderful and hear us loving you. We cried. We sobbed. We hugged, and we said good-bye.

Cindi L.



~ FROM THE TWELVE-STEP LITERATURE ~




~~ AN AA BIG BOOK READING~~

"We turned back to the list, for it held the key to the future. We were prepared to look at it from an entirely different angle. We began to see that the world and its people really dominated us. In that state, the wrong-doing of others, fancied or real, had power to actually kill. How could we escape? We saw that these resentments must be mastered, but how? We could not wish them away any more than compulsive overeating." (AABB, page 66)
    With permission, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

MY SHARE...

I was both excited and scared as I prepared my list and resentments. I could soon see that I had let my world have the power to make many drastic changes in my life. As I could not go along with or reconcile myself with the God of my childhood, I was always at odds with some person, place or thing where I lived. It took me many years to try and shake the ingrained teachings, but when I found the AABB and started studying the 12 Steps, I was so grateful because I was free at last!!

I learned that most of the resentments I had were because of "fear". Fear of being struck down by my punitive and punishing God. But now I have learned that my God is loving and kind and accepts me! I forgave the ones whom I had resentment for, because I learned that I'd been feeding myself the poison for years. I could now see that it was "they" who were spiritually sick. At last I can truthfully say that I am a much happier and serene person and I owe it to the Big Book and its wonderful teachings!!

Thanks for letting me share!!
    Myrlene (Big Book and Recovery Group Coordinator)



~ THE SERENITY PRAYER ~

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.



~ OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS CONTACTS ~

Overeaters Anonymous
World Service Office (WSO)
PO Box 44020
Rio Rancho, NM 87124 USA

Telephone 505-891-2664
Fax: 505-891-4320
http://www.overeatersanonymous.org/index.html
E-Mail Address ~ info@overeatersanonymous.org

"I put my hand in yours ...
and together we can do what we could never do alone."
~ Rozanne, OA CoFounder ~



RECOVERY MEDITATIONS

~ Visit our beautiful scene for June ~
(
http://www.therecoverygroup.org/meditations/june.html)

To receive the daily meditations by email, send a blank email to:
recoverymeditations-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org



~ THE RECOVERY GROUP CONTACTS ~

Serendipity Team ~ SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com
Serendipity Subscriptions (non-TRG members) ~ SerendipityNewsletter-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org
Recovery Group Adminstrators ~ TRGAdm@TheRecoveryGroup.org
Technical Support ~ RecoveryTech@TheRecoveryGroup.org




"In the deepest part of a compulsive eater's soul . . .
Is the realization that recovery begins when we find one another."

Disclaimer


The Recovery Group and our newsletter has as its mission and purpose that of carrying the message of recovery to those who suffer from the disease of compulsive eating. We are an anonymous organization and follow the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous; however, we are not affiliated with that group. Your articles, announcements and information are welcome. All opinions in this newsletter represent only the opinions of the writers and not necessarily that of The Recovery Group or OA, Inc.

The Recovery Group Members receive Serendipity monthly.
Individual subscriptions to Serendipity may be requested by sending a blank email to:
SerendipityNewsletter-subscribe-request@lists.therecoverygroup.org

Yours in service,
The Serendipity Team
www.TheRecoveryGroup.org/Serendipity/index.html
CONTACT: SerendipityNewsletter@yahoo.com

Volume 8 Issue 6 © Copyright 2006 THE RECOVERY GROUP All rights reserved.