I just finished Freddie’s book. I absolutely love it! Really practical, personal, and true to the 12 steps. I learned several new things from it, even after 34 years sober in Alcoholics Anonymous. Here’s a list of my favorite quotes. (Gigi Langer - Author of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now)

“We are powerless when the driving force in our life is beyond our control.” If the driving force of our lives is to control life, then we are truly and utterly powerless.

Working these steps will not change things, it will change us.

Life is not going to change.

What can and will change is the way we react to life

This concept of changing management represents the spiritual principle of surrender, which we need to practice in the third step. We surrender management responsibility of our lives to a power greater than ourselves

Very few people enjoy their actions being controlled. Our higher power is not going to control us but will lovingly guide us to do the next right thing for ourselves.

Higher power. I felt I could only find this in a feminine energy. Over time my nature-higher-power evolved to become Mother Nature. She became Natura to me.

It becomes more natural to turn over our reactions than to control them ourselves. Our higher powers do not mind if we do this over and over and over. They love us and want the best for us.

(Love the METAPHORS FROM DAILY LIFE TO EXPLAIN THE STEPS; examples of how to do them with specific questions & illustrations.)

We tend to believe our problems are causing our unwanted behaviours. It is only upon inspection that we learn the reverse to be true. It is most likely that our reactions to life are causing our problems

Our wrongs are what we did; the exact nature of our wrongs are the defects in our characters that played a causal role in how we react to life What I did wrong are my deeds. The exact nature of my wrongs is what led to me my deeds.

Following our inventory, we may believe we are entirely ready to let our defects go. Experience has proven the opposite. The readiness, like everything in the course of our healing, is a process.

We are not born jealous or proud or greedy. Situations in our lives taught us to be that way. If I could learn to be that way, I can work to unlearn it too.

Defects and assets are opposite sides of the same coin. If we struggle with the willingness to have our defects removed, we flip the coin over and practice acting out on our assets instead. By regularly using our assets rather than defects, it will become easier and more natural to respond to life effectively and make healthy decisions for ourselves and others

Assets are spiritual actions. We move closer to our higher power when we practice them.

In 5th step we called it the exact nature of our wrongs”. In the sixth step we referred to them as our “character defects” and now, in Step Seven they are our short- comings. All these things are the same thing. They are our character traits which make us react the way we do when we cause harm to ourselves and others

When I pray for my defects to be removed, I am in effect praying for the ability to not react with a childhood crutch, but to respond spiritually.

(Context: Praying for each defect to be removed & it is not working). Fortunately, my sponsor sat me down and taught me three things: • Where was my humility? Who am I to prescribe to my higher power which defects to remove and what to replace them with? • That it might work better for a self-acknowledged obsessive- compulsive control freak like me to rather think of love as the only and universal opposite spiritual principle. He advised that I start thinking of having all my defects replaced with love - self-love. • Lastly; he said he sees in me an ability to surrender. I have proved it through all the steps so far. He asked me to work on surrendering one more thing - my future. More precisely, the future ME. I had to surrender all my uncertainties about who I would become and what I would be. I needed to surrender my fear about how I was going to survive without my defects. I just needed to metaphorically close my eyes, surrender my defects and dive into the arms of my waiting higher power. He as- sured me I would be okay.

If the first seven steps can be seen as making a beautiful garden, then Step Eight is the process of starting to clean the windows of our souls. We will never be able to appreciate our lovely garden outside if we look through dirty windows.

I think of prayer and meditation as having a cup of coffee and a chat with a good friend. We sit and talk and pour our hearts out to one another. listen to each other and offer love, support, laughter and tears. We leave the coffee date feeling loved, held, cared for, lighter and ready to face life.

Prayer did not come easily for me. However, I am beyond happy and grateful that I persevered with it …

My advice, if you struggle to pray is, just do it, even though you may feel uncomfortable doing it. Just do it and continue doing it. It works. Talk to whatever is out there.

When we function on self-will, we tend to do less well in life - which is probably the biggest euphuism in this book.

Our goals are normally only about short-term satisfaction, while our higher power’s will for us is long-term achievement of spiritual and emotional fulfilment.

We are often too involved in a situation to see the wood for the trees. We pray and meditate in order to be able to trust our gut. We make a point of talking to others who know about our process and support us.

Our higher power’s goals for us can always be reached by the power of doing the right thing.