Say It Ain’t So,…………..Joe

Before the end

Joe Bodolai died of an apparent suicide in Los Angeles from Anti-Freeze poisoning. That’s what killed him physically today at age 63. He was an alcoholic, a TV writer with SNL and Comedy Network Experience.
His spirit died of alcoholic despondency – you might say he took himself to seriously. Here’s a link to his suicide blog and note, because we all need to be reminded how bad it can get when we try to do it alone. Pacem Eterna Joe.

News, Opinion, and Satire By Joe Bodolai

Carrying the Message: Freedom from Fear vs Freedom from Want

Counting My Blessings 

Diana Krall with thanks to U-Tube

*WARNING: The illustration and text below are copyrighted material and MAY NOT be used without express permission from the author. Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the U.S. Laws prohibiting such use!

Practcing his PrinciplesFor Alcoholics and Addicts alike, for all who extend their hand to us for a way out, there is a spiritual solution. One that we live One Day at a Time, as we practice our principles in all the moments of our lives, until they become the guidance system by which we live.We call them the Twelve Steps & Traditions. These classical Spiritual Principles, given from the Four Absolutes of the Oxford Group: Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness and Love are now the spiritual tenets of AA/NA and some say over 200 other worldwide fellowships of recovery.It was that understanding that lead me to write: “Living the 12 Steps of Recovery – One Day at a Time – As It Was in the Beginning.” It is now being used for a daily reference in Australia, Canada, South Africa, 24 American States of the US and the U.K. with recent introductions to the fellowships in Italy, France, Germany and other European Countries.
Original Illustrations and Chapters on Prayer and Meditation as concepts are included in this 461 page work, available from this website in the remaining 200 First Edition Signed un-barcoded originals, and on e-books from KINDLE & NOOK for apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PC, Mac, Blackberry, and Android-based devices.The book will also be released in Audio and iPhone App Store late this coming Summer.

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Now, here is a reading from the 12th Step for December 20th:

Freedom from Fear over Freedom from Want

We will find that with God’s help and the calm acceptance of our lives, we can live at peace with ourselves and show others still suffering from fear that they can get over it too. It seems freedom from fear is of far greater importance than freedom from want.
Our improved outlook over problems we had with personal importance, ambition, power, and positions of leadership keeps us off these reefs we once shipwrecked on, crossing the sea of our drinking careers.
Many of us had dreams of becoming president, but as we mature and get older we can smile at our childhood fantasies with a good nature.
Real happiness isn’t found in being the number one man, or even
a top player in the heartbreaking struggle for money, prestige, or romance; but in the contentment found in playing our hand well in
the cards we are dealt. The acceptance of reality and the maintenance of staying right-sized do not mean we give up our ambition; we just keep it from being absurd. It seems eminent psychologists have found in their studies that most alcoholics/addicts were emotionally childish, oversensitive, and prone to grandiosity. Quite naturally, we each have our individual justifications for all those shortcomings. Many of us, having had some years to examine ourselves, have found these doctors were right. Our lives were focused on winning, fame, money, seeking prestige, or romantic possession, and all were based on our tendency
toward unreasonable fears and anxieties. Fear is what we needed to be rid of. Our wants would then disappear simultaneously.

Wishing you all the best of contentment – joy in a life of recovery
Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Arthur Messenger, Author

Time: Counting the Ghosts of Christmas Passing


Paul McCartney – \”Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time\”

Are we all like Mad frantic White Hares, forever worrying and fretting while we count minutes, hours and days, weeks, months and years – passing decades,.. lifetimes frittering away while we uselessly tally, ticking-off  their disappearance? Isn’t Christmas and the Holiday Season one of the most frantic countdown’s of all? Does it have to be THAT WAY?

We’re late! So late! For a VERY important date! No time to talk or think – must run – we’re late, ‘Good God’ – WE’RE LATE”!!!


“Oh rats! Rats! HOARDS OF GARBAGE DUMP RAAAAATS”! There’s never enough time to get done what one needs to, ought to or MUST – you know – getting it completely completed,…… finished on time, (and that’s the way everything needs to be wound-up doesn’t it?)

Alice's White Rabbit Checks the Time in Wonderland

BUT then, when it’s not finished – On Time – it doesn’t really matter anymore does it? It’s tooooooo late! AND when things are tooooooo late, they don’t count – they’re moot – they’re no longer important..right? Don’t you see? Of course you do, and if you don’t, well,……look at your watch….it’s already getting – tooooooooo – late!

Were it not for that ever-in-our-consciousness ticking measure of time, we wouldn’t have or ever need words like patience or laziness. Word’s like Procrastination – Sloth’s “easier softer way” – ( isn’t that slogan starting to sound like a singy-song laundry soap Ad?).  Anyway – those time lost words just wouldn’t have a need for ‘language-izing”……. (that’s a word now).

Now, in this life we live (there… see? Some of it just went by again, right in front of us and can never be regained)… there is only so much TIME, and each moment must be savored and scrutinized, then put to it’s fullest potential, it’s highest and greatest use – (you understand that of course having had it harped upon you since birth, like me). FINE! Then let’s break the trend right now. Let’s just purposefully waste some time with a little nostalgic tune:

Otis Redding – \”Sitting On The Dock at the Bay\”

Waiting, unlike Otis, brings the feelings many of us get in the wasting of time are sensations of an overwhelming presence, a restless sense of dread that we should be on our way somewhere or doing something else. Why? Because time seems to be wasting when in fact,….. it’s just passing by. Time: the somber messenger of premonition, change and ultimately – death. Time is living at the pace of the ever-vanishing Present. There is nowhere you aren’t that you absolutely HAVE to be or HAVE to go to, or are late in getting there. There is no frantic rush, in fact we do dis-service to ourselves by upping the pace to a maddened melee, like our friend Alice’s White Rabbit.

Time: a system of accounting for – “What” – the statistical 78 years of life we have from birth? It’s one of the greatest inventions of what I call: Frustration Concepts. We’re constantly accounting for how much we have lost and how much we have left; how we have made use of what is behind us and how we will spend it in our futures. Yet while we are driving ourselves stark-raving-sober doing this, the joy of the present alludes us. Our “Day-Timer” is a credit card, over-limit with time already spent!

All this counting is driving the human race insane- and we’re part of it! Those Sun Dials, Chronometers, Solar Clocks, Watches – we even made them digital so we could be more precise – and what does all of it really mean? NOTHING! Time is one of the joy thieves.

Sooooooooooooooo,….are there an fix-patches for time anxiety – the sense of dread that time is being wasted – the slothful guilt-trip which makes us self-loathing, spiraling into our arch enemy: self-pity? With all that time spent suffering here’s a couple of things that have got to be worth a try.

1) Meditation – this effort allows us to suspend our consciousness from time, as we exert to be in the present. It’s simplest form? Focus on the physical act of breathing, distracting the mind to it. Patience and tolerance are Time Keeper Virtues, for whenever we lose our sense of them we also “lose time and they don’t come easy. They take practice. Lots of it – maybe a lifetime.

I guess the point is – that all we really have is time and there is no real hurry. To adapt to a default posture on this attitude, we need to spend a lot of time reminding ourselves of that,…..“and then there we go again”……wasting time.”  Now if you have great ideas, that’s why you have a space below to comment.

Merry Christmas Everyone! Finished shopping yet? Here are the links for the award winning book: “Living the 12 Steps of Recovery – One Day at a Time – As It Was in the Beginning”

Are – you dreaming of a Spiritual Christmas? 
Just like the one so many know!
Daily Meditations – and illustrations –
with inspirations all aglow!




Author A. Messenger & Rev. Anna Shouse – ON THE AIR!


Tune-in on November 22nd, UNITY.FM’s “Spirit of Recovery” with Author – Arthur Messenger – “Living the 12 Steps of Recovery”  and Rev. Anna Shouse at 2pm (P) 4pm (C) and 5pm (E).

Email in your live questions: call in live:  888-548-6489.

*The program will be archived along with Anna’s many other shows at the site.

4:00 PM CT
Spirit of Recovery with Rev. Anna Shouse
Episode: If It’s Not in My Day, It’s Not in My LifeTalk, talk, talk—will get you nowhere. Our lives get better when we actually live our spirituality. Guest and author Arthur Messenger helps us put the power of Spirit into action each day. His book Living the 12 Steps of Recovery wakes up a new sense of what is possible in recovery.  Find out more about Arthur at

Veteran’s Day at Arlington 11-11-11

         Veteran’s Day at Arlington




Veteran’s Day Wreath Presentation by POTUS at Arlington


I am a United States Air Force Veteran from the Viet-Nam Era Conflict. I served only stateside, but 50,000 Americans died in that “conflict” so-named as Lydon Johnson never declared it a war to circumvent the congressional declaration, which would have required debate that might have brought it to another resolution.

The first death in that war from my city was a Marine by the name of Walter Piper – Walt was the singer in my band. I remember him today and his tremendous front-man talent,  doing James Brown’s “Poppa’s Got a Brand New Bag.” He could moonwalk like the master.

Walt, like the rest of those brave Americans who gave their lives and were permanently injured, was sold a bill of goods that he was protecting our country from Communism. Instead, we all know that it was nothing more than the same motivation that is being sold to them now in IRAQ and Afghanistan and as we speak IRAN.

But “Oh Yes”! Things have changed. Instead of 50,000 deaths we have 9,000 (both occupations) and maybe 50K in “half-deaths,” which are even worse. We’ve sent these brave men and women, all volunteers to have their limbs blown-off, coming home to a life of agony and adjustment that will last forever. We have seen the permanent psychological damage that has led to the highest ever suicide rates. And for what? Oil.

Was it all because of 9-11 and our quest to get Osama bin Ladin and al Qaeda? No, it was to serve the same wretched American Military Industrial Financial Complex that General and President David Eisenhower warned us against. Always using their propaganda of fear mongering lies to intimidate and manipulate the human consent of America; always calling those who dissent against their disgraceful war profiteering as unpatriotic. They’ve Brought us to dishonor with torture, civilian manslaughter called collateral damage, sick treatment of POWs in IRAQI Prisons and a perpetual prison in Guantanamo, completely in opposition of our legal due process standards.

But today it is our duty to honor these brave Americans who have given so much, believing that they defended our countries freedom and honor, just as those who did so in WWII, the just war that all supported and gave for to save the world from tyranny.

For the Revolution, the War of 1812, Korea, Iwo-jima, Pearl Harbor; for Pork Chop Hill for IRAQ and Afghanistan, we dedicate this day to all those who served, giving their years, their lives and spirits, in a moment of our endless love for, and pride in them – our America Service Persons – whose lives and spirits continue to define our community: “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

God Bless our Soldiers and the United States of America. May we be inspired by them to find the courage to do battle with the Corporate Tyranny that is now trying to destroy it.

If you didn’t see it, here’s President Obama’s Address:

Obama Vet\’s Day 11-11-11

A. Messenger Unity.FM Radio Interview 11-22-2011

It’s Official! An hour-long interview with Rev. Anna Shouse and author Arthur Messenger

*11-22-2011 2pm Pacific (Daylight) 5pm Eastern, 4pm Central and 1pm Mountain

Mark this on your calender and set aside an hour for a discussion about the book: “Living the 12 Steps of Recovery – One Day at a Time – As It Was in the Beginning,” as well as talk about Spirituality and Recovery. Here’s the link:

Just go to the page and click on the listen button on the right side. You’re in and on. 

Here’s a little bit about Anna and the show. She’ll be taking emails and calls live to ask us questions during broadcast.

Spirit of Recovery is the place where spirituality and recovery meet—where we support YOUR spiritual growth in recovery. This program offers a virtual community for people in recovery from addiction of any kind, for family members, and for everyone who wants to learn more about the process of recovery.

Every week we talk about topics that are important to the recovery community with guests who are in recovery themselves or who work with recovering people. We bring you practical information you can use and lively discussions to get you thinking. During each episode, we ask our listeners to send in titles of the great stuff they’re reading so we can pass them along. And of course we’ve got recovery humor.

Spirit of Recovery is a great place to be part of the discussion about spirituality and recovery. It’s a community committed to lifelong recovery, authentic spiritual growth and joyful service. And it’s open to all.

Hey! Not gonna make it? The shows are all archived for you to play and refer to friends who missed it. Just go to the Unity Station Page: //

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Tenth Step: Reining Back Our Keyboards and Words



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Time Alone: By Denise Young on Pandora

In his “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” (AAWS 36th Printing 2002) Bill Wilson warns us: ‘For the wise have always known, no-one can make much of their lives until self-searching becomes a regular habit. The Emotional Hangover is the direct result of yesterday’s and sometimes today’s excessive emotions–anger, fear, jealousy. Nothing pays off like restraint of pen and tongue.’

First, if all you read was the Big Book, you got three paragraphs on pg 84-85 (3rd Edition – 1976) and sure, the information was good alright, but mentions nothing of the insights above: an eight page essay. Bill had learned a lot in 10 years, as we all hope to go on doing throughout our lives.

Continuous Inventory is our process of change. What we hear and read: we listen to and study. What we listen to and study- we practice. What we practice – we learn. What we learn – we believe and what we believe — we eventually become.

None of it does any good if we don’t exert a continued effort to make this our default behavior. We’re about to try and make this our new response instead of resorting to our old knee-jerk reactions. Surely, it will take patience and tolerance with ourselves.

Even though it sounds like a children’s story of lore, “Counting to ten or 100” and taking some deep breaths to calm ourselves BEFORE we respond,…. is the best way to turn that Neanderthal part of our Ego (the Id – thanks, Dr. Sigmund F.) into that open-minded, emotionally balanced Homo Sapiens Ego (the Super Ego) which Freud tells us is the part of self that guides us in our becoming social with other members of society This, so that we don’t drool, rant, and throw feces at them by paranoically jumping the gun, only to find our childish emotional reactions have been premature, inappropriate and even dead wrong. This,… what this writer sees as the crux of Step Ten – (and don’t even think after ten years I have it down or all sorted out. I don’t).

In closing, here’s another reading from the book: “Living the 12 Steps of Recovery – One Day at a Time – As it Was in the Beginning,” (Wing & a Prayer Publishing, October 2010). It’s a Classic Revival of all our near 80 year old principles, in daily affirmations on each of the steps and traditions, in a monthly rotation.

It tells you. It tells you it told you, and then it tells you again using classical sonata form as a learning tool: introduction, expansion and recapitulation.

October 24

Self-Searching is the Method By Which We Learn

When we feel ourselves getting tangled up in pride, anger, and fear, we’ll realize our emotional balance is tilted. That’s when we step back and think, applying the admission and correction of errors, doing it in the now, instead of ipso facto (after the fact). After having some term of practice, it will automatically occur to us when we’re disturbed that something is also wrong with us.

In all unbalanced moments we will need self-restraint, honest analysis, a willingness to admit, and compassion to forgive. Our first objective will become self-restraint, in particular of pen and tongue (which often is now keyboard)  for there is no room for quick-tempered criticism or power-driven argument, nor can we immerse ourselves in sulking or silent scorn.

We will realize that justified anger is not something we can handle nor separate from a potential flash of rage or frenzy. It seems for us, all these conditions are emotional booby traps, each baited with possible knee-jerk pride and vengefulness.

In time, we will become aware that like ourselves, all people are to some extent emotionally sick and frequently wrong. When we witness this in ourselves and others, we learn to apply the virtues of patience, kindness, justice, and love in an effort to bring about harmony. Our objective is going to become an honest regret for harms done, a genuine gratitude for blessings received, and a willingness to forgive and try for better tomorrows.

Finally, we note that at least some things have been done well in our day. Searching our hearts with neither fear nor favor, we can then lay ourselves to rest in good conscience.

Wishing all the best of contentment – joy in our lives of recovery

Arthur Messenger


First Anniversary of Publishing 10-6-2011

Happy Anniversary

Happy lst Anniversary: "Living the 12 Steps of Recovery" October 6th 2011


*Check out the video link at left for good anniversary music

“Living the 12 Steps of Recovery” celebrates it’s first anniversary”


On October 6th, 2010 I stood in my garage watching the truck-driver unloaded the first pallet of 1,000 books. I was broke, in debt, not knowing whether to be joyful or seriously afraid. It was some of both.
I had no publisher but myself, with no experience but my own little one book company: Wing & A Prayer Publishing. I thought in that moment: “Well, at least I can count on an open-minded fair exposure to the fellowship of AA, because I was carrying the message”! I had spent six years organizing the principles, concepts and history into daily meditations on the Steps & Traditions, with steady positive periodic reviews. There were, however some eye-opening surprises in store for me.
Mine was NOT a book of my recovery experience, but a classical revival of our near 80 year old principles in monthly rotation. It was to be as if an old and loved pair of shoes had been to the cobbler for “re-souling” and buffing, coming out just like new with nearly a dozen AA’s and big-time editors in the Chicago Style Manual reviewing, chopping and chirping it up and down.
But first, I had original drawings, which AAWS in NYC didn’t like, even though they had progressed in anonymity to using video themselves. Fortunately for me, the Copyright Administration ruled that drawings, as conceptions of the artists eye, were considered anonymous. I finally, with a heavy heart had to tell them I couldn’t work with them and was moving on. The same re-action, one of narrow-mindedness, was typical in my own fellowship’s community, at first. They shunned the work with the same old worn out criticisms: I was trying to re-write the Big Book, which couldn’t be farther from the truth(before they even cracked the cover). But I had my loyal band of supporters and they were growing.
Then I submitted it to ITR and with RT and the gangs review was selected for BOTM for March 2011. The community here and now worldwide, has opened their arms to the work, with many very positive reviews amongst the first 1,000 readers. The others all want to now if it’s conference approved, which it was entered into in Area 92 of Eastern Washington last January.
Today, this addition to any recovering person’s reading room has made it’s way to Canada, 20 US States, AU, UK, and Europe as well as South Africa. The readership grows a little each week, as I didn’t take the Big Box Publishing approach, even after being considered by AAWS and Hazleden.
I know that there are those of you reading who have it and refer to it everyday as I do myself, keeping the principles alive in your mindful attitude of recovery. Here then, is today’s reading on the Tenth Step, for all those who have not yet gotten a copy.

October 6
Reviewing Our Assets and Liabilities
Whether our lives bring fair weather or foul, we attempt to put our
A.A. way of life to practical use on a day-by-day basis. The time has
come for the acid test: Can we stay sober, maintain our emotional balance,
and live to good purpose under any and all conditions?
Part of our system for achieving those goals involves continuous
viewing of our assets and liabilities while acquiring a real desire to
adapt to these means. We have found this attitude is a necessity for
us all.
When we were drunks, we could not live well after awakening with
a terrific hangover from yesterday’s heavy drinking. Whether we are
drinking or not, there is another kind of hangover that we will all
experience at some point. It can become nearly as obsessive as our
penchant for the drink. We find it in the results of past and present
excesses of negative emotions, all brought to bear by anger, fear, jealousy,
and the like. Any chance of living in serenity today and in all our
tomorrows will hinge upon efforts to rid ourselves of these spiritual
Don’t get the wrong idea. This does not mean we should wander
morbidly about in our past. It requires a review of our assets and liabilities
and an admission and correction of errors, as we live in the

Our Ninth Tradition: We Ought Never be TOO Organized

In The Midst of Angels

Work the 12 Steps & Traditions in “One Day at a Time” Classical Revival of our 75+ year old principles: “As The Were in the beginning.” In signed softback on the site, or E-Books for Kindle|Nook and Mobile Apps. Spiritually inspired drawings, journaling pages, appendices on Prayer and Meditation. An Award Winning 461pg study read in Au,UK,Can,So Africa, Europe and 22 American States, with one purpose intended: to bring the joy of contentment to those living a life of recovery.”

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Now,…..a reading from the book on The Ninth Tradition: “A.A. as such ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.”

September 24
What’s Been Tried in the Past

In our past experience groups have tried to expel members, but having
been banished they come back to sit in the meeting again saying,
“We have as much right here as anyone else. Without this fellowship
we could die. You can’t keep us out.” We agree with them.
There have been committees, too, who have flat-out told a member
to stop working with a chronic backslider who looked hopeless, only
to be told: “If I decide to continue with my Twelfth-Step work it is
my own business. You have no right to judge me.”
We have found this doesn’t mean our members will not take advice
from others, but they will not take orders. The old-timer A.A., acting
so full of wisdom, couldn’t be any more unpopular when they move
to another area and try to tell a group how to run its own business.
Others like them act similarly when they offer what they see to be the
good of A.A. They frequently meet with stubborn resistance or even
Any attempt to set the standards based upon their experience as
opposed to suggesting, would be to try and install the very organization that the Nnith Tradition observes we should never be brought to.