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The12 Steps Before Christmas

Updated: Dec 26, 2021

Holiday Greetings to the Brew Crew…

Hello! My name is tOM and one of me is an alcoholic…

I’ve prepared this as a way of saying, “THANKS!” for sharing your stories of struggle and recovery with me.

On December 13, 2021 I began a series of Facebook posts entitled "The 12 Steps Before Christmas" that featured readings, songs and other stuff related to the road to recovery offered by the Steps. For the readings, I used 14 of Richard Rohr's 2019 Daily Meditations, posting one each day. The songs I found as I went along and put them into the above YouTube playlist.

December 13, 2021 Facebook Post

𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝟭𝟮 𝗦𝗧𝗘𝗣𝗦 𝗕𝗘𝗙𝗢𝗥𝗘 𝗖𝗛𝗥𝗜𝗦𝗧𝗠𝗔𝗦: 𝗧𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝟭 𝗮 𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝘀 𝗱𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 (𝗗𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗲) 𝗣𝗵𝘆𝘀𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗻/𝗦𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗼𝗿…

I came for my ****** and stayed for my THINKING…

******insert our preferred addiction: drinking, drugging, eating, shopping, lusting, posting…

“𝙏𝙝𝙚 12 𝙎𝙩𝙚𝙥𝙨 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙖 𝙪𝙣𝙞𝙦𝙪𝙚𝙡𝙮 𝘼𝙢𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙗𝙪𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙩𝙤 𝙨𝙥𝙞𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙪𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙮.” --Richard Rohr

I consider Richard my sponsor because it was his book – “Breathing Underwater: Spirituality and the 12 Steps" – that was used over 5 years ago to get me into the rooms. At the same time, I read Thomas Keating’s “Divine Therapy and Addiction: Centering Prayer and the Twelve Steps.” Fr. Thomas taught our family the practice of centering prayer – a twice-daily meditation…medication…I continue to draw nourishment from.

As I’ve said before, I went to my first meeting as an observer to see what “they” were like…and once there, I realized I was one of “them.” In that basement, I was shown…that while I didn’t have a substance abuse problem…I DID have a thinking problem – the ROOT problem. As George says in Yellow Submarine:

Each day til Christmas, I’ll be posting one of Richard’s Daily Meditations (medications) on the Steps. Over the many years I’ve benefitted from his Franciscan worldview, he’s posted many times about the wisdom of these guideposts for living fully. For my posts, I’ll be sharing those he did exactly two years ago.

If you like, you can step/read ahead – as each of the following links contain a brief synopsis of each day’s meditations with a link to the full (strength) meditation/medication. Each weekly summary also contains a PRACTICE to help us put into action what we’ve been reading. I just read each week’s practice…and it was like they were created just for where I am NOW…WOW!!! I’m more stoked than ever to do these Steps with whoever walks with me!

Twelve-Step Spirituality: Part One: Weekly Summary

Twelve-Step Spirituality: Part Two: Weekly Summary

𝘾’𝙢𝙤𝙣! 𝙇𝙚𝙩’𝙨 𝙜𝙚𝙩 𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙤 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙔𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙤𝙬 𝙎𝙪𝙗𝙢𝙖𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙚’𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙣 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙬𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙧… “Full speed ahead Mr. Boatswain, full speed ahead Full speed ahead it is, Sergeant. Cut the cable, drop the cable Aye, Sir, aye Captain, captain”

Steppin' Resources

Richard Rohr Article

Richard Rohr and the 12 Steps: Going out to 'the inner room' (3-minute read) --Some excerpts:

"A quarter century ago, Franciscan Fr. Richard Rohr gave a series of talks in Cincinnati that linked the wisdom of the Twelve Steps Program to what St. Francis called 'the marrow of the gospel.' 'I was amazed at how obvious and easy a task it was,' he said.

We give people 'fast food' religion and addiction therapy, without any deep transformation of the self. 'It is my experience after over 40 years as a priest, that we could say the same about many well-intentioned Christians and clergy. Their religion has never touched them or healed them at an unconscious level where all of the real motivation, hurts, unforgiveness, anger, wounds and illusions are stored., hiding – and often fully operative. They never went to ‘the inner room’ where Jesus invited us…'”

"So his book is about deep communion and deep compassion, both in Twelve Step Programs and in Christian life and spirituality, formed in deep pain. Only people who have suffered in some way can save one another, he reminds us. To survive the tidal wave of compulsive behavior and addiction Christians must learn to 'breathe under water' and discover God’s deep love and compassion, the awful grace of God."

12 Steps to Go: Richard Rohr Videos

Continuing this series, I offer this 43-minute talk on the subject by Richard Rohr - the person who’s writing introduced me to this much-needed wisdom AND practices.

He begins by saying how he was invited to speak about the connections he saw between the Gospel and the 12 Steps. He said it was rather easy…

(From the video's description)

"Tommy Rosen interviews Father Richard Rohr on the topic of addiction in one of the most popular interviews from the Recovery 2.0 Conference Series. Father Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard is the author of numerous books including Breathing Under Water (about Addiction) to his latest, The Universal Christ. He is the academic Dean of the Living School for Action and Contemplation. The school's mission is to produce compassionate and powerfully learned individuals who will work for positive change in the world based on awareness of our common union with God and all beings."

A Helpful and Fun Take on the 12 Steps of Christmas (from a Florida recovery program)

--Helpful and fun read (excerpts):

"This is what it is all about, really. This is why Christmas is such a beloved and cherished holiday for so many around the world. Without trying to take anything away from the vital role that religious faith plays in it for many, the spirit of Christmas is about sharing peace and love, goodwill toward others, compassion and connection.

We have talked about all of this through every step of the 12 Steps of Christmas. That is because love, peace, compassion, connection are all in the spirit of Christmas AND in the spirit of the 12 Steps of recovery. It isn’t hard to draw this relationship because at the core they give us inspiration and hope to build a better life, with fulfilled relationships and meaningful purpose.

The truth is too often we forget that these attitudes and practices are not just meant to be done on the holidays. Too many people forget about acceptance, willingness and openness when the sleigh bells have come and gone. Many will make strong resolutions for the New Year, but few will remember to carry these principles on with them. Those who work the 12 Steps in recovery are actually very fortunate to have a program that provides a consistent practice of compassion and growth.

The 12 Steps remind us of the importance of self-awareness, reflection, humility and selfless action. They give us an outline for personal development while helping us try to mend damage done in active addiction.

So even if you are not in recovery from drugs or alcohol, you can learn a lot about yourself and about your impact on the people who matter most to you. Doing things like taking inventory, addressing your character defects and helping others is really just a path toward spreading the cheer, joy, love and connection that Christmas gives us.

This year, try to carry the spirit of Christmas in all things. Try to remind yourself to make every day count; to move away from the attitudes that hold you back and toward the wish list of a sober and fulfilled life."

Our Issues Live in Our Tissues: Yoga for Recovery

Yoga of 12 Step Recovery (includes "Find a Meeting" link)

"Y12SR 'connects the dots' between the ancient wisdom of yoga, the practical tools of 12-step programs, and the latest research on trauma healing and neurobiology. As part of a holistic recovery program, it works in tandem with traditional treatment to address the physical, mental and spiritual disease of addiction."

Nassau County Group

Several years ago, I benefitted from working with a Nassau County teacher - Frank Bono. Besides stretching me physically and spiritually, I enjoyed his guitar playing...Here's where you can connect with Frank:

Point Lookout Yoga and Wellness

48 Lido Blvd.

Point Lookout, NY 11569


Day/Time: First and third Sundays of each month from 5:30-7:00 PM

Y12SR Space Holder: Frank Bono



Proof of vaccination required.

"Y12SR is a 12-Step-based discussion and yoga practice open to all who desire support in their recovery. The meeting is open to those dealing with their own addictive behavior or have been affected by someone they love who suffers from addiction."

--Live and online classes. I cited Tommy's work above in the podcast he did with Richard Rohr.

Buddhism and the 12 Steps

Kevin Griffin

Musician and guide for the dharma steps, Kevin offers online and live classes. A few years ago, I did a workshop and concert with him. His CD - "Laughing Buddha" is a gas!

...Awesome music and'll be tapping your step at a breath at a'll be laughing...then crying...then rejoicing at the truth that's setting us FREE...

Laughing Buddha

(from Kevin) “'Laughing Buddha' is a collection of songs with Buddhist themes and World Beat rhythms. Many were written for the Family Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Others came out of retreat experiences. There is a playful spirit to the music, fun for dancing and singing in the car. Kids love them, and adults will be inspired by them. You can listen to the whole album on Spotify. I played all the guitar, bass, and keyboard parts as well as singing lead and most of the background vocals. Drums are by Russ Lawton from the Trey Anastasio Band, percussion by Vicki Randle, Tonight Show alum and member of Mavis Staple’s band.

Here are the lyrics."

Find a Recovery Meeting

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