This Way of Living

Working Steps 10, 11, and 12.
Building a personal practice.
Creating a small group practice.

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Background
What worked for us - and what didn't work.
What we do, and what we don't do.

Let's begin with what didn't work.

Ignoring Steps 10 and 11 didn't work.
We who are beyond human aid, who believe that our lives are completely unmanageable, have this in common: Until we began to work Steps 10 and 11 in the way that the AA Big Book suggests on pages 84-88, we were never truly happy, joyous, and free.

Some of us couldn't even stay sober or abstinent at all. Some of us got sober from one addiction, only to relapse into another. Some of us stayed sober or abstinent for a long time and attempted to live like "normal" people, but we seemed even at our best to be prey to fears, disappointments, or anxieties.

Regarding Steps 10 and 11 as "the maintenance Steps" didn't work.
For us, there was no "maintaining." Either we had to keep growing in this way of living, or else we started to slip backwards.

Talking about Steps 10 and 11 instead of doing them didn't work.
Some of us across the country went to 12-Step meetings that were open to members of any 12-Step fellowships, where we could discuss these last three Steps.

But we found that discussing these Steps is, by itself, not very helpful. Doing them and discussing them is great. Doing them without discussing them is just as great. But discussing them without doing them - that seemed to change very little for us.

Now let's talk about what did work for us.

Practicing Step 10 "continually" by ourselves.
We do Step 10, just as it's described on page 84 of the AA Big Book. Some of us do it once a day. Some of us do it twice a day. Some of us do it several times during the day. There are short and long versions of the practice of Step 10 (and Step 11) elsewhere on this site.

Practicing Step 10 in small private groups.
Some of us get together at least once a week, either face-to-face or online, to practice Step 10. But we don't do this in large groups, and generally speaking we don't do it in a 12-Step meeting. We talk here about why this is the case, and about how we do Step 10 in our small private groups.

Meditating alone.
Practicing Step 11 in the form of meditation is something we do at least once a day, and some of us do it more frequently than that. We describe elsewhere how some of us meditate.

Meditating in small private groups.
Just as with Step 10, some of us get together at least once a week, either face-to-face or online, to practice Step 11 (actually, we work Steps 10 and 11 in the same meeting).

Again, we don't do this in large groups, or (with a few exceptions) in a 12-Step meeting. There are many 12-Step meditation meetings across the country, and they work well for some members of 12-Step groups. But we have found that doing Step 11 without first doing Step 10 doesn't work too well for us, and - as we said - we have also found that Step 10 is usually best done in a small group or community. We describe here how we do this.

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