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A Set of Practices

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When I came into program in 2003, 30 pounds (14 kg) heavier than I am now, I was proud of myself if I went to two meetings a week and called my sponsor occasionally.

As I spent more time in meetings, though, I was fascinated and a little nervous to learn how longtimers incorporated far more program into their lives every week. Some people wrote a Tenth Step every night! Some made OA phone calls every day! That seemed like a lot to me, but I noticed they had a lot more joy and peace of mind than I had.

So with my Higher Power’s help, I gradually started trying out different program suggestions. If something didn’t work for me, I let go of it, but if it did work, I kept practicing it. As I did, first my excess weight came off, and then my mind, emotions, and spirit got an overhaul, which is still going on.

Today I have a set of practices, both physical and virtual, that make my program active 24/7. I start each day with gentle stretching and prayer in the outside air, then OA daily readings with a steaming cup of green tea, followed by a sitting meditation with my husband. On my commute to and from work, I listen to voicemails from my sponsor and sponsees and leave them voicemails in return. Throughout the day, I pray to God and text or email with other program fellows. Besides my face-to-face Overeaters Anonymous meetings, I use online meetings when I need them. At the end of the day, after another meditation, I write a letter to God with my food for the past twenty-four hours and my food plan for the next twenty-four, my action plan, anything I’m sorry for or need help with, and the many blessings I’m grateful for.

These practices make program an integral part of my life, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

As I write this, in March 2020, we are experiencing a global health pandemic, which is limiting our face-to-face meetings and forcing us to depend more than ever on phone, text, email, and video chat. I am trusting HP to help us connect in all these different ways and keep our recovery alive and well, 24/7.

— Joan P.


For Discussion and Journaling:

In “A Set of Practices,” the writer talks about trying out different program suggestions, laying aside what did not work and keeping what did work. Take inventory of all the program suggestions that you’ve heard. Alone or in a group, review the inventory items and ask yourself whether any of the suggestions listed are worth a fresh look.

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