The 11th Step

Recovery has impacted my life, specifically my practice of law, in a number of ways. I stay spiritually connected in Step 11 (where I seek through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with God as I understand Him) by constantly reminding myself that I am no longer running the show. Before recovery, I behaved as if I was running the show by doing everything my way and “demanding” that everyone do everything my way – always. I never hesitated to express negative feelings toward others who failed to follow my “demands.” Prayer and meditation, remind me that I am merely an instrument, and by letting go of my idea that I am in charge of everything and, instead, thinking or saying, “Thy will be done,” I am in much less danger (and my law practice is in much less danger) of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity or foolish decisions. Pausing when agitated or doubtful, states of mind I encounter throughout the day, assists me in pursuing the right thought or action. For example, I have attempted to eliminate “snap reaction emails.” Now, I intentionally digest the specifics of posturing/aggressive emails and wait; many times responding the next day. This practice often reduces the “me” in the response and focuses my response to client service. Applying the principles of Step 11 to my work has been of great assistance day to day, and many times, hour to hour.

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