Narcotics Anonymous Way of Life

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NA FOUNDATION GROUP NEWLETTERS

N. A. W. O. L.  NEWS

 
Vol. I, Ed. 5, May, 2008

 

N. A. W. O. L.  NOTES:

 

My involvement with N. A. W. O. L began in 1999 shortly after purchasing my 1st computer I found both N. A. W. O. L. and the history site on the Internet.  I soon became an avid reader of the Way of Life Book and later made some small contributions to The Traditions Wars through participation in their forums.  Later I started email Bo and occasionally calling him.  In May of 2003 he sent me an email letting me know that he would be speaking in WA State later that month. I then made it a priority to go meet him and listen to what he had to say. After that we started communicating more and in 2004 due to certain life events I found myself moving to Florida. I now had 18 yrs of Recovery in NA. Our communication picked up after this and Bo would soon be moving to Florida. My involvement with   N. A. W. O. L. soon started escalating. By the spring of 2006 I had started a W. O. L. F.  group in Titusville, Fl. Then on May 18, 19: 20 2007 we had a Conference in Tallahassee. On June 3rd I sent out the 1s ed. of N. A. W. O. L. NEWS.

 

As with all projects that I involve myself with I like to research them.  In a recent conversation with Bo, It was suggested that I look at the minutes from past conferences and I did so. I had glanced at them previously but in taking another look at them I  came to realize just  how much reading the minutes of an event particularly one that I could not attend make me feel more apart  of, especially when I read about who participated and what was done and the groundwork that was made.  So I decided to open this edition of the newsletter by reprinting the minutes from the Tallahassee Conf. and invite everyone to check out the Chronology Section of our website at   http://www.nawol.org/  .

   


  

Tallahassee W.O.L.F. Group

CONFERENCE

May 18, 19, & 20, 2007

211 Delta Court 
Tallahassee, Florida
May 19, 2007

Attendance:  Ken, Kevin, Joe, Sean, Bo, Lester, Hank, Natalie, Yancy, Ivan, Bruce,

Friday Night - Met up at Delta Court around 7:00 pm and went to meeting at St. Paul’s. Good meeting and we gathered back at site. Each member shared who they were and why they are here. Members from Jacksonville came around ten o’clock and shared also. All made welcome!

Saturday Morning -

Gathered at nine o’clock. Sean and Bo went to get legal pads and pens. Opened Conference at ten with Bo opening and Ken leading first session. We all said simple prayer for the help of HP.

Lester suggested we break up into workgroups for 1 to 4, 5 to 9, 10 to 12, then do the Steps Introduction and if we have time, go over the Lit Handbook.

Broke up into workshops and worked several hours.

Had excellent dinner of wings and sausage from Kevin’s Kitchen. Went to visit Suzanne in

Tallahassee Memorial who is unable to attend due to illness. Suzy has written input and edited sections of the NA Way of Life book over last four years.

Had coffee at Black Dog Coffee House at Lake Ella.

Group Conscience:

Lester reported edit on Step Nine complete, began Step Ten. Wrote additions.

Hank reported Step One complete, began on Two.

Ken - Step Five - re-wrote some sections, worked on readability.

Resumed editing Steps at Delta Court. Yancy led this session and we went around room each member making their own prayer for strength and guidance. We edited ten steps in all and found Step 12 needs more work. Several original essays were written to add to the material. Able to print out updated versions of the edits and sent home with members to Jacksonville. Ken, Joe and Sean had been to many prior workshops and conferences working on the NA Way of Life in Florida and elsewhere.

Ate dinner at 8, broke for meeting at 9:30 pm with eight steps edited and printed out. Two more edits on hand, and two to go. A new meeting at the Faith Counseling Center on Delta Court (name of the street, not a court room!) on Saturday nights at 10:00 brought in a crowd of local members. It was a great meeting with several of our WOLF group members sharing. This offset the poor turn out of local members to work on the new writing. In the twenty-five years since the Basic Text was written, members have forgotten that every piece of NA literature approved was read and discussed in a group setting prior to approval.

Close for night.

Sunday Morning

Met for breakfast. Discussions resolved in agreement to have another conference to do more work on the 12 Steps. What was accomplished here was to establish experience with process among members who will attend next conference. Also, Jacksonville is busy getting together a celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Our NA Basic Text. Titusville needs more time to unify their efforts locally before hosting a conference, So, Miami will host next conference and the date and details will be forthcoming. This allowed us to have less pressure to finish up and key in all the edits, etc.

Back at Delta Court, we had some long discussions.

Yancy led discussion.

Ivan, glad to be a part of all this.

Lester - it was successful conference, and his first! Like to see another conference in a few months. Will read and study, make notes for next conference. NA Society Handbook on Literature Committees opens door to recognition of the NA Society.

Ken - surprised no hysteria, calm solid energy. Attended one of first Conferences at the “Pink House” in Hollywood, Florida years ago. Withdrew from service for five years. Missed us - looks to the restoration of the NA Society. Felt God with us this weekend.

Kevin - Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. Feels more at home with nawol members. Not into writing so much but enjoys hospitality work to provide for the needs of attending members. Believes in free literature. Resentments are #1 offender. NAWS has become NA Wal-Mart Corporation.

Joe M. - thanks for making this possible, what a blessing!

Sean B. - new perspective on Steps from study and discussion this weekend. Book is great! Attended several conferences in last six years. First was at Coastal Area Convention in Brunswick, Georgia. Believes NA Way of Life book will become mainstream NA in a few years. Conferences will be larger. NAWS misdirected, emphasizing growth, forgetting quality of life. Money, expansion, saving lives addresses emergency but involving and informing members is important once people get with the program. NA Groups can do Public Information, H&I and so also Literature. Service Committees exist to serve groups, not the other way round. Believes in blending people of opposing viewpoints instead of cutting some off...

Natalie - learned a lot, glad to be here.

Lester - this is the ‘more’ in More Will Be Revealed. 

Hank S. - Spiritual side - being elected RCM gave him a thrill. Who wouldn’t like to fly around at with plane tickets paid for? Called Kevin ‘Billy Allen’ by mistake, attack of CRS (can’t remember shit). Came here to learn, got more than expected. Wants to serve. We have to learn now, old-timers will eventually die off. Presently committed to the 25th Anniversary of the Basic Text Celebration.  NA Way of Life - the best book in history of world. Was 12 Stepped when 12 years old, now he is 38.

Consensus that next conference will be in Miami and will continue to work on the Steps. I brought up that the original idea of the Steps and Traditions in NA Way of Life would be able to refer to topics covered in first twenty-seven chapters so as not to be redundant to other Fellowship materials. For instance, material in Step One can refer to statements in Chapter Two, the Disease Concept. Step Eight and Nine can refer to Parenting, Employment, etc. Step Three and Eleven can refer to Spiritual Standards, God, Recovery Process and so forth. This is the idea behind the next Conference.

Income: 1 nawol book $12, 6 sets of review materials sold at $10 each, $100, $80 donations.

Costs: food $128.03, copies of Step material $104.24, supplies $58.00, toner $96.20

Step Nine - Input

Joe M. - The Ninth Step is an action Step. It is a Step in which our commitment to our new NA way of life needs to become evident in our daily living emphasizing the focus on our current personal relationships. We need to start treating the other people in our life today with compassion, acceptance and love. What we are looking for the results we want from working the Ninth Step in our life today are nothing short of gaining a greater new confidence and a certainty that this new NA way of life that we have chosen to live by is really true and effective. That is we “amend” our current behavior the result can be a greater “peace of mind” which will then help us to better apply Steps Ten, Eleven and Twelfth.

 

Step Nine - input

Lester O. - An anonymous addict once related a Ninth Step story to me, relating to an amends that they had once made. This amend was of a grievous nature t hat might boggle the minds of many of us.

At about six years clean, he had reached a point in his recovery to where he knew that he could no longer stay clean unless action on a more personal level was taken to address the wrongs that had been done to others as a result of his actions. Within our Fellowship or Society of recovering addicts, hew was able to seek out a sponsor, someone who had been there, done that and survived to help walk him through this amend. And with the sponsors help under the all seeing eye of a loving and caring God working in his life he was able to make direct amends and enough time had elapsed that the person to whom the amends was owed was able to accept his amends with knowledge of where he was coming from because they had sought help from our 12 Steps. 

This story is being written because of belief that no matter how great or how insignificant we may imagine the harm we did to ourselves and others in our active addiction. The Ninth Step offers us freedom from our past when done properly with our God of our understanding and utilizing the guidance of a sponsor. 

 

Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of working these Steps we may find our lives changing in matters of personal conduct. We may discover that instead of concentrating our efforts in lost causes, we are now mainly focused on being available to the still suffering addict by freely giving that which was freely given to us: experience, strength and hope.

 

12th Step

What a promise! What a gift! My spirit is awakened from the deep sleep that it had been mired in all these years1 I am able to recover (“wecovery”) my true nature of a spiritual being as a result of practicing these spiritual principles in my daily life.

If I am successful in practicing spiritual principles in every aspect of my life “all our affairs” then every person that God puts in my life will automatically be influenced and benefit from the message that I carry.  

Many of us find attention to spiritual principles such as honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, acceptance becoming more prevalent in our lives. As we choose to live our lives accordingly we find that we can no longer hold onto old practices that were destroying us and those around us. Our new lifestyle takes on aura of attraction drawing us to like-minded people, addicts in and out of recovery striving to live life free of the effects of addiction.

 

 Letter of Support

May 18th – 20th his life changing. The event took place with utmost spiritual commitment and allowed God to work through channels that would not have been available. This book is absolutely the best piece of eclectic material that Man has ever seen. Maybe it will become the best writings man will ever see. I was briefly involved in the 1996 and 1997 but reunited with Bo S. in 2007. My sponsor Page C. basically instructed me to lead a team for change. This change was to teach historical values to newcomers and carry this spiritual message to new recovering addicts as well as the uninformed old-timer. The NA Way of Life book Conference this weekend has opened the door for exciting new NA.

The spirit of NA has spoken and made moves very deep and consistent for change very needed change. This weekend I bought three brand new people to the Conference. These people are very deep rooted in my recovery and personal life and the re-unitement with Bo S. and the new family at the Conference has changed my life. The 25th Year Celebration Committee that has been put into place is about to do great things. The information collected through this Conference had the ability to catapult us into working as a team. Becoming part of this has been a beautiful experience and deepened the roots to my recovery. My commitment to the history of NA was escalated through digging for history from old-timers who are informed. The knowledge these guys have is absolutely informative. The beauty is when we’re ready to learn, the teachers appear.

I have known Bo for twenty-four years. I met him at age twelve and the glory is all mine to have worked with him. Bo - thank you. You are the longest known person I know. And you are my oldest link in NA and my life. Thank you.

The Conference was a great success and I’m grateful that I was invited - or told by my sponsor - to go to Tallahassee and learn what the hell you’re about to do. So, as I talked to the predecessors at the Conference, the learning experience has been unsurpassable, and the friendship has been beautiful. I believe through learning from our experienced members how to do experienced functions I can only hope to be part of the 25 Year Celebration of the NA Way of Life. And I would be honored to serve the NA Fellowship and serve my fellow addicts. I would like to think every single addict at the Conference - you are dreams coming true. The love here will be everlasting. Thank you.

I would love to learn more and will be returning to the next Conference. I have become part of the future of NA and the future of the Lit Movement about to explode. We need to be informed now so when our predecessors are not here any longer in body - we will have the knowledge to keep them here in spirit. NA is over fifty years. And I would love to see it make it another fifty years. I am grateful to serve and through you guys and gals - I’m able to do this. 

In Loving Service,

Hank S.


Evolution of the Way of Life:

Prior to 1990 the Way of Life existed only as a collection of original writing on the spiritual principals of N.A. Then later, in 1990 or early 1991, the expansion of the original material into other areas of interest began. Over the next 8 yrs and some 42 workshops later it would emerge as the 1999 Presentation Form Christmas Day, 1998. 

I was able find a copy of this form in internet archives and it consisted of 186,161 words of new recovery literature. Since then it has grown into its present 2008 form with 253, 301 words of new recovery literature.  It also increased in size from 180 pages to its current 440 pages, but this is largely due to an increase in font.

Currently, at least four other projects have sprouted out of our efforts to produce new recovery literature. They are as follows: (1) Traditions War: a pathway to peace (2) Handbook for NA Literature 2007 (3) NA Twenty Plus  and (4) The Spirit of N.A.      

The Way of Life Book is nearing completion.  With recent edits in its current form it is both thorough and up to date. What it needs now is proof reading for corrections in grammar and punctuation. We are currently looking for volunteers to do this. Bo has already started a list of people and/of groups who are willing to take certain chapters and do this. If you would like to become a part of this effort please contact me at    mailto:Lester1444@msn.com?subject=NAWOL   and let me know what part of the book you will be working on.

We currently still have copies of the 2008 form for sale and Bo has told me that as soon as they are gone his plan is to place another order but this time it will be for  8” by 5”  paperback forms instead of 8.5” by 11”  hopefully to later  transition  into a Limited ED.  Hardback  at a later date.


Below is a reprint of a letter that was sent to one of our newest members from Bo  that I believe  defines our mission far better than I  ever could (reprinted w/permission).


Dear Janet,

I am cc'ing Lester so he can send you a newletter and put you on our email list. Basically, you can think in common sense terms to understand what we are doing and why we are doing it this way. We believe in the Free Fellowship and the NA Society which includes everyone who claims NA membership.

By reading the manuscript in its present form, you will come across items that seem awkward, out of place, hard to read, incomplete or inaccurate. The more members we get involved with this process, the better it will match up with what the Fellowship knows today. This will in turn make it more useful and reader friendly to addicts seeking recovery. Ask any questions. Also, the Pledge, Preface and Introduction will help you understand our position.

It has been 18 years since this work began for me. I stayed on in world services and it was obvious that the  professionals coming into the Fellowship at the time were out of sync with the NA way of doing things. They saw inclusive as overly complicated and obstructive. They did not realize that addicts in open participatory setting really do reach a point of general agreement. It takes years and many workshop, conference, but it was done with the Basic Text and that was our first effort!

You know, our dream is to hold a week long super-conference to include hundreds of addicts supporting this book and the others we are working on. It will be designed to evaluate and hopefully complete the work.

In Loving Service,

Bo S.
904.238.9592 cell

Currently we are looking for 100 letters of support and we still have a way to go. If everyone on this email mail list were to send  one to N.A.W.O.L.,  we would be there.

Yours I n Service.

Lester O
Lester1444@msn.com
 


The magic of NA unity is clear when we see our desire for recovery reflected in others. When this occurs - we see, we understand, and we are one. This is the strength of our unity.


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Reprinted from the 
Narcotics Anonymous Way of Life, 
Traditions War: a pathway to peace,
The Spirit of NA 
or NA Twenty Plus

being edited on this site.

N.A. FELLOWSHIP USE ONLY
Copyright © December 1998
Victor Hugo Sewell, Jr.

NA Foundation Group
6685 Bobby John Road Atlanta, GA 30349 USA

404.312.5166

nawol@nawol.org

All rights reserved. This draft may be copied by members of Narcotics Anonymous for the purpose of writing input for future drafts, enhancing the recovery of NA members and for the general welfare of the Narcotics Anonymous Fellowship as a whole. The use of an individual name is simply a registration requirement of the Library of Congress and not a departure from the spirit or letter of the Pledge, Preface or Introduction of this book. Any reproduction by individuals or organizations outside the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous is prohibited. Any reproduction of this document for personal or corporate monetary gain is prohibited.