?

Log in

entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous
ACA Cosponsor
Not affiliated with ACA or any other 12-step fellowship.
A workshop about self-love is being held on July 26, 2014 in San Francisco, CA. All adult children interested in self-love are welcome.

Time, Cost and Place
Saturday, July 26, 1 pm - 5 pm
$5 donation but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds.

Gratitude Center
1320 7th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122

Topics

  • What was life like before self-love?

  • How did we achieve self-love?

  • What are the benefits of self-love?

  • Audience Experience, Strength & Hope

  • Q & A with presenters

  • Informal networking


This event is sponsored by the 'Beyond Mere Survival' meetings in Bernal Heights, San Francisco.

Download the Flyer

Tags:

Leave a comment
A sponsorship workshop is being held on September 15, 2013 in Los Altos Hills, CA. All adult children interested in being sponsors or sponsees are welcome.

Time, Cost and Place
September 15, 1 pm - 5 pm
$5 donation but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds.

Congregation Beth AM
26790 Arastradero Road
Beit Kehillah Building
Los Altos Hills, CA

Topics

  • Selecting a sponsor

  • What sponsors do

  • What sponsees do

  • Setting boundaries

  • Q & A

  • Informal networking


This event is sponsored by the South Bay meetings Circle of Men and Circle of Hope.

Download the Flyer

Tags:

Leave a comment
Updated May 31, 2013
Handout about cosponsor meetings
Cosponsor handout

6-page PDF about what the first Santa Clara county cosponsor meeting did, its structure, meeting format etc. This handout will also be available at the event.

Updated May 24, 2013
Handout about sponsorship
Handout about Sponsorship

9-page PDF about types of sponsorship, what sponsors and sponsees do, sponsor selection etc. The handout will also be available at the event.

Updated May 12, 2013
For the event on June 1, we need volunteers for these positions.
  • Setup
  • Greeter
  • Registration
  • Refreshments
  • Breakdown
If you want to help, please email richard.groovy @ gmail.com for more information and to sign up. You can also comment here.

Updated May 9, 2013
To RSVP, ask questions or volunteer at the event, please email acacosponsor @ gmail dot com or comment here.

Flyer
Download the flyer


Updated May 2, 2013
A sponsorship workshop is being planned for June 1, 2013 in San Francisco. All adult children interested in being sponsors or sponsees are welcome.

Time, Cost and Place
June 1, 2013, 1 pm - 4 pm
$5 donation but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds.

Dogpatch Studios
991 Tennessee Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Topics
  • Selecting a sponsor
  • What sponsors do
  • What sponsees do
  • Setting boundaries
  • Q & A
Bookmark this page for updates and more details as they become available.

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
News
A Sponsorship workshop for sponsors and sponsees is being planned for June 1 in San Francisco. More information

Unless noted, meetings take place at the Palo Alto Unitarian Universalist Church at 505 East Charleston Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306. ACA meetings are typically 90 minutes long



Day

Time & Town

Details
Monday 7.30 pm
Palo Alto
Monday Night Palo Alto ACA
Rooms 4-5
Tuesday 7.15 pm
San Jose
ACA on the Alameda Open to all
Billy deFrank LGBT Community Center, Next to Crema Coffee.
Bring your Big Book
938 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126
Wednesday 7.30 pm
Palo Alto
Wednesday Night Book Study
Room 6 - bring your Big Book.
This meeting hands out chips.
Thursday 7.00 pm
Los Altos
'Circle of Men' Men only
In the Chapel: Map of the facilities
Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
Friday 5.00 pm
Palo Alto
Women's meeting Women only
Room 4-5 - bring your Big Book
7.30 pm
Campbell
Friday Freedom
Bldg on the right, room closest to the street - bring your Big Book
Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, 65 West Rincon Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008
Saturday 9.00 am Closed men's cosponsor meeting
4.00 pm
Palo Alto
Saturday 'Circle of Hope'
Rooms 4-5 - bring your Big Book.
This meeting sells books and hands out chips.
Followed by fellowship at local restaurant. All are welcome.
Sunday --- No meetings
Variable Check South Bay ACOA in San Jose
This meeting moves around: Check their calendar for details.


Find meetings in other areas
Buy a Big Book on paper, in Kindle ebook format or Nook ebook format. The Big Book is read out loud in most meetings.
If you want to work the steps, get a Workbook on paper.

Tags:

Leave a comment
This is a game changer. Since the fellowship text was published in 2006 our fellowship has nearly doubled. eReader availability will bring even more healing and recovery to adult children worldwide. 

ACA Big eBook
Kindle format: $9.99
Nook format: $9.99 

Specific Kindle devices start at $79. You can also download the app for free in the following formats:
  • PC
  • Mac
  • iPhone and other iOS devices 
  • Android
  • Windows Phone 7
  • BlackBerry
Nook devices start from $99. You can also download the Nook app for free in most of the same formats as Kindle. 



Recommendation: Kindle
The Kindle format is recommended over the Nook format because it's easier to navigate by page numbers in the Kindle version.

When the Big Book is read in meetings, the secretary will typically tell the meeting where the reading starts by page number. In both eBook formats you can search for the page number. However, in the Kindle version the page numbers in the index are linked. This means that you can click on the page number in the index and go straight to the right page. In the Nook eBook the page numbers in the index are not linked.

If you have come up with a way of navigating by page numbers in the Nook, please comment below.

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment
This exercise is about the words we use for boundaries. I keep hearing people talk about not being comfortable with the words we use when talking about boundaries. In some cases that's probably because boundaries can seem like threats to adult children. Whichever way we feel about boundaries, it's good to have many words to choose from so we can express ourselves clearly. Add your own boundary words to the following lists.

Setting boundaries
  • state
  • claim
  • own
  • add more words...

Maintaining boundaries
  • act on
  • hold
  • enforce
  • add more words...

Violating boundaries
  • transgress against
  • bust
  • cross
  • add more words...

Weakening boundaries
  • undermine
  • let slip
  • haggle over
  • add more words...

Tags:

Leave a comment
Quote from the ACA Big Book, pages 492-495

Quotes and questionsCollapse )

Printer-friendly version

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
Quote from the ACA Big Book, page 533-535

Quote and questionsCollapse )

Printer-friendly version

Tags:

Leave a comment
These readings and questions concentrate on how meeting participants and trusted servants can maintain the boundaries the group conscience has set.

The readings and questions below are about boundaries in:
Meeting Boundaries: What, why and where?
The previous installment was about where we want our meeting boundaries to be and why. In the following, please assume that the meeting has adopted boundaries based on the Big Book quotes in previous sessions. There may be boundaries that you understand the need for, as well as those you don’t understand.

Source
All quotes are from the ACA Big Book.

These questions were formulated to facilitate discussion of the meeting boundaries of a specific open co-ed meeting that usually has 10-20 adult children in attendance. Below it is referred to as "our open meeting." I hope that it is also helpful for other meetings.  

Quotes and questionsCollapse )

Printer-friendly version

Tags:

Leave a comment
Accountability
I often talk about the difference between something being my problem vs my fault. E.g it's not my fault that I have PTSD, but it is my problem. I'm the one who has to live with it and do the heavy lifting to heal. It's a lot easier to do that when I acknowledge that it wasn't my fault that I got PTSD in the first place. It was the fault of the perpetrators. Holding the distinction clearly in my mind means that I don't end up blaming myself. 

In an entry titled Responsibility, fault and blame  msagara discusses the difference from both a child's and a parent's perspective. She also brings up that some events, that end up hurting a person, aren't anybody's fault. Shit happens, regardless of intent. The fish hook metaphor at the end is also very useful for avoiding misplaced self-blame.

Interview with an Inner Child, Sort of
A guy created a VHS tape when he was 12 years old. Now he's 32, and he's answering questions from his actual 12-year-old self. Ignoring technical limitations, how would it have turned out if you had done something similar? 

How to Avoid Abusers: Understanding Grooming
Predators "...intentionally violate boundaries in small ways and wait to see your reaction. Then they up the ante. An example of this could be as simple as insisting on eating pizza on a date if you have expressed not liking it."

Dr Kathleen Young is a trauma therapist. Her blog is intended for people who have experienced trauma. In her latest post she talks about how adult children can spot abusers before they get into an abusive relationship, whether is a friendship or a romantic relations.




Tags: ,

Leave a comment
These readings and questions concentrate on where you want and need the meeting boundaries to be. If you imagine your ideal ACA meeting, what behaviors would there be less of, what behaviors would there be more of? In what ways do you feel unprotected, in what ways do you feel hemmed in by the current meeting boundaries of our ACA meeting?

The readings and questions below are about boundaries in:
regular meetings
business meetings
time outside meetings
other meeting boundaries

Meeting Boundaries: How to?
The next installment will be about how to make meeting boundaries a reality. That means that at this point you don’t need to consider if your ideal boundaries would be hard to enforce. We’ll cover that later.

Source
All quotes are from the ACA Big Book.

These questions were formulated to facilitate discussion of the meeting boundaries of a specific open co-ed meeting that usually has 10-20 adult children in attendance. Below it is referred to as "our open meeting." I hope that it is also helpful for other meetings.  

Quotes and questionsCollapse )


Printer-friendly version

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
The idea with this series of exercises is to help you get creative and resourceful about boundary setting. Adult children who are new to setting and maintaining boundaries often have a lot of fear around the topic. Even just talking about it or thinking about it can feel like opening Pandora's box.

But as long as you're not violent, usually setting a boundary with another capable adult won't harm anybody. Certainly talking about it and exploring it with others on the same path should be relatively safe. As you get more confident, it can actually be fun to brainstorm ideas about how to set boundaries in words and actions.

Three topics, five levels and three questions
I've chosen three topics that most people are familiar with. For each of the three topics I've written five messages that can be used to set a boundary. For each boundary message, I'm asking three questions about what you want, what you think is appropriate and what your experience has been.

I'm calling it Boundary Jeopardy because each boundary message is the solution to a problem. Your task is to get creative and come up with a problem that fits the solution.  

Printer-friendly version

Tags:

Leave a comment
Here are five boundary-setting messages in escalating order. For each of them, write down in what kind of situation you would like to use the message, what kind of situation it would be appropriate in, and your experience if you've used a similar message.

click here for the questionsCollapse )

Printer-friendly version

Leave a comment
Here are five boundary-setting messages in escalating order. For each of them, write down in what kind of situation you would like to use the message, what kind of situation it would be appropriate in, and your experience if you’ve used a similar message.

click here for the questionsCollapse )

Printer-friendly version

Tags:

Leave a comment
Here are five boundary-setting messages in escalating order. For each of them, write down in what kind of situation you would like to use the message, what kind of situation it would be appropriate in, and your experience if you’ve used a similar message.

click here for the questionsCollapse )

Printer-friendly version

Tags:

Leave a comment
"There are different types of boundaries, but their purposes are to allow us to remain safe, respected, and free of harm. All boundaries remind us that the feelings, behaviors, and attitudes of others are separate from our own. The feelings and thoughts of others are not our responsibility. We can feel empathy for another person and show compassion, but we are separate from the other person.

One type of boundary is a statement or request that we communicate to someone. The statement is usually a request for a particular behavior to cease or to be modified. When we establish a boundary, we must be willing to follow through. We must honor our boundary even if others do not. For example, if we ask someone who is verbally abusive to stop the behavior in our presence, we must be willing to walk away from the person if he remains abusive. We do not negotiate our boundary with the person. We avoid haggling over why he does not honor it. We state our boundary clearly and honor it for ourselves."

ACA Big Book, pages 346-347

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
1. How do you define self-acceptance?
2. What does self-acceptance feel like to you?
3. Where are your self-acceptance symptoms located in your body?
4. How do you think self-acceptance would change your relationships with others?
5. What kind of person would you spend more time with if you accepted your wants, needs, feelings, perceptions and boundaries? Why?
6. What kind of person would you spend less time with if you accepted your wants, needs, feelings, perceptions and boundaries? Why?
7. How do you think others' perception of you would change if you accepted your wants, needs, feelings, perceptions and boundaries? Why?
8. What role do you think self-forgiveness could play in creating more self-acceptance in your life?
9. What about self-compassion?
10.What stops you from loving and accepting yourself right now? Write a list, if it feels meaningful.
11.What would happen if you acknowledged and accepted these obstacles as yours on a daily basis?
12.What would happen if you forgave yourself for having these obstacles and for letting them get in your way?
13.What baby steps could you take to find more self-acceptance, self-love and self-forgiveness in your daily life?


Big Book Readings
The ACA Big Book is available for purchase at the ACA web site. It's $15 plus shipping.

Self-acceptance
“These Step Three shares also represent a deep well of hope and patience created by a loving God who has given us a program to restore our lives. It is a well of grace we can return to again and again and dip out self-acceptance, self-assurance, and love. Each time we take Step Three, we drink down God's love. We replenish our Inner Child or True Self. We come to believe that God hears our prayers and loves us always.” Page 142

More from the Big Book: 4, 36, 76, 142, 251, 435, 441, 504.


Self-forgiveness
“Forgiving ourselves is foreign to most of us because self-forgiveness is nurturing and affirming. In most of our homes, we never heard of such talk. We must seriously consider the concept of self-forgiveness and practice it if we are to make progress in ACA. Without self-forgiveness, we tend to avoid embracing our successes in life, and we feel unworthy of loving relationships. In ACA, we learn to forgive ourselves by degrees until we become comfortable with this spiritual concept.” Page 234

More from the Big Book: xxxvi, 113, 114, 115, 213, 221, 228, 233-234, 245, 288, 387, 504, 582, 637.


Self-love
“We cannot find love or the Higher Power in someone else. It has to begin with us. We are protected by a Higher Power as we make this inward journey. We will not be abandoned or judged even if we think we cannot do it right. A loving Higher Power waits for us to accept that we are lovable regardless of what we think or do. This is grace.” Page 434

More from the Big Book: 84, 93, 197, 234, 261, 282, 288-289, 434, 436-439, 442.


Affirmations
“2. It is okav to trust myself.
5. It is okay to say no without feeling guilty.
8. My feelings are okay even if l am still learning how to distinguish them.
12. It is okay to make mistakes and learn.
22. It is okay to say I love myself.”
Pages 329-330

More from the Big Book: 174, 187-188, 329-330, 437-438, 444.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a comment
One of the local meetings has had issues with boundaries since its inception. To remedy this we convened a Boundary committee to study the Big Book and come up with proposals for meeting boundaries that work. To support our studies, I developed material that quotes the ACA Big Book and asks open-ended questions about how it applies to individual adult children or meetings. I hope that the material is also helpful for other meetings.

This is the schedule for the completely closed Boundary Committee. It includes links to the material we used.

Awareness Phase
  • May 19: Orientation and Survey
  • May 26: No meeting. 
  • June 2: Review Boundary Inventory – Session 1
    • Trait 1
    • Traits 2 and 3
    • Traits 4, 9 and 13
    • Traits 5 and 6
Acceptance Phase

Action Phase
Last updated: August 23, 2012.

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
Self-abandonment: 11, 65, 68, 139, 154, 288, 356, 391-392, 434 -435
Self-acceptance: 4, 36, 76, 142, 251, 435, 441, 504
Self-care: xxiv, 32-33
Self-esteem: 15, 37, 187, 321, 419, 437-438, 443, 476
Self-forgiveness: xxxvi, 113, 114, 115, 213, 221, 228, 233-234, 245,
288, 387, 504, 582, 637
Self-harm: 16, 31, 68, 69, 136, 143, 197, 198, 223, 240, 241, 303
Self-hate: 24, 82, 89, 154, 159, 190, 361, 391, 434, 435
Self-honesty: 9, 137, 160, 197, 213, 256
Selfishness: 15, 144, 209, 300, 344, 434, 550, 633, 639;
ACA is not a selfish program: 301, 439
Selflessness: 222, 226, 288
Self-love: 84, 93, 197, 234, 261, 282, 288-289, 434, 436-439, 442
Self-pity: 113, 201, 573
Self-reliant (and self-sufficient): xxiii, 67, 70, 102, 144, 219, 369, 376, 582;
Compulsive self-reliance; 103, 122, 301
Self-supporting: 522, 525, 526, 551

Tags: ,

Leave a comment
10. Fears of failures and success will leave us, as we intuitively make healthier choices.

Failure
Fear of failure is common among adult children. Many of us have been punished out of all proportion for even minor misteps, or even just for admitting that something was difficult. Children treated like this usually end up being perfectionists.

Perfectionists have unrealistic expectations of themselves. Many adult children think that they should already know a subject when they are just thinking about starting to study it. This prevents them from learning new things. If they try new things, they often put so much effort into it that it takes all the fun out of learning.
  • What messages were you given as a child about mistakes? Were they age-appropriate?
  • What happened if you made a spelling mistake, mispronounced a word or stumbled?
  • How has your view of these inconsequential misteps changed over time?
  • Were there specific areas of life in which you were expected to fail?
  • Were there areas in which failure was inconceivable?
  • What is the worst failure you have ever experienced? What made it so bad?
  • What is the best failure you've ever had? Why was it so good?
  • If you didn't fear failure at all, what is the one thing you'd do right away?
Perfectionism Contributes to Isolation
In our families of origin, perfection may have been the only acceptable outcome. But healthy people don't expect themselves or others to be perfect. In fact people who appear perfect may be admired from afar but also perceived as a bit scary. The relentless pursuit of flawlessness alone prevents perfectionists from connecting with others. Healthy people are put off because they fear not measuring up to the perfectionist's standards. Perfectionists also often pursue success instead of relaxing and spending time with friends.
  • Do you sometimes spend so much time on your own, making up for being human, that you miss out on having fun with others?
  • What areas of your life does this happen in?
  • Work? Studies? Researching electronics purchases? Vehicle maintenance?
Learning to Fail
Perfectionism is a way of excessively controling outcomes. In other words, concentrating on doing our footwork but letting go of the results, is a way of learning to deal with fear of failure and failure itself. It can be liberating to allow oneself to fail.

One way of experiencing this liberation is to apply the recovery waltz (steps 1, 2 and 3). This can be done by allowing oneself to fail in an area that isn't very important to begin with. Perhaps you could try wearing an unironed shirt, allowing a house plant to die or go a little bit longer between car washes. Practicing failure in baby steps and allowing yourself to capitulate to it, can induce a wonderful feeling of relaxation.

It's possible to eventually come to a place where you can strive toward excellence in pursuits that really matter to you without letting mistakes and errors take on meaning beyond what actually happens. But for many adult children, that is only possible after a lot of practice at failing and processing childhood incidents that lead to their exaggerated fear of failure.

Some more thoughts on fear of failure

Success
Fear of failure and fear of success often go hand in hand, particularly when the fear of success is based on fear of not being able to live up to higher expectations. This article has a lot of useful questions for journaling about fear of success.
  • What were the messages around success you got as a child?
  • Were your parents successful according to their definitions? Did they take pride in that?
  • Were there family secrets that you had to keep so the family or family members could go on feeling succesful?
  • Did you get mixed messages about achieving goals and being succesful? An example is that women are sometimes told that in order to find a partner they must not be too smart, earn too much money or be physically strong. Another example is men being told that being present, feeling their feelings and communicating honestly in a relationship means that they're not "real men".
  • Have you ever snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory? What caused you to voluntarily fail when you were so close to success?
  • What is the worst success you have ever achieved? What made it so bad?
  • What is the best success you've had? What made it so satisfying?
  • If you weren't afraid of succeeding, what is the one thing that you would do today?
  • We often over-estimate what we can achieve in a day but under-estimate what we can achieve in a year. How could you apply that information in your life?
Steve Pavlina asks what will happen if you succeed.

Self Talk In both fear of failure and fear of success, what we say to ourselves plays an important role. If I fail at something and I spend the rest of the day telling myself that it's because I'm a screw up, I will fear failure more and more. People who beat themselves up for any success or failure often identify themselves as their own worst critic. It's important to see that being one's own worst critic is self-destructive. Self-punishment needs to be replaced with self-forgiveness, self-acceptance and self-love in order to overcome fears of failure and success.

Thorn Coyle about being your own role model instead of your own bully

Allying with Your Inner Critic: Strategies for Transforming Negative Self-Talk is a course at Stanford University

Intuition
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason."
  • How does the dictionary definition mesh with yours?
Learning to trust your intuition
Trust has to be earned. That applies to intuition too. Otherwise we may end up trusting our prejudice or wishful thinking rather than true intuition. One way of working with your intuition is recording the messages you receive, and then checking back with them later.
  • When you think you have an intuitive hunch, how can you figure out if it's right?
  • Do you know what your intuition sounds like?
  • Are there situations that typically make your intuition more useful? What do they have in common?
  • Are there situations that usually make your intuition unreliable? What do they have in common?
  • How can you act on your knowledge of when your intuition is reliable?
Making Space for Your Intuition
Some situations are more conducive to intuitive breakthroughs than others. Often these are characterized by doing something familiar that lasts for at least a couple of minutes and that doesn't require or encourage conscious thought. Common examples include:
  • drifting in and out of sleep
  • showering, brushing your teeth or other hygiene habits
  • taking a walk in familiar surroundings
  • meditation and journaling
Intuition works best if you are able to relax and allow whatever wants to present itself to do so. This is the reason why adult children often have to learn intuition. Our minds can be like mine fields: full of unexploded shame bombs, anxiety artillery and anti-serenity mines. Working the steps, and in particular the house cleaning steps 4-9, helps to clear the mine fields in our minds.
  • What situations in your life are the most fertile for intuitive insights? Could you make room for more of those situations? Could you use them better?
  • What happens when you simply ask your intuition for insight?
  • Does it work better if you ask about something specific, e.g how to handle a difficult coworker?
  • How about if you add a random element, e.g from a divination method such as the tarot or bibliomancy?

Continue to Promise 11: With help from our ACA support group, we will slowly release our dysfunctional behaviors. (unpublished)
Return to Promise 9: Healthy boundaries and limits will become easier for us to set.

Tags:

Leave a comment