Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Stick meeting

Today at my noon meeting we had a stick meeting. In case you've never been to one, at many clubs there is a can of popsickle sticks and written on each one is a different topic, for example Tradition Two, anonymity, self-acceptance, tolerance, or even a slogan like "The door swings both ways."

The can is passed around the room and each member draws a stick and then hopefully shares on that topic. Of course, there's always that dissenting voice who doesn't want to be told what to say and chooses to comment on whatever is on his or her mind, but that's okay, too. (Those are usually the ones who draw the "self-will" stick, I think.)

There's a neat advantage to this approach to a meeting. First, it allows the newcomers a chance to hear a variety of topics. Today's meeting was pretty lively and all over the board. For those of us with short attention spans (me, me, me!), it's great. Second, it allows us to stay in the moment. When there's a topic, we often sit and think, "Now what am I going to say if I'm called on or when it's my turn to share." This element of surprise allows you to really listen to what others are sharing.

And speaking of really listening, isn't it great to go to out of town meetings where we can hear speakers where we have no personality attached? We don't know if they walk their talk and we don't really even think about it. We just listen without attaching any judgment to it. When I got clean, there were only seven meetings a week in Phoenix. We drove all over town to hit one and if by chance someone had a resentment and a coffee pot and wanted to start a new meeting, well, we drove there and supported that one, too.

I was in a meeting the other night and twice I heard about a local meeting where some really unspiritual things were allegedly occurring. First, I don't want to hear it, either one-on-one from a member or especially in the group where newcomers may get the wrong impression of our Fellowship.

I shared what I'd been taught in early recovery. First, as they say in Minnesota, "watch your own bobber." In other words, is your program and your walk so strong that you can afford to take others' inventories? Second, and I have seen this prove itself time and time again -- if a meeting is spiritually unfit, it will die. Members will quit supporting it, they'll lose their facility, or others will go in, join the home group and turn it around. I don't have to warn anybody about nonsense in a meeting. The most I might say is "I don't go to that meeting."

I have my hands full with my own spiritual program. I can't help anyone else unless I'm on the right track myself, so it leaves me little time to worry about what others are doing. So for today, I hope you have a great day. I am.


Mary Christine said...

Yay!!!! Thanks for this post. We all have enough to worry about our little old selves. I know I do! And sick meetings will die, or serve some purpose. Who knows? Not me, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Cool. like the idea with the sticks.
Sheesh. regarding aa politics? it sucks! i've never understood why people get so concerned with what everyone else is doing instead of just taking care of themselves. it always looks a bit naff in my opinion. but then i come from a TINY town where people had nothing better to do than concern themselves with everyone elses personal lives, so that is my pet hate! I was SO glad to get away from such a parochial mindset. life is just way too short to run around taking everybody elses inventory but your own.. but i don't think anyone really likes politics in ANY organisation. its just as bad in a workplace. unavoidable i suppose. i just stay away from the people who get all uppity about meetings, as theres just no point trying to get them to see the error of their ways..powerless and all that..

SCoUt said...

Yup, we shore do say that in MN.