How to work this 12 steps online workbook
The Proactive Twelve Steps describe the steps as a mindful, proactive process of change. There is a list of all the alternative 12 steps. But, first, here are some suggestions on how to work this workbook.
I am inviting you to see the "proactive 12 steps" as a process of self exploration. I suggest you read each step as an invitation to a dialogue, as opposed to a directive that is carved in stone. Take a moment to see what comes up for you as you read each step. Not just logical thought: Let yourself be curious about the felt sense of it. In other words, be prepared that much of what comes up may be murky. It's not a problem, it's actually great: "Murky" is an invitation to explore further, as opposed to "case closed".
This process is about gaining wisdom. The goal is not to memorize the 12 steps as they are written here. It is to use these steps to develop your ability to bring a mindful quality to your life. Mindfulness is not a mysterious, mystical quality. It is just the opposite of mindlessness. It means you are engaged with what happens in your life. You are connected to your feelings, you reflect on what happens, and you learn from that.
Reflecting on each step is not just a way to better understand the step. It is a way to practice a reflective, mindful orientation toward felt experience. This is what you cultivate in order to be more present in your life, which means: You experience each situation with an ability to feel and think, to notice that there may be ways of reacting to it differently from your habitual knee-jerk reactions, and to grow from that experience.
It is good to be open to whatever may come up. It may also be helpful to prompt your curiosity by asking yourself a few questions, for instance:
- If I close my eyes, and try to remember the gist of the step, what comes up?
- Does this make sense to me?
- If it makes sense to me, what is it specifically that make sense?
- If it doesn't make sense to me, what is it that doesn't?
- What situations does it remind me of?
- What is it that I might do differently in these situations, based on my reactions to the step?
- How would it feel inside to act this way?
This site normally includes commentary on each of the Steps. The commentaries are in the process of being revised to reflect changes for the 5th Edition. Commentaries will be back online one by one, starting September 30, and will all be online by the end of this year. To be appraised of new postings, please subscribe to the newsletter.