"A Higher Recovery"
‘Recovery’ is a term that can be applied to people who have overcome an addiction and who are now in the process of recovering the ‘manageability’ of their former lives. Such a person might say, "I am in recovery." However, this notion of being "in recovery" can also apply, quite aptly, to the spiritual path: in this path of “higher recovery” we do not recover the human life we once knew—a life which was beset by difficulties and limitations even before it was derailed by addiction—but our true, spiritual self. For a person in "higher recovery" it is not enough to remove addictions and overcome some of life's problems—we want to recover the fullness of life, we want to recover the wholeness and glory of who we truly are, we want to recover our unity with Infinite Spirit and our innate qualities of love, joy, aliveness, and beauty.
The Twelve Foundations can be used to replace the traditional 12 Step approach, which is based upon a negative model. The Twelve Foundations can be used by people who want to overcome various addictions and life-challenges (in a positive and transforming way) and also by people who want to “recover from recovery,” meaning they want to continue developing as human beings into a fuller and more joyous life.
The Steps of the Twelve Foundations
Below is a comparison between the steps of the Twelve Foundations and the traditional Twelve Steps.
(Step 1) Affirmed that I am a creative center of Infinite Spirit, that I (in my oneness with Spirit) have power and dominion over the conditions of my life.
We admitted we were powerless over our addictions, that our lives had become unmanageable.
(Step 2) Came to believe that the conscious power within myself, and my intelligent
use of that power, is the very thing that could restore me to wholeness.
Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
(Step 3) Resolved to align my life (will, thoughts, and actions) with the ever-positive Spirit of Life.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
(Step 4) Took steps to fully understand my beliefs, priorities, and true desires--and to live in accord with my highest ideals.
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
(Step 5) Dared to embrace (and revel in) my true humanity and joy.
Admitted to ourselves, to God, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
(Step 6) Accepted my role as a true co-creator with Spirit—never expecting Spirit to do for me what it can only do through me.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
(Step 7) Was ready to have a healthy, balanced, and supportive relationship with my body and body image.
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
(Step 8) Put forth the intention to have every relationship in my life be beneficial and supportive, to resolve negative emotions (such as anger, guilt, and regret), and to forgive others and myself as needed.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
(Step 9) Took steps to put my house in order, to bring balance, peace, and stability to my life.
Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
(Step 10) Was determined to live a true and noble life; to increase my power and aliveness by uncovering (and dissipating) deep-seated emotional blocks.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
(Step 11) Resolved that through meditation (and the practice of presence) I would come to know my true self and illumine the qualities of my life.
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
(Step 12) Having realized my inseparable oneness with Spirit, my creative power, and a joyful sense of well-being, I was inspired to deepen my spiritual awareness and share my awakened state with others.
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
The Twelve Guidelines
The following guidelines can replace the "Twelve Traditions" which are used with traditional Twelve Step groups:
1. One’s personal transformation should come first; the unity and integrity of the whole is founded upon the wholeness of the individual. (It is only from a place of individual wholeness that person can truly support the common welfare of all. An individual’s concern for the group should never usurp or replace his primary concern for his own transformation and wholeness.)
2. For our group, and its participants, there is but one truth (or guiding principle)—one’s own heart, and the expression of one’s higher consciousness.
3. The only requirement for Twelve Foundations participation is the sincere desire to uplift and improve oneself, and the willingness to support others (in their personal and spiritual development).
4. Each group has but one primary purpose—the upliftment and making whole of its individual members.
5. Confidentiality is what affords each participant the freedom to reveal him or herself (and this supports one’s spiritual growth); thus, we must honor this principle before individual concerns.
6. Group participants ought not share, commiserate with, find mutual support for, or affirm (through their words or actions) any identity (or personal concern) based upon weakness, addiction, or victimization—as these are the very negative attributes we wish to overcome and stop creating for ourselves.
7. Group participants should not approach other participants in order to sell any products or services, or proselytize, or promote any religious belief or organization.
8. Each group meeting should adhere to a prescribed format (in terms of beginning time, procedure, duration, etc.)
9 - 12. Each group should be independent and self-supporting (yet always adhere to the overall message and principles of TF). A TF group should never endorse, finance, or lend the TF name to any outside group or program. No TF group should be run as a professional or profit-making enterprise. TF has no opinion on political issues and the TF name should never be involved with public or political issues. No individual’s name should be associated with, or used to promote, any particular TF group.
Printable version of The Twelve Foundations/ Twelve Steps: