The first stage “Awareness” involves making sense of the world and our life. This stage embodies Principles One through Five: Acceptance, awareness, spirituality, responsibility and openness.

Principle One focuses on accepting the full extent of your addiction. Even though this can be a very harsh reality, it is critical to discover and you will be tempted to be very hard on yourself in the process. Through this principle, you will take a journey into accepting addiction as a biological disease, and recognizing the harsh critic that lives inside you. We will provide materials for you to use as you develop a spirit of acceptance that is generous, kind and merciful to self.

Thought to ponder: What are my limits?

Principle Two has an essence of becoming aware of what is around you with the beauty and miracle of your life. The underlining meaning of the Awareness Principle is to help move you towards a view of the larger purpose in all of this, thus finding your meaning and significance in life. Another part of this second principle is about looking around and seeing the design in nature and having an awareness of what’s going on internally and externally.

Thought to ponder: How do I know what is real?

Principle Three flows from acceptance and self-awareness into the realms of spirituality. Living the values of the principle of the Twelve Steps allows you to move past existing in a world of rigid rules and into living a life of the flexibility of the principles.

Thought to ponder: Am I loveable to God and others?

Principle Four looks at the realization of the profound change you are making in your life through the lens of reflections. The purpose of this principle is to expand upon the importance of taking responsibility for your beliefs, actions and decisions. An example of the work included in this principle involves using your inner observer to explore the successes, failures, hopes, difficulties, pleasures and uncertainties of your life.

Thought to ponder: Who am I?

Principle Five is about becoming open to trusting yourself and others. We all at our core desire to truly belong and live in a climate of trust in our relationships. In reality, addiction is an unhealthy attraction to a behavior, feeling or substance. It is a form of belonging but with an environment full of secrecy and chaos. Principle Five helps you to find a safe place; one where you find your voice and you learn to bond to others. Bonding is the key to openness and openness is the key to love, acceptance and freedom

Thought to ponder: How do I trust?