All twelve-step programs borrow the steps (with permission) from Alcoholics Anonymous. But often, we take that familiar list of 12 steps, and forget to borrow the explanations and instructions that go with them! In this workshop, we show you how to work the steps in that old-school, time-tested way that has given millions the same powerful relief and freedom over the past eight decades.
Take what you like and leave the rest. These steps, like everything in our program, are only suggestions — but we think you’ll find them as effective and powerful as we have, if you give them all the commitment and rigorous honesty you can muster. You can listen to the recordings, read the handouts, or both — either way will show you how to work the steps.
And don’t forget: if you’re not using the Traditions and the Concepts as well, you are missing out on some of the best parts of this program, and on true recovery! You’ll find recordings and writings about those, below, as well.
- First Step handout
- Step Two handout
- Step Three handout
- Step Four handout, parts one and two
- Step Four worksheets in Excel, Numbers, and PDF formats.
Please note: we made these ourselves. They are not “official” fourth step inventory worksheets: there is no such thing. But they are the most effective way we’ve found of taking that inventory and preparing for the ongoing inventory of the 10th step.(We’re writing the handouts as we go along in the current step workshop, so that’s all we have so far! The first time we did it, it was almost all over the phone; the recordings of that, which we are also sharing in the current, email-based step workshop, are below. So are the traditions, concepts, and the promises of the progam!)
- Step One recording
- Steps Two, Three, and the beginning of Four recording
- Step Four recording, part 2
- Step Four recording, part 3
- Step Five recording (and the end of Four)
- Step Ten recording?! Yep, Step 10. We start using it here to clean up as we go, so those resentments don’t pile up anymore. As the directions say, we started taking these actions as we cleaned up the past. Well, we’ve started cleaning up the past — now let’s not get ourselves into any more trouble!
- Step Eleven recording — yup! Same reason. Using these two steps, starting right after our inventory, is extremely powerful and handy. You’re gonna love it!
- OPTIONAL “cheat sheets” or worksheets for Steps Ten and Eleven. We like ’em, but you can certainly do the steps without ’em; they’re just handy for practice till you are familiar enough to do these steps on your own.
- Steps Six and Seven recording
- Step Eight recording And the beginning of Nine.
- Step Nine recording, part 2
- Step Nine recording, part 3
- Step Nine recording, part 4
- Step Nine recording, part 5
- Steps Ten and Eleven, revisited, recording so that we can learn even more about them, and renew our commitment to the “every day, one day at a time” part of our program!
- Step Twelve recording
- Step Twelve “Cheat Sheet” – also OPTIONAL, just some notes on what has helped us start sponsoring and carrying the message.
The Twelve Traditions
These teach us how to be in relationship with one another and with groups. That could mean your family, your COSA meeting, romantic relationships, friendships, et cetera. It includes a lot of powerful program principles. For example, you’ll learn here why we are all equal, (as opposed to other organizations that are run from the top down), and what that means for our self-esteem and recovery.
- Tradition One writeup
- Tradition Two writeup
- Tradition Three writeup
- Traditions One, Two, and Three recording
- Traditions Four, Five, and Six recording
- Traditions Seven, Eight, and Nine recording
- Traditions Ten, Eleven, and Twelve recording
The Twelve Concepts of Service
These teach us how to be a part of larger organizations — COSA as a whole, extended families, organizations we work for or run, local community, national and international community, etc. — as well as teaching us amazing things about how a higher power works in our lives.
- Concept One writeup
- Concept Two writeup
- Concept Three writeup
- Concepts One, Two, and Three recording
- Concepts Four, Five, and Six recording
- Concepts Seven, Eight, and Nine recording
- Concepts Ten, Eleven, and Twelve recording
The Promises of the Program
You will often hear meetings read “The Promises”. These are actually the promises from the ninth step in the “big book” of Alcoholics Anonymous. (Like their steps, traditions, and concepts, COSA has AA’s kind permission to read those promises in our meetings and print them in our literature.)
Those “Promises” are some of the biggest gifts we get from working the first nine steps. But they are not the only ones! In fact, the “big book” mentions numerous gifts we receive along the way. Here, we list the promises that it mentions for other steps, and share a little of our experience with each one.
The promises for the first two steps are included in their handouts (at the top of this page), but after those two steps they grew so numerous that we had to make them their own readings! As with the handouts, more will be added as we proceed through the steps.
- We gain a new employer.
- We become less and less interested in ourselves, our own plans and designs, and more and more interested in seeing what we can contribute to life.
- We feel new power flow in.
- To the extent that we rely on and follow our higher power’s guidance, we are able to meet calamity with serenity. We commence to outgrow fear.
- We begin to understand the futility, fatality, and destructiveness of our resentments.
- We start to see how even imaginary resentments hurt us.
- We begin to accept everyone.
- We become willing to straighten out the past if we can.
Phew, that was a lot of information, wasn’t it? Don’t let us distract you — start with just that first step, and take it one bite at a time.