Is My Triangle Balanced?

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Participation in All of A.A. — Is My Triangle Balanced?

In A.A., this symbol represents the three parts of our program (recovery, unity, service), which are the solutions to the three-part disease of alcoholism (physical, mental and spiritual). The circle surrounding the triangle represents Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole. The equilateral triangle is the strongest construction structure known to us. Because all three sides are equal, the triangle represents the balance required among all 36 principles in order for us to stay sober. The body should be triangular, stable — the mind, circular, open.

The triangle represents the means for generation of good energy, and is the most stable physical posture. The circle symbolizes serenity and perfection, and is the source of unlimited potential. Together they represent the perfect union of mind and body.

Recovery (bottom of the triangle): The Twelve Steps are known as recovery, and it is the entire foundation of our program. Consequently, it is the bottom of the triangle, holding up unity and service. There are three basic principles of our spiritual program of action that can be summed up in a formula of three words: awareness, honesty and responsibility. I realize that for this formula to work, I have to apply it to my entire life. There is no compartment of my life that can be immune to the application of these concepts. They are to be applied equally to my inner life, my outer life, to my personal life and my public life, to my work life, my social life, to my family relationships, to my business relationships and my personal friendships. Recovery is absorbed rather than learned, caught rather than taught. For me this is my recovery foundation.

Unity (left side of triangle): The concept of unity first suggests joining a home group and actually participating in the meetings (not just sitting in a chair). The group and its members are responsible for making sure that the door to the meeting is open and there for the newcomer. Tradition One (long form): “Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. A.A. must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward.”

Joining the home group and actually participating in the group conscience meetings does not mean we will agree on everything. That is when I understood that agreeing to disagree is acknowledging another person’s opinion. This is Tradition Two: “For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.” For me, this is a practice of acceptance. Tradition Four also plays a big part in unity — “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.” This helps us not to lose our group individuality. However, in order to follow the Twelve Traditions, our group should not do things that will affect A.A. as a whole. In following these traditions, we will remain unified.

While A.A. structure is important and can be identified as a result of, or reflect, our unity, even when A.A. is not structured and seems to be completely fractious, our principles and common interests can and do unite us. Therefore, we have the A.A. Declaration of Unity: “This we owe to A.A.’s future: To place our common welfare first; To keep our fellowship united. For on A.A. unity depend our lives, And the lives of those to come.”

Service (right side of triangle): “Hence, an A.A. service is anything whatever that helps us to reach a fellow sufferer — ranging all the way from the Twelfth Step itself to a phone call or sitting down for a cup of coffee and listening to another alcoholic. The sum total of all these services is our Third Legacy of Service. Services include meeting places, hospital cooperation, and intergroup offices; they mean pamphlets, books, and good publicity of almost every description. They call for committees, delegates, trustees, and conferences. And, not to be forgotten, they need  voluntary money contributions from within the Fellowship. Vital to A.A.’s growth, these services, whether performed by individuals, groups, areas, or A.A. as a whole, are utterly vital to our existence and growth.”

In order for A.A. to continue to grow and keep the doors open for the newcomer, I have to take the responsibility of carrying the message of A.A. Alcoholics Anonymous will always need people to explain the A.A. structure to all who wish to be informed or helped. This means answering inquiries, fostering new groups, and distributing our standard books and publications. We shall also need others who can research important questions about our general policy or A.A. Traditions. (“Third Legacy Pamphlet,” October 1950).

I have a responsibility if I want to stay sober and give back what was so freely given to me. This is where I apply the Responsibility Declaration: “I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there. And for that: I am responsible” Jamie B., Northeast Ohio

Excerpt from 68th GSC Final Report. To download ALL, visit the Area’s Website, cnia.org, and visit the Delegate’s Page, or go to Final Report on this site (it is Password Protected).

68th Conference Report available…

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The Final Conference Report is available. The Print Version will be disseminated later on, but for those eager to explore more than what CNIA Delegate reported, the digital anonymity-protected version is available to download at the CNIA Website on the Delegate’s Page. Note that it is the first item on the page, titled: 68th GSC Final Rpoert

Also, while this is the “scrubbed” version, it still should be treated as “restricted access” for AA member’s eyes only.

It is also available here (on the District Website) under the 2018 Conference Results Menu. This is a Pass-word Protected Area. For those that don’t remember, or even have, the PW for 2018, please email cniadistrict11@gmail.com. For ease of use, it is recommended that members use the CNIA Website that is not PW Protected.

Behind the scenes…

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CNIA Chair Report for September Accents

Our Finance Committee has been hard at work preparing the spending plan for 2019. Thanks to Herminia, Julie, Brad, Barb and Vikki for all of their hard work. Herminia presented the draft at the August ACM and I hope that a copy has made its way to your homegroup. We will be discussing the spending plan at the ACM again this month. The Finance Committee will be presenting the spending plan at the Assembly in October and I’m confident that we should be able to get it approved. I’m so grateful to all of your groups for your 7th Tradition support.
September starts the busy season in General Service. In addition to the Assembly in October, the Pacific Region Forum was September 7–9 and the 17th Local Hispanic General Service Forum (Foro) is December 2 in Lindsay, and District 53 has won the bid to host the La Viña Anniversary Regional Event celebrating the 23rd anniversary of La Viña next year. I’m also pleased to announce that CNIA is supporting the 3rd Annual Hispanic Women’s Workshop on December 1 in San Francisco.
Finally, at the August ACM, we discussed the date change for the 2019 General Service Conference. Because of some scheduling issues at the General Service Office, the Conference is being moved to May 19–25, necessitating changes to the Post Conference Assembly. The Pre-Conference Assembly can’t be rescheduled, but the Post Conference Assembly is moving to June 22-23 in District 17. Thanks to Barb for making this happen.

Thanks, as always, for your service to AA.
In service, Jenn D. CNIA Chair Panel 68

For complete Accents, see CNIA Website this and past issues.

Start Planning Now

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The 2020 International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous will be held July 2–5, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan with the theme “Love and Tolerance is our Code.” A.A. members and guests from around the world will celebrate A.A.’s 85th year at this event with big meetings held Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday morning in the Ford Field Stadium. Other meetings, scheduled or informal, will take place throughout the weekend in the COBO Center in downtown Detroit.

We know many are excited about the International Convention and eager for detailed information. As the time gets closer, additional information about the Convention and Detroit, our host city, will be provided.

This website will be updated as more information becomes available. Also watch for articles in Box 4-5-9 that is mailed to the general service representative of every group in the U.S. and Canada listed with G.S.O. and is also posted on the website.

Information about Convention registration and housing reservations will be available in fall 2019. All necessary information will be included in the registration packet which will also be available in the fall of 2019. This packet will list numbers to call for answers to specific questions about housing, the program, etc. The information will be mailed to A.A. groups, offices and contacts around the world and posted on the website.

We look forward to seeing you in Detroit!

Delegate’s Report…

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The room had a mix of those that wanted to hear the results of the 68th General Service Conference, and those that already knew the results (by earlier reading the Password Protected area of the Website of Advisory Actions and Committee Considerations). But both were entertained by Mike’s heartfelt recollections of what transpired.

From the non-conference AA meetings he attended to the closed meetings for conference attendees, there was no doubt that Mike was a typical AA member who just happens to be in General Service. Resting on a CNIA banner festooned with signatures of conference participants, his tri-fold poster board was filled with remembrances.

DCM Stacey added a nice touch with her board on General Service from her home group.

As is the norm, pre-conference trips to Stepping Stones, the AA General Service Office, and other AA-historical sites were featured as well as the “pre-requisite” Broadway Show or two programs.

It was a fantastic report! And despite the heat, was relatively well attended. Thanks to those that brought treats and fruit trays.

A.A. and the Service Member

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Alcoholics Anonymous has had a close relationship with the armed services almost since the Fellowship’s inception in 1935. A.A. co-founder Bill W. was a second lieutenant in the field artillery during World War I (where he developed a love of French wine while serving overseas). When World War II broke out, A.A. requested and was granted extra gasoline rations in order to continue with the important work of carrying the A.A. message to alcoholics across the U.S. and Canada, known in A.A. vernacular as “Twelfth Step work.” The Grapevine, A.A.’s monthly magazine — often referred to as “A.A.’s meeting in print” — was first published in June 1944, in part to help connect alcoholics on the world’s far-flung battlefields; and post-war, A.A. groups sprang up on military bases and in surrounding towns from Okinawa to Munich, growth that has continued ever since.

For more on this topic, see or download About A.A. … A Newsletter for Professionals (Fall of 2017)

The Future is “All Year Long”

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Below is the last paragraph of an article in the Summer Edition of BOX 459, the Quarterly News Bulletin of A.A.’s General Service Office recapping the 2018 68th Conference. One can download directly this with other articles from AA.org.

While the efforts of the General Service Conference are felt year-round, the annual meeting held each spring is the culmination of a year’s worth of activity, a time when the collective conscience of A.A. in the U.S./Canada emerges to highlight a pathway forward that will help groups and members carry the A.A. message today and in the years to come. In this way, the Conference is a window to the future of the Fellowship, and as the 68th Conference receded, Conference members began to turn their attention toward the ongoing impact of our A.A. literature and the 2019 Conference with its theme: “Our Big Book — 80 Years, 71 Languages.”

Other articles of interest include a history of getting the Big Book to the verbal-only Navajo Nation, Myths and Misconceptions around the relationship of AA and the professional community, the A.A. practice of Fiscal PrudenceA.A.W.S./G.S.O. launching an YouTube Channel, and this one, the results of the recent conference.