What Is Step 11 of AA?
"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."
What Is the Purpose of This Step?
Step 11 helps to create a solid foundation for a peaceful and fulfilled life and to develop a more positive way of thinking, which will better serve you moving forward. A daily spiritual practice can help to promote emotional balance and stability.
How Do You Complete This Step?
- Choose whether you'd like to pray, meditate or practice some other kind of spiritual activity.
- Envision your spiritual objective, which is improved conscious contact, whether it be with a higher power or your higher self.
- Create a relaxing environment free of distractions.
- Focus on your higher power's will for you and let go of preconceived notions.
What Are Some Tips for Completing This Step?
- If you choose to pray, don't make specific demands of your higher power. That communicates that you would like things done your way, instead of through its will.
What Are Some Myths About Step 11?
- You have to pray to a specific God. This step is about opening your mind. You decide how you feel most comfortable achieving this. What's important is that you clear yourself of unwanted defects and make room for care, compassion, love and empathy.
Go Back to Step 10
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. (1981). New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. Available at: www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_step11.pdf
Perspectives on Step 11
By Dominica A.
As I approached the last two steps, I realized that my relationship with my Higher Power had grown strong as I worked the previous steps. I felt more awake. Aware. Conscious. Life was making more sense to me, and I could see the bigger picture.
So when Step 11 came around, it wasn't difficult for me to improve my conscious contact with my Higher Power through meditation and prayer.
While in active addiction, my prayer life became virtually nil. Other than an occasional "God, please help me," I didn't pursue any type of spiritual path. But when I finally succumbed to asking for help, I began an inner spiritual quest for truth, peace, love, and joy. Somehow I just knew that I could experience those things if I consciously walked a spiritual path.
Spiritual Journeys Differ
What works for me spiritually may not work for others, and that's all right. To me, there's no right or wrong; it's about experience.
I developed a daily spiritual practice that was working for me. In Step 11, I took the opportunity to deepen my conscious contact through meditation and prayer. I wanted to put my faith in something greater than myself. I wanted to grow my relationship with my Higher Power and myself. I'd felt alone quite enough in my life. A Higher Power meant that I never had to feel alone again.
I adopted a meditation practice to gain some control over my thought life and journey deep inside myself. I began talking to my Higher Power and getting out into nature to experience a great peace and joy. I read books and listened to audios that encouraged my spiritual journey. All of these things help me stay centered and lead me to walk a path that not only improves my life experience, but others' experience as well.
I'm a firm believer that my emotional breakdown due to my addictions was really just the platform for my spiritual awakening. My perspective on life changed and continues to change. I don't sweat the small stuff much anymore. I look at the bigger picture and my larger purpose in life.
Whether you believe in a Higher Power or not, we can probably all agree that Love is the highest power around. In Step 11, even an atheist could get in better contact with Love, embrace Love, and let that Love ooze out into humanity.
After all, I feel like that's really what we all want deep down: unconditional Love from others and ourselves.
Dominica A. has a love for the 12 steps, as working through them several times has helped her steer clear of addictions and grow personally and spiritually.
She is committed to living out the 12-step philosophy and sharing the message of hope to those still suffering in addiction—and to those in recovery as well.
Dominica has attended both Alcoholics Anonymous and Codependents Anonymous meetings over the years and appreciates the support she's received. She's got a deep-rooted passion for helping others heal emotional pain and trauma, as her own journey through love addiction has served as a catalyst for her own healing and transformation.
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