Thanks for sending these (inventory forms) and for doing the workshop. I feel, for the first time in months, as if I am going to be okay.
I have to say how much last weekend’s workshop meant to me. In my long-term recovery, I have never experienced the Big Book and Steps in such a beautiful way. You and Tyler were so heartfelt, honest, loving and supportive to all of us. All I can say is WOW!
I just wanted to thank you and Tyler SO much for the wonderful workshop this past weekend. Words cannot express how meaningful it was for my recovery. More importantly I was able to connect with my higher power in a way I didn’t think I could. I no longer feel lost and am determined to keep up my spiritual connection. I also attend Prescriptions Anonymous 12 step meetings in Denver and am going to see if they would be open to something like this.
“It changed my life! After all my years in AA, I finally get it that the Big Book is AA’s soul. For me, hearing it read became a “stream of consciousness” experience.
When I led our meeting four days later, I said, ‘From now on, if I say anything to you in a meeting that isn’t about God or from the Big Book, I’ll be wasting your time, and mine.
Bill, I cannot tell you how much hearing the first part of the Big Book has changed me. Nor can I believe it took me this long to really get the message. Thank you so much, both of you, for coming into my life.”
“I had a twenty five-year relationship with my 12-Step recovery program for Alcoholism. I was a young woman when I entered the program; and I experienced some traumatic times with men in the program.
I attended the AA Intensive Weekend Workshop and gained tools and support I needed to heal my old resentments towards those men. I am so grateful.
Because of being taken through the 12-Steps in the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately called the Big Book), I am now in “fit spiritual condition” on a daily basis and proud to state I am a recovered alcoholic.”
Thank you SO much for sharing these helpful forms with me. I felt that the step 10 exercise helped me find a way to break through excuses for not doing my part in trying to improve a personal relationship I have. The exercise and the feedback I received from my partner for the exercise was empowering and truly eye opening. Thank you again for graciously allowing me to participate in your workshop!
Your workshop was very thought provoking. Here are some of my reflections below- if you have time to read them.
In spite of having the DSM diagnosis for alcoholism/addiction memorized and being told in every counseling position (by counselors in recovery) that I have excellent instincts for evaluating and working with alcoholics/addicts, I knew I had to ask you the question, “what is an alcoholic?” because there are different definitions out there (dsm, addiction and general mental health counselors, moderation management program, etc.) I also plan to have a courageous conversation with my dad over the Thanksgiving holiday to find out more about his past and his current thoughts about his sobriety.
What led me to attend your workshop was my question, “What is the difference between sobriety and recovery?” I know in my gut (so far I haven’t been wrong, but sometimes wish I were) when I meet someone which group they’re in, but I want to have the ability to articulate this extremely well, which is why I am doing this “research” and personal work. I also saw amazing changes in teenagers who worked the 12 steps at my first internship and knew back in 2001 I wanted to learn more about this transformational program.
I appreciated how you said that family members are as sick or sicker than alcoholics! I agree!!! And I also understand why I need to do Al-Anon work if I want to specialize my counseling practice in healing families with addiction (can’t take someone where I haven’t been). I also hope to eventually teach a class for addiction counselors in training about effective ways to work with the family members of alcoholics/addicts. It is hard to believe this isn’t already a required class for CAC’s even though the literature makes it clear that this is a “family disease”. The reason for switching my focus to family work is that after reflecting on my close to 10 years of experience working with alcoholics/addicts, whenever the families were involved in the treatment, I saw long lasting change vs. individuals working on their recovery alone.
From your workshop, I realized some powerful things about myself and the 12 steps of recovery. I definitely want to make Al-Anon a priority and continue the 12 step work I started. Also, your work with counselors is inspiring! Thank you for letting me know about your program.
The Intensive AA Big Book weekend was a great way to get through the steps like our founders did: totally immersed, very timely and intensively. I found it to be a great approach that resonated with ‘newcomers’ and ‘old hands.’ The shared experience and open dialogue approach of the facilitators tapped into the spirit and wisdom of the group while creating even more opportunities for identification for the newcomer. I recommend this weekend to any and all AA members who want to deepen their understanding of the Big Book, are looking for a refresher or, most importantly, are struggling with working the steps.
I was offered the opportunity to participate in a retreat, with fellow men in recovery, to work the Golden Slippers 12 Step Intensive Workshop. We were fortunate to have Tyler R. facilitate the workshop over 3 days in a 10th Mountain Division Hut, in Vail, CO.
In this case the journey and destination was part of the experience that allowed us all to disconnect from daily life and focus on the intensity of the set work. Prior to this experience I had only worked the 12 steps in my program with my sponsor. My discussions with friends and other men in recovery have been an important part of my sobriety, but the AA Big Book Intensive Weekend format provided a new approach for my recovery. Working through the 12 steps and reading the first 164 pages of AA as a group was transformative.
The connections between men sharing experience strength and hope were meaningful and focused. Tyler was both a guide and a mentor during this process. Overall the process and work done was intentional and authentic, a new way to experience the 12-Step process in my recovery.
For 17 years I was a true alcoholic burdened by the fact that alcohol controlled all aspects of my being. I had never had any exposure to Alcoholics Anonymous and was convinced that my life was just going to be an ongoing battle. Then, by chance, I was invited by someone aware of my suffering to attend the Intensive Weekend. I went solely out of respect for the man whom invited me, under the premise that I had nothing to lose, and a confidence that my keen eye would find a chink in the programs armor; nothing could save me. At the end of the first day I left bewildered by the interest those in attendance showed toward the text and mystified at the unity they shared. This confounded and annoyed me, so being a true alcoholic, I got home and begrudgingly had only a few beers to help marinate my feelings of confusion, loneliness, and helplessness.
Day two of the Intensive Weekend, I awoke with only a slight hangover, loaded with remorseful shame, and reluctantly went. As the day progressed the readings began to make more sense and even connect with me. I could see why these people were passionate about these readings, they had powerful things to say. By the end of the chapter entitled “How it Works” I was hooked and wanted to solve this mystery. The words and discussions kept getting more profound and at the day’s conclusion I was cajoled into action.
I wanted to be freed from the nightmare of alcoholism. That night I returned home and again was alone with my thoughts; I was sad. I knew that this commitment to sobriety would lead to big changes and that they would not be easy. But I did not drink. Day three of the Intensive Weekend I went to meet with my new people, sober people, and together we trudged through the hard work of recovery. We helped each other to understand how to use “these simple steps”. When it was over, I went home knowing that I was not alone, the Big Book would always be with me and tomorrow there would be a meeting where I can connect with my fellow alcoholics. I’ve been sober for 112 days now, ready for the next 112 days, and the 112 ahead of those, and the 112 ahead of those…
In the fall of 2013 I was invited to join a group of men for a twelve step intensive weekend in the 10th Mountain Division Hut system of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Tyler R., facilitated the three day workshop where the dozen attending men read, highlighted, discussed, and shared through the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
When we weren’t reading and highlighting in the book we were in pairs or small groups to read each other our fifth steps, when it came time to do the eleventh step we took a silent hike together through the high mountain Rockies, reflecting on our lives in recovery. Tyler did an amazing job leading our group through this process; his passion for recovery and dedication to the twelfth step is supremely evident.
I would highly recommend a twelve step intensive weekend for anyone in any period of their sobriety, whether it be your fresh newcomer or your seasoned old timer, this process must not be missed.
“Procrastination and months of personal resistance evaporated as we simply opened the book and began our work together…. As a group, we were able to accomplish what I could never seem to achieve on my own. We listened, we shared, we pondered, and we wrote. With “the desperation of drowning men” we wrote our inventories, and I was able to share honestly with others in the context of the 12 steps. The energy in the room was shot through with compassion, honesty, and trust. The feeling of “a common solution” was very real for me. Thank you for this needed spiritual boost!!”
“In the fall of 2013 I was invited to participate in The Golden Slippers 12 step retreat near Vail, CO. The retreat was guided by Tyler R and the group consisted of many of my friends in the twelve step community here in Carbondale, CO. It was an amazing experience. Tyler guided us through the first 164 pages of the big book over 3 days and we worked through all 12 steps. I said to many friends after that, “the experience left me excited to have a great 2014!” It did just that. This process was rewarding and I would certainly be on board to go it again. Thanks to Tyler who was a great group leader and facilitated an emotionally important experience!”
A while back I was invited to join a group of men for a 12 Step Retreat in the Rocky Mountain Wilderness. The name of this method was and is The Golden Slipper 12 Step Work Shop and this trip as well as it’s format, I will never forget. For three days we spent time together reading from the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book and engaging with one another as we worked through the 12 steps. Tyler R passionately led our group and I truly believe that his attitude and approach to the weekend we spent together made it the memorable and life changing experience that it was. I would recommend this approach to any man/woman in sobriety is there is much to be said about how that weekend changed my life and the lives of those I had the pleasure of sharing it with.
For me the intensive weekend was wonderful, to really have an understanding of the Alcohol Anonymous text book (affectionately called the Big Book), I needed to go through those first 103 pages with someone who really understood it.
Prior to attending I was doing that with a sponsor, and it would have taken many months to complete. The other issue is that I would have had just that person’s perspective on the material.
I very much needed and enjoyed the fact that through the course of the workshop we had completed the reading and group discussion of those 103 pages.
As facilitators the two of you provided great insight and comments throughout the workshop. Then another valuable part was the insight, comments and questions from the participants.
You created an environment that felt safe that respected everyone’s input.
The structure of the workshop with the breakouts, where we were paired with another person to complete and discuss each of steps was invaluable. That removed any question of what needed to be done by me in the future.
I greatly appreciated that all the material presented and discussed was exactly as it exists in the big book.
I found that the workshop was a wonderful resource regardless of how long or short of time one has been in the program.
Thank you very much for the experience.
I attended a intensive Big book weekend after a year and a half of sobriety. There is something magical about reading the first 164 pages as a group, I was amazed at what I got out of it. Regardless if your new or have years of sobriety I guarantee you’ll take something away from the experience
2 years ago I had the opportunity to travel to Vail Pass for a Golden Slippers method 12 Step hut trip. I joined my brothers in recovery on a spiritual quest to learn more about Alcoholics Anonymous. I had worked the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous twice before with a sponsor and the idea of going through the first 164 line by line, word by word was intriguing. We worked all 12 steps in 3 days, including a transformative 4th and 5th step that involved a silent walk through the snow at 10k feet. For this Seattle boy, I had never imagined such peace and serenity! I would say this weekend was one of the crux moments in my early recovery. I highly recommend the Golden Slippers method to anyone looking to expand their knowledge of Alcoholics Anonymous, improve their program and bond with other men trudging the road of happy destiny!