In the "Why AYP?" section of my website, I spend a considerable amount of time reviewing certain weaknesses I perceive in AA, while also highlighting some of the benefits. I have obviously felt a deep drive to improve the recovery paradigm, especially because I have witnessed relapses and failures firsthand, even by friends in the fellowship that have diligently followed the 12 Steps. In this blog, I'm not going to do any constructive criticism, but will instead focus solely on the positives of AA.
One of the immediate benefits of AA is its openness. Anyone can walk into a meeting, and I mean pretty much anyone. Even if you're drunk (non-threatening), you can sit in on a meeting. (If you're belligerently drunk and threatening other attendants, of course, appropriate measures will be taken to ensure the safety of the group). This open-door policy promotes and fosters inclusiveness, rather than exclusiveness. People in the raw, beginning stages of recovery need a place that is non-judgmental and welcoming, and AA fits that mold.
Because AA is self-supporting through its own contributions, there is a healthy autonomy at work. AA has spread worldwide, and it is fairly easy to start a new meeting anywhere, with the approval of a district committee. In that sense, it is much like AYP. Actually, AYP is even more flexible. The open-source platform of AYP has opened the floodgates for anyone to draw from the baseline and manifest community gatherings devoted to enlightenment. In fact, it is incumbent upon us, as leaders and practitioners, to bring AYP to the public in our respective localities. Yogani isn't going to do the work. We are. He laid the blueprint, now we have to build the sanctuaries. The architect has handed off the design to the carpenters.
By far and away, the leader of the budding trend of community development has been Tristan Dorling, and with his unveiling and roll-out of the certification program, it will surely bring AYP further into the limelight. Time, money, and divine will permitting—I will be in France in 2017 to complete the course. I most definitely want to pin the gold star by my name. It will be an official stamp, a resume booster, and a mark of commendation. Such things are certainly attractive to the public, and there is merit and value in having a diploma that signifies time well spent studying and mastering a discipline.
But, back to recovery.
AYP for Recovery is like the Mission Impossible message that is designed to self-destruct in 5 seconds once the message is received and understood. Once alcohol and drugs fade off the global scene, there will be no need for recovery. So my little project is a temporary measure to bolster and supplement the more long-term trajectory of AYP itself. In other words, recovery is merely a peripheral entrance to the main show...a kind of side door that leads to the central chamber.
Yogani's endorsement of AA, despite his lack of direct experience in the fellowship or program, is understandable. But I think that with the passage of time, AYP for Recovery will stand on its own as a viable alternative to AA and the 12 Steps. In particular, I have promoted the Dare to Dream Formula as a beginning stepping stone for anyone in recovery, precisely because it has been an instrumental strategy in my own recovery and movement forward.
To move forward, it is necessary to review and reconcile the past, but it is equally vital and important, perhaps more so, to envision and co-create a future based on personal talents and longings. The recovery and enlightenment equation is not complete unless there is a visionary dream emanating from the heart and mind. It's pure mechanics, and it's basically non-negotiable (in the best kind of way).
So, I am going to hold onto what I've learned from AA, drop the ineffective parts, and get a little closer to Paradise, here and now. At least that's the plan.
End of line.