Gateway to Recovery CoDA Meeting Format (Edited 08/18/2018)

Opening Section
 Good health to you and welcome to Gateway to Recovery CoDA. My name is _____ and I am a member of CoDA. I hope you will find in this fellowship the help and friendship I have been privileged to enjoy.
• If you would like to follow along with our meeting script; it is available online. If anyone needs the link, it can be sent via text.
• Bathrooms are located on the Northwest side of the park in a comfort station.
• We now open our meeting with a 3rd Tradition Meditation.


3rd Tradition Meditation
This meeting is a nurturing space for people to discuss our troubles (as well as our joys and victories) in the ongoing search for personal freedom from Co-Dependency. We encourage each individual as much as possible toward progress on the journey to equal, fulfilling, and healthy relationships with all of our “others”.

Included in our discussion today will be conference approved “foundational documents” that are required to be read as written by every single CoDA meeting. We comply with that requirement in order to be considered part of CoDA.

In those cases where a reading or piece of literature uses certain terms; please know this meeting neither affirms nor negates any specific belief, system, method or assumed norm as a prerequisite for either attending this meeting or for ultimately coming to a place of joy, health and serenity. Since it is the intention of this meeting to reach the greatest number of hearts and minds we do not begin or end with prayers but give the useful and heartfelt salutation of "Good Health to you."

We respect each person and their story no matter what path that takes as some journeys are long and winding. When telling our own stories we speak from the “I” position. If an individual shares an interesting message it is polite to ask that individual if they would consent to further discussing their message after or outside the meeting.

A word to the wise about contact with each other, some of us have arrived at this place of recovery because of serious damage and at any rate we are here to focus on our internal journey. Please ask permission before extending out your hand or offering a hug to another and do not assume that previously granted permission equals future consent.

Having said that, if you feel safe and want to accept a hug; go for it! The point is that we can be in different emotional places at different times and all are welcome here and accepted “as you are right now." If you’d like, we look forward to the opportunity to celebrate you in the near future!

Finally, in promoting a good, healthy balance between the freedom of recovery and the freedom from being subject to unwanted dogma we offer the following slogans as guidance for promoting equal and healthy relationships in our lives:

FACTS BEFORE FEELINGS
I AM NOT ALONE
LAY OFF THE WHINE
SPEAKING FROM MYSELF AND FOR MYSELF

AND

TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE

For more information on anything mentioned here, please see a group member after the meeting. 

REQUIRED FOUNDATIONAL DOCUMENTS (Also available on CoDA.org)


PREAMBLE
Co-Dependents Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships. The only requirement for membership is a desire for healthy and loving relationships. We gather together to support and share with each other in a journey of self-discovery -- learning to love the self. Living the program allows each of us to become increasingly honest with ourselves about our personal histories and our own codependent behaviors. 
We rely upon the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions for knowledge and wisdom. These are the principles of our program and guides to developing honest and fulfilling relationships with ourselves and others. In CoDA, we each learn to build a bridge to a Higher Power of our own understanding, and we allow others the same privilege. 
This renewal process is a gift of healing for us. By actively working the program of Co-Dependents Anonymous, we can each realize a new joy, acceptance and serenity in our lives. 

WELCOME (short version)
We welcome you to Co-Dependents Anonymous - a program of recovery from codependence, where each of us may share our experience, strength, and hope in our efforts to find freedom where there has been bondage, and peace where there has been turmoil in our relationships with others and ourselves.
Codependence is a deeply-rooted, compulsive behavior. It is born out of our sometimes moderately, sometimes extremely dysfunctional family systems. We attempted to use others as our sole source of identity, value, well-being, and as a way of trying to restore our emotional losses. Our histories may include other powerful addictions which we have used to cope with our codependency. 
We have all learned to survive life, but in CoDA we are learning to live life. Through applying the Twelve Steps and principles found in CoDA to our daily lives and relationships, both present and past, we can experience a new freedom from our self-defeating lifestyles. Our sharing helps us to free the emotional bonds of our past and the compulsive control of our present. 
No matter how traumatic your past or despairing your present may seem, there is hope for a new day in the program of Co-Dependents Anonymous. May you find a new strength within to be that which God intended - Precious and Free. 

STEPS

1. We admitted we were powerless over others - that our lives had become unmanageable. 
2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 
3. Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God as we understood God. 
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs. 
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 
7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings. 
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. 
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. 
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out. 
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other codependents, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. 

TRADITIONS

1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon CoDA unity. 
2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority -- a loving higher power as expressed to our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern. 
3. The only requirement for membership in CoDA is a desire for healthy and loving relationships. 
4. Each group should remain autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or CoDA as a whole. 
5. Each group has but one primary purpose -- to carry its message to other codependents who still suffer. 
6. A CoDA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the CoDA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary spiritual aim. 
7. A CoDA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. 
8. Co-Dependents Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers. 
9. CoDA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve. 
10. CoDA has no opinion on outside issues; hence the CoDA name ought never be drawn into public controversy. 
11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films. 
12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions; ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. 

OPEN MEETING
This is an OPEN Meeting of Co-Dependents Anonymous. We are glad you are all here; especially newcomers. 
In keeping with our primary purpose and our 3rd Tradition, which states “The only requirement for membership in CoDA is a desire for healthy and loving relationships”; we ask that all who participate remember that this meeting is open to the public and confine their statements to focus on solutions to Co-Dependency. 

READING

Today’s reading passage from Melody Beattie's "Language of Letting Go" (courtesy of Hazelden-Betty Ford online) is: https://www.hazeldenbettyford.org/thought-for-the-day 

SILENT MEDITATION

(10 Minute Silent Meditation) 
This is a quiet time where we sit and reflect; if you do not already have a preferred method try closing your eyes and relaxing the body while focusing on your breathing.  During meditation we may encounter many sensations and some distractions, they are a natural part of life!  Don't be alarmed if the mind drifts away from its focus; this is expected; in strengthening our practice we try to relax and return to our point of focus-sometimes we have to do this repeatedly--this is okay. At the end of our silent meditation period the timer will go off and we will then re-read today's passage. 

QUESTIONS/ANSWERS/DISCUSSION/REMARKS/SHARING
At this time we embark on the process of applying what we have learned today. There is no requirement for anyone to share unless they feel comfortable to do so. When we share we stick to our own inner journey and speak from the “I” position (and try to not use the word “you”). Whenever possible, it is also suggested (considering our meeting space) to avoid using overly loud voices, excessive profanity, and/or identifying others by name. We can always identify with the topic of a share or a question but never identify the person sharing! Lastly, sharing also means sharing time with each other. Observe the timekeeper for any time boundaries set. 
If someone forgets our guideline, a gentle reminder will be given. If the behavior continues, the above guideline will be read again. Please support the facilitator in keeping our recovery practice safe and continuous! 
Before we begin any sharing or discussion; if there is a question about today’s program or the process in general, please ask the question before sharing begins as it may directly relate to today’s topic. If a question requires a lengthy answer, please understand that a partial answer may be given in order to facilitate the sharing or discussion. If additional clarification is necessary it may wait until the end of the meeting as usually any answers will come out in discussion and sharing--BUT it is always important to cover the basics before beginning. Are there any questions before we begin? 

Post-Share, 7th Tradition, and announcements
• Our time for sharing is now over. I would like to remind everyone that anonymity is an important principle in CoDA. We ask that you respect the anonymity and confidentiality of each person in this meeting. We ask that WHAT YOU HEAR HERE, WHOM YOU SEE HERE, WHEN YOU LEAVE HERE, LET IT STAY HERE! 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:
• CoDA’s 7th Tradition reminds us that we are fully self-supporting through our own contributions. Since our meeting pays no rent for the space; in order to remain sustainable we ask that each member present volunteers to help with the running of the meeting. Financial donations can be made to Long Island CoDA or to CoDA.org directly. 
• Gateway to Recovery CoDA meets at Canarsie Pier on Sundays at 9am weather permitting. If unsure if weather will permit, please join our group text to get a weather update--the weather update will be sent out early morning before the start of the meeting. 
• This meeting can be reached by text at (929) 357-4495 or by e-mail at: gatewaytorecoverycoda@gmail.com both email and texts will be checked and replied to once a week before the start of the meeting. 
• Are there any volunteers who can clean up, do service or possibly provide hospitality (coffee, etc.) for the next meeting? 

• Are there any CoDA related announcements? 
• Everyone please put your hands together in thanks to those who contributed and performed service at the meeting today.
AND TO ALL OF YOU FOR SOME POWERFUL SHARING! KEEP COMING BACK! 

GOOD HEALTH TO YOU!

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