WSS meetings are conducted according to the following format to ensure that (1) all attendees understand the purpose of the meeting, (2) all attendees understand the guidelines and confidentiality requirement for 12-Step discussions, and (3) as many attendees as wish to share during the meeting are given an opportunity to do so.
There is no designated leader of a WSS group -- it is a group of peers. Leadership of the meetings is shared by all members of the group willing to assume this role, and can be done on a rotation basis, on a sign-up basis, or randomly meeting by meeting.
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The Leader begins the meeting promptly at the designated time . . .
Welcome to the [day of the week] meeting of the Women Seeking Serenity Group. Please turn your cell phones off or to vibrate. My name is ______, and I’m recovering with the help of my Higher Power and the 12 Steps. Please help me open this meeting with a moment of silence followed by the Serenity Prayer.
After a brief pause, the group recites together . . .
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
The Leader continues . . .
So that no one will misunderstand the purpose of this meeting and why we speak of problems that underlie our difficulties with substances and other types of addictions, we read April 6th from Daily Reflections, the only meditation book that is approved of by Alcoholics Anonymous. These words were written by Bill Wilson, one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous . . .
We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn’t make a living, we had a feeling of hopelessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people . . . (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 52)
. . . and then Bill Wilson wrote:
Those words remind me that I have more problems than alcohol, that alcohol is only a symptom of a more pervasive disease. When I stopped drinking I began a lifetime process of recovery from unruly emotions, painful relationships, and unmanageable situations. This process is too much for most of us without help from a Higher Power and our friends in the Fellowship. When I began working the Steps of the A.A. program, many of these tangled threads unraveled but, little by little, the most broken places of my life straightened out. One day at a time, almost imperceptibly, I healed. Like a thermostat being turned down, my fears diminished. I began to experience moments of contentment. My emotions became less volatile. I am now, once again, a part of the human family.
The Leader then asks . . .
Do we have any newcomers?
Do we have any visitors?
Are there any announcements?
After welcoming any newcomers or visitors, and permitting time for announcements, the Leader continues with the reading of the Preamble . . .
Women Seeking Serenity Through The 12 Steps is a sisterhood of women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problems in life and help others to recover from addictions and painful relationships. The only requirement for membership is a desire to end self abuse and abuse of others or by others. There are no dues or fees for membership. We are self- supporting through our own contributions. We are not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization, or institution; we do not wish to engage in any controversy and we don’t endorse or oppose any causes. Our primary purpose is to unite with other women in the search for serenity and God’s purposes for our lives.
In this meeting we avoid cross talk, giving advice, and private conversa-tions. We make every effort to insure that each person present has a chance to speak, and limit our sharing to make sure this happens. We share our own experience, strength and hope to help ourselves and others here today. Our sharing includes our growth experiences through the use of the 12 Steps whenever possible. We begin each discussion meeting with the reading of the 12 Steps.
The Leader reads the 12 Steps, or passes a copy of the Steps around the group, asking each member to read one of the steps.
The Leader then selects one or two readings from Each Day A New Beginning (a meditation book for women in recovery), the Twenty-Four Hours A Day book (that has been used by recovering alcoholics now for more than fifty years), Daily Reflections (which uses quotations from AA approved literature), Affirmations for Adult Children of Alcoholics, or the day’s reading from The Language Of Letting Go for those who suffer from codependency.
After the readings, the Leader continues . . .
Before we begin today’s discussion, does anyone have a need to speak on anything other than the subject of today’s readings? Is anyone having difficulties that may be leading them back toward addiction?
If no one expresses a need to speak (or after such individuals have had an opportunity to speak) the Leader opens the meeting for discussion of the readings, asking for volunteers, going around the room in a circle, or calling on people at random.
At the designated closing time, the Leader concludes the discussion and begins the presentation of marbles . . .
We are a marble group and we give different colored marbles to mark different events in our progress toward recovery.
Clear: We give a clear marble to anyone celebrating 24 hours of continuous recovery or for those who are returning from a slip. The clear marble represents a new beginning and a new way of viewing our world.
Red: We give a red marble to celebrate recovery anniversaries. Red represents the joy and happiness that comes from the heart of healthy recovery.
Yellow: We give a yellow marble to anyone carrying a resentment. We do not applaud for you when you pick up the yellow marble, but we do when you’ve worked through the resentment and return the yellow marble to the basket. Yellow represents the bitterness that fills our spirit when we hold unresolved anger in our hearts and souls.
Green: We give a green marble to anyone who needs a little hope or a little help in keeping the memory green and growing.
After the presentation of marbles, the Leader closes the meeting . . .
Please remember that anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personality. Therefore, who you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here.
We have a very nice way of closing. For those who would like to, please join me in saying the Lord’s Prayer.
The members of the group form a circle, join hands, and recite the Lord's Prayer together to close the meeting.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.