Yogic Tools for Recovery: A Guide to Working the 12 Steps – A Review by Erika Duffy

Many of our human brains excel at separating, dissecting, labeling, categorizing and organizing concepts in an attempt to make them more understandable, yet terribly complicated. This author has, in her genius, taken incredibly complex, timeless wisdom and historically successful methodologies for healing and made them simple(not easy), comprehensible and accessible. Over the years I have wrestled, like many people, to regulate my personal fluctuations between my attachments to pleasure and my aversion to pain settling on a “healthier addiction” to collecting books or knowledge. In constant pursuit to quell my endless thirst for the most up to date, accurate resources for my own personal growth and to assist my offerings to students and residents I work with countless books lining multiple shelves, desks, tables and even the floor alongside my bed. For the past twelve years I have been a facilitator of yoga and meditation in schools, camps, studios and… Continue reading

Days in The Life of An Adult Child – Mistakes

I was working in a new situation and was asked to sort out and manage a large backlog of paperwork. It was a stack at least two feet high; a mountain of dusty paper reflecting all kinds of transactions and data in jargon I could only guess at. Although the task wasn’t as challenging as puzzle-solving, or as creative as re-engineering, I welcomed it. The environment was a tidy, modern office with a cheerful employee. The work required focus and concentration. I missed that kind of nimble mental aerobics and I dove in with gusto. It brought back a similar experience when I was no more than a tot when my mother brought me along to do some grocery shopping. In those days the local groceries were smallish with dull-grey walls of shelves, cans and jars with colorful labels and no flank of gleaming, scanning, beeping cashiering stations. The store… Continue reading

Did I Just Write a Song?: Expressive Arts and My Recovery Journey – Dr. Jamie Marich

During my first attempt at recovery, I learned to play the guitar. At the time, I worked for a Catholic Parish and aid organization in post-war Bosnia-Hercegovina. There was a kind Irish priest (and former rock n’ roller) also in residence who knew that I liked to sing. However, the only instrument I played, the violin, didn’t lend itself well to accompaniment. So he very patiently taught me the art of making chords and strumming. I found that when I was bored in those early days of figuring out what to do with myself, practicing the chords and the necessary movements to move between them more fluidly kept me busy. Then one day, the chord progression I was working on provided me a back drop to create a tune. Led by that tune, I started singing the angst of my heart and calling out to my Higher Power, desperate for… Continue reading

Days in the Life of an Adult Child – Wisdom

Wisdom is commonly defined as having experience, knowledge, and sound judgment. Based on that dictionary definition, it’s attained slowly across time, by living and learning, and not instantly from a jagged bolt of lightning from above, like in children’s cartoons. It’s certainly not the same thing as cognition or intelligence. And it’s hard to quantify or measure, except for subjective comparison of before-and-after spiritual selfies. In the serenity prayer we ask God for three things: acceptance of the things we cannot change, and courage to change what we can. The last and, in my view, most critical component, is the wisdom to distinguish between the two. I’ve struggled with this simple yet powerful triumvirate for decades, usually unsure when acceptance should prevail over courage. As a recovering ACA, I also focus on three areas that closely correspond to the prayer: eliminating denial by fully accepting the reality of how it… Continue reading

One Foot In Front Of The Other; One Breath At A Time – Kyczy Hawk

So simple. So hard. Not a lot to do and so easy to forget. The adrenaline intoxication wipes out the plan to keep it simple, maintain my boundaries, avoid that behavior, stop acting that way. I become wrapped up in the sensations of overwhelm and forget to pause. Really, I mean to use the pause, use the breath take a moment, consult my friend, my sponsor, my higher power, but I am already rushing down the path of self destruction. This mini-path of self destruction, or self forgetting, may not be a full relapse but unchecked it could lead to relapse. This tsunami of emotion may not wipe out weeks of devoted practice of living a sober life, but it can feel like a big detour. How to stop this train of false elation- these feelings that exalt those actions and attributes I am trying so hard to unlearn, retrain,… Continue reading