When I was a few months sober I bravely accompanied some recovery pals from my home town to Monterey, CA where they were holding an ACYPAA conference  (All California Young People In AA .) I was barely able to make sense of a single meeting much less a group of 5,000 laughing, dancing, coffee swilling sober young people. Here we all were converging on a Marriott Hotel in downtown Monterey and it felt surreal. There were around-the-clock meetings and a dance and the “countdown” where we acknowledge all lengths of time in sobriety. I was not even the “youngest” person in the group – there were people there with 24 hours of clean time. I could not believe it. I was overwhelmed….they must have felt like they had been dropped into some alternative universe. Here were folks singing, running around, having a great time and no one was drinking! I don’t… Continue reading

Do Your Practice & All Is Coming – By Kyczy Hawk

Practice practice practice! In spite of my demented desire to be perfect – I have little desire to practice. At least that used to be the case. Not the wanting to be “perfect” part – but my energy for practice. That, I am coming to enjoy. The word “practice” is pervasive in recovery literature, in any profession and often to describe our spiritual lives. ”I am a practicing Jew, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian..” etc. We refer to meditation in the same way; we practice. I use this word to describe my desire to persevere, to adhere to an activity. I use it when I am talking about being diligently devoted to a way of thought or behavior. I apply it to taking the steps and to express my determination to abide by a code of ethics. “What an order!” as we say in A.A.!  This is immediately followed with a reminder that… Continue reading

How Would More Flexibility Change Your Life – By Tsgoyna Tanzman

If Wounded Peacock (a very impressive yoga move for those who aren’t familiar) is your jam, then hooray for you. But, I’m talking about flexible thinking. I once worked with a man who had a precise 4-step routine to leave his house. If anything interrupted his routine, like someone asking him a question, he would need to start from the beginning. He couldn’t sequence the actions in any different way. He wasn’t O.C.D, it was simply that he had a single strategy that offered no options for flexibility. In brain injury, we call that cognitive rigidity. But even without a brain injury we can have tendencies to become rigid and inflexible. Flexibility is a about resilience, spontaneity, readiness. An effortless transition to a new thought, the ability to see things from different perspectives. It is the single most important skill in negotiation. Flexibility isn’t just about reacting, it’s about anticipating and creating. Flexibility is a… Continue reading

Thriving versus Striving In Recovery – A Yogic View: By Kyczy Hawk

What is the difference between striving and thriving? The general understanding of the words is the difference between making strenuous effort and flourishing. To me it is the difference between getting clean and recovering. Both efforts are important. One got me to the gift of desperation; the other keeps me on my road to restoring my sanity. Striving got me here (to recovery) and thriving keeps me here. I was depleted, guilt ridden, ashamed, and exhausted when I gave up drinking. I was demoralized and spiritually depleted when I first gave up using drugs. My move to being sober was not toward the wonderful life I would be living; it was away from the pain and misery my life had become. I wasn’t working toward anything. I had no idea about what my future would be like, the life I would eventually lead. I had only the goal of stopping. Stopping… Continue reading

Embody The Fullness of Womanhood – By Kyczy Hawk

I have been on this planet for a while – and in my recovery just about half as long. I have seen society go through a number of shifts regarding women, and I have seen women go through a number of shifts regarding themselves. The rooms of recovery have changed in response to both of these. From the early days when recovering women were seen as potential threats to their newly sober husbands, to the need to be warned against thirteen stepping for reasons of safety as well as sanity; the role of women in recovery has changed. From the back row to leadership roles women are embodying their strength and voice. Yoga, once the exclusive practice of men has nearly reversed – where men are fewer in number in many studios. (Author’s note: Look, however, to leadership and status- the gender of those in that forum is out of… Continue reading