My Love Story – Yoga & Recovery

What it used to be like, what happened and what it is like now is the traditional framework for sharing at a meeting. This progression holds true for both my recovery and my yoga practice. At one point my life was consumed by suffering which eventually became overwhelming. I had a life changing experience and chose a different path. Let me give you some of the details of my journey. I was what is termed as a garbage girl ­ I used anything and everything. I used chemical substances including alcohol in combination, I used alone, I used them with other people – I’d take anything, anywhere, anytime. I exhausted my internal resources to cope with that lifestyle. About the same time I ran out of other resources too: money, friends, family, work, health and the will to live. Having hit my lowest point, somehow I managed to have a… Continue reading

Please Don’t Tell Me “I’m In A Safe Place” – By Jamie Marich Ph.D., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, REAT, RMT

We’ve all heard it—from yoga teachers, from therapists, from ministers, from other holistic practitioners: “You’re in a safe place.” Many guided meditations directly write this line into the scripts with the intention of setting a tone for safety and security. The LGBT and other socially progressive movements also like to make use of phrases like safe space or safe zone to alert people that (in theory) they won’t be judged in a particular venue. Therapists and 12-step sponsors I’ve talked to over the years insist on the value of this line. The general argument is that if people coming for services have no conceptualization of what safety means, they must be instructed as to what is a safe place, a safe person, or a safe experience. They must be reminded that the danger of the past is indeed passed. I call foul. Whenever I’ve been told, as a survivor of… Continue reading

Alone – By Jessica Donovan

    Where were you when I was sitting alone in the parking lot of the motel we called home? Where were you when I picked up that needle and stuck myself with it? Where were you? You knew he had HIV/AIDS. I used to cry and feel so lonely without you there. So I would go outside and play by myself. In the parking lot of the motel we lived in. Where the heroin needle lay. The one my HIV infected uncle likely dropped on his way in. I never knew where you were but when you found me sitting on the asphalt with a needle sticking out of my thumb that got your attention. Crisis averted, I didn’t get infected. Lucky for me, not you. All I ever wanted was you to be there but you always left me alone or sent me away. I didn’t understand. I… Continue reading

Politics, Resentments, and Lovingkindness – By Jamie Marich, Ph.D., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, REAT, RMT

I am full of resentments this election cycle in the U.S. I resent the candidate whose way of being in the world triggers all of my trauma issues down to their deepest core. I resent the loyal masses of followers voting for said candidate, including family and friends who belong to this group. I resent the lies and twisted misinformation being spread around as Gospel truth and I resent that the country I love so much has created a climate for this phenomenon to even happen. I also resent members of my own political party—people who, directly or indirectly, are chiding me for not being a stronger supporter of our own party’s candidate. As a citizen, I have a right to see who I am voting for as a lesser of two evils, yet expressing sentiments of this nature has often led to complete invalidation of my feelings. As social… Continue reading

Nightmares Of The Past – By Mary Black

I had a nightmare last night . Last night I was haunted by the spirits of my past; addictions and drug use. I was using cocaine, alcohol, marijuana and pills in my dream and I was selling cocaine. It was so realistic that I felt the effects of all these substances, I could barely walk or speak, and while selling drugs I could see the spirit of addiction in the addicts eyes as they were buying off of me. Those of you who know me should know that a couple of years ago that’s exactly where I was, selling drugs to feed my addiction. It went against everything I believe as a wholehearted, compassionate and caring individual; it caused me pain every time I sold to anybody. But the spirit of addiction enveloped my entire being. I sold to my own friends and saw them become consumed by the drugs… Continue reading