Hello Alumni and Yogis,
April has come and gone. The month of New Beginnings. April was Inspiring Spring into FULL bloom. Life is filled with new beginnings and abundant opportunities!
May is here the month of Transformation! Encouraging us to be open enough to begin to step out of our comfort zone and into this new, vibrant, colorful world with infinite possibilities. Take a deep breath in, let it go..... Pause, look around, notice all the little shifts that happen each and every day. Be Amazed!!! When fear and doubt creep in, as they always do - Take a deep breath in, let it go.... Pause, look around, notice and remind yourself - I can do it! I trust that things happen for a reason! I am supported! I am important! Move forward and watch how life shifts from fear and anxiety, to ease and curiosity! We practice - a body at ease can not have disease! All these reminders. All these messages are teaching you to LOVE YOURSELF - one breath, one day at a time, over and over and over again!
Love Yourself - Journey To The Heart by Melody Beattie
No matter what, love yourself.
Love yourself, even if it feels like the world around you is irked with you, even if it feels like those you've counted on most have gone away, even if you wonder if God has abandoned you.
When it feels like the journey has stopped, the magic is gone, and you've been left sitting on the curb, love yourself. When you're confused and angry about how things are going or how they've gone, love yourself. No matter what happens or where you are, love yourself. No matter if you aren't certain where you're going or if there's anyplace left to go, love yourself.
This situation will change, this time will pass, and the magic will return.
So will joy and faith. You will feel connected again - to yourself, God,
the universe and life. But the first thing to do is love yourself. And all
the good you want will follow <3
I love you all! I would like to send out a Great Big, Beautiful, Deep Breath and HUG to all the alumni who are celebrating Mother's Day this weekend!!!! To all the alumni's MOMS near and far. And extra SPECIAL love to those Moms in Heaven looking down on you. Who are wrapping you up in their love each and every day! XOXOXOXOXO Namaste' the light in me honors and sees the light in each and every one of you!
Genesis House Yoga Instructor
My daughter is an addict and it has been hell for many Mother’s Days. I want to share my experience with my addiction to my daughter, and her addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Loving her and wanting to give my life for her, to take her pain, and end mine.
Denial, Hope Springs Eternal, upsurge my love and enabling her addiction, try one more method, read one more article, one more counselor.
I know I can finally SAY ONE MORE EXAMPLE OR WORDS OF ADVICE THAT WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE, take her eyes and see the light!
I knew I could do it for her. Denial seeps back into my corroded mind to save MY sanity. Yes, I had to convince her to change friends, go to college, find a passion.
I didn’t realize she had a passion; drugs.
I could not give up on her, instead, I gave up on myself. Good mothers continue to give away themselves to save their precious child. But, said child does not have her mother’s goal or needs.
Mother continues to fall prey to unrelenting conniving and manipulation from
her. Money, threats, kindness, love, promises, surveillance, rehabs and more words.
I became gutted and empty. I had to stop my selflessness to save her for me and save myself.
I had to really love her and LET GO. That is when I realized how much intervention I needed. Addiction is a family disease. REPEAT: Addiction is a family disease.
With the help of God and so many people my daughter made the choice to begin recovery at Genesis House. I had nothing to do with her decision. My amazing daughter has been in recovery for over 10 years and works arduously to maintain it.
I thought my part was complete even though she always said to me “Mom, think about doing the 12 steps in al-anon or nar-anon.” I did not need them, only addicts do.
Oh, the ego. Just recently, I went to a Nar-anon meeting to support a friend whose has been struggling with her daughter’s addiction. I thought I never needed such a group. LOL. My first daily reading in the SESH Book spoke of a parent who was still suffering for 35 years after his daughter had stopped using. He was still suffering because he had never gone to a Twelve Step Program.
Eureka! God has a sense of humor and now I celebrate this Mother's Day rejoicing that I have found myself on the path of recovery and beginning the Twelve Steps.
My Mother’s Day gift from my daughter, when I revealed my enlightenment of needing the Twelve Steps, was “well Mom, that is refreshing. I have been thinking that for years.
To all Mothers of Addicts, there is always a way to find yourself. My prayers are with you.
Mother of a 2008 alumnae Skyler N.
As a kid, I did not know what life had in store for me. And although you always believed in me, you did not know the life I had in store for YOU!
I would like to say I started off life hopeful for my future but that is not my story. My life started in a house of chaos, yelling, fear and distress of your marriage. Many time I felt I was to blame for you and daddy fighting and other times I just blamed you. I wanted to be daddy’s little girl so badly and spent a lifetime chasing that dream. My perspective of a man’s love for me has always been grounded in fear of being abandoned and a belief chasing a person or doing back flips for their love is “normal.” The toxic interactions I saw as a child, became the same interactions in my relationships. You can say you did the right thing eventually and were able to separate yourself from the marriage. Today, I can agree that is commendable for a mother to show her children but it is also the reason I began a resentment as a kid. There were times as a child, I thought my dad left because of me- I was unlovable. But mostly I blamed him leaving on you since you stopped chasing and fighting for his love the way I did. With a child mentality, I did not understand the situation. I only knew that I wanted a family, like all the other kids. I wish I knew then what I know now, to see you were not to blame and most importantly- neither was I.
In time, I grew to be a teenager- still full of resentment for what I lacked and trying to fill a big void inside of myself. No matter how many problems I threw at you or how difficult I could be, you always loved me and did your best to deal with my anger. But unfortunately, your life took a sharp turn when I found a solution, or way to fill the void, down a spiraling path of drugs and alcohol. Once this lifestyle began, many years went by of behavior that cause you and the family a great deal of harm. There were many sleepless nights for you when I would not call or come home. The lies, manipulation, broken promises, disrespect, stealing, and everything else I had to do to maintain the lifestyle. When I was using, it was never that I did not care about you or consciously chose drugs over you- it was survival. There came a point that I did not have a choice to use or not use drugs- it controlled me.
Any family that has experienced addiction understand how dangerous the lifestyle can be. What many families do not always understand is that addiction is a disease and going to treatment for a short period does not always “fix” the problem. You understand addiction, at times it felt like too well! The manipulation became harder and the spiraling walls grew narrow. At the time, I was very angry you started to see the addiction for what it really was- not your daughter as a victim. You knew I did have a choice and kept pushing me to see that. The disease of addiction wanted me to believe I could never get clean and at the time, it honestly felt like the easier path. Boy was I wrong and looking back I am grateful you learned enough to help me to see I could get clean.
Not long after I was at crisis twice in one week for suicidal idealizations, I got on a plane to Florida and checked into Genesis House. The time I was there I began to see what life could be- without drugs and it did not look like anything my addiction said it would be like. There were times it was hard but having you in my corner is always a blessing. You may not always be where I can see you, but you are always right on time when I need you.
In recovery, I have learned so much, and we have been able to work on our relationship. Please find comfort today hearing me explain there was nothing could have done for me to avoid it, it was my journey. I thank you for never giving up on me and still believing in me at my worst. Our story may not be perfect, but we are able to say we went through a lot- made it to the other side and are stronger because of it! Today, I know anything is possible and see hope in my life. I am not perfect, I make mistakes and fall short some days but if I stay vigilant in my recovery, things always work out.
Happy Mother’s Day!
March - WOW the third month of the year already! The third theme to add to our daily practice..... The Luck of the Irish - Blind Faith - believing that The Seeds of our Desires that we planted in January, The kindness and Love we practiced in February are helping those precious seeds sprout out of their shells, encouraging them to grow and blossom into beautiful flowers! Not always easy because as humans we want to see with our eyes. We want proof. But we are learning to believe in something BIGGER! Something we can not see. Something we feel. I know many of you are not in Sunny Florida and there is a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. Under that snow there are bulbs that were planted long ago and the Sun continue to shine down and melt the snow, warm the frozen earth and with each day those bulbs will reach for the light! They will slowly stretch and grow until they peak through to feel the amazing sun, and then they will continue their journey 🙂
Our yoga practice is helping us do the same! We have created a hard outer layer! A thick Armour! We thought it was Protection from life's challenges, obstacles and traumas. BUT it actually is keeping us away from the beautiful, amazing life we have been praying for. Soooooo, we practice on the mat so when we step off the mat we learn to trust again. To feel our bodies again. To move mindfully through our poses and our life, conscious and aware of our feet and how we choose to move them. Modifying when needed. Resting when needed. Aware now that we learned so much from the past, that we have changed, and we pause, breathe, notice, feel...... then decide what we need in this very moment! Then we go on with our day, and then we pause, breathe, notice, feel..... then decide what we need in this very moment! And so on and so on and so on. Yoga begins now! It is a practice! We are never done! As long as there is breath in our lungs we keep on keeping on XOXOXO I love you!!!!
I believe in you!!!! Sending so much love and support to each of you today, tomorrow and always!
PS: I received the email I have copied below today 🙂 a little proof, the Universe winking at me that I am right where I need to be 🙂 life is amazing when you allow it to be....
Your mind will always believe everything you tell it. Feed it faith. Feed it truth. Feed it love!
I am the glowing sun under layers and layers of that which is not me. Getting to know the real ME is like peeling the layers of an onion. No sooner do you shed one whole layer that another layer is revealed.
Don’t be discouraged by this, my love! There’s no rush to peeling back all these layers. Remember, it’s the journey, not the destination that matters.
After all, if all those layers just fell off in one fell swoop, you might be flooded with an almost intolerable nuclear blast of all my radiant light!
Cherish the journey, letting those layers slowly peel away to reveal more and more of the fire within. Appreciate each layer as it sheds away, bringing you one step closer to freedom. Don’t rush! There’s no hurry, love.
Just feel the glow of me within and nourish yourself with what is already right here, inside your own heart.
With loads of love (and a few delicious onion rings),
Your Inner Pilot Light"
As many of you know Genesis offers a Monthly Alumni gathering and I had the awesome pleasure of attending Saturday January 26th's event! I absolutely loved, loved, loved every minute! Seeing familiar faces, meeting new friends and Yes the blessing of meeting one of our alumni's parents! This is exactly what I believe deep in my heart will make a difference - staying connected! Lifting up one another, sharing what is working and what is challenging. NOT feeling alone. For a few of our present clients that attended this event, it gave them the opportunity to sit in a familiar, comfy, safe, welcoming circle and hear how life is for alumni one week after leaving Genesis, almost 2 years after leaving Genesis and others with many more years of successful sobriety. Our circle of chairs were filled, our hearts were over flowing and I know it will grow and grow and grow. Thank you, Skyler for all your effort, love and support to create such a wonderful event - hope to see more of you next month!!!!!!
January ...... a recap for those of you who have been practicing Planting the Seeds of our Desires this month -
New Years Day we kicked off our first practice of the year and month with Be at Ease, Be Gentle, Breathe in Ease and let it go. Plant seeds and let them go, love and nourish yourself, and they will grow! When we release things that no longer are working we learn that Letting Go is teaching me that I'm not loosing but receiving. I'm gaining knowledge, resilience and room in my heart for something greater!
Next we added Curiosity - What does today hold for me? No matter what shows up today off my mat, in my life.... How will I respond to it?
We sprinkled in the idea of Awakening - as we plant the seeds of our desires we become more curious about what we want now, how we show up each day, and then we awaken from the pain and the illusion that we were broken, to the understanding that we were cracked open so our light can come thru. Here I am! All of me! All my yesterdays - completely Me!!!! We are forever growing, learning, changing with each breath and every life experience!!!!!!
As we awaken we realize Kindness Matters! "There is no way to give kindness to another without knowing it in ourselves (especially on our tough days when we are feeling the most hurt or irritated): Is this the kindest thought I could have? Is this the kindest thing I could say? Is this the kindest action I could take in this situation? To achieve a kinder world, we must approach kindness with ambition and dedication. We must practice it in every moment of our lives. Kindness is that important." Heart Talk by Cleo Wade
Practice - Yoga is a practice. Being Me is a practice. I will end this months recap with a prayer I read in class
Thank you for this day of ritual devotion.
Guide me to the mat, the trail, the teapot, the canvas and the confrontation table today, so that I may test my flexibility and stay true to my form all the way to my edge. Be my mirror, my educator in matters of discipline and rhythm. Open the shelter of my mind to constructive, caring feedback.
Let all that comes to me be my teachers. Move my form and feelings with dedicated habit. Help me to rehearse for growing stronger and more resilient. Stand me up like a mountain: spread my arms wide, expanding and clearing the valves of my heart to help me to move from it. Point my fingers skyward and widen my stance. Wrap enormous wings around my legs to strengthen my rooted position.
Train me for the battle which takes place within me in the form of fear and resistance. Help me to create spaciousness inside of my container to make steady progress with my breath, my invocations, and the attitudes that initiate my day. Lead air into my lungs which comforts the grief held there. Enhance my supportive routines with the golden light of your encouragement which shines through repetition. Let my body be a living ceremony.
Bring me back to presence when I wander. Help me to refocus without shame when I lose my way. Make me brave to notice where my balance falters and I compromise my integrity. Rededicate me when I discover what I'm holding and protecting. Get me back on conscious feet when I fall. Let my wingspan be the bridge between my spirit and my body. Ignite the fire of my willingness during times of challenge and overcoming obstacles.
Put in front of me those who will help me persevere in my attempts to effectively resolve inner and outer conflict. Remind me of my tools for perceiving what prevents my flow. Help me be attentive to my part of maintaining the quality of relationship I am called to cultivate. Help me pussle together my healing form with the help of Earth's electricity moving upward through the soles of my feet.
Let me know I am not alone, and that I never need to do it perfectly."
-Prayers of Honoring Voice by Pixie Lighthorse
Genesis House Yoga Instructor
Happy New Year to alumni I had the amazing pleasure of meeting at Genesis, and also to those I did not get to meet. Happy 2019 & Happy January!
How are you? I think of alumni often, I surround you all with love and encouragement. After leaving Genesis, I hope you all are finding your Kula (your tribe, your support system) and continue to Practice, even without me there...
I am always eager to hear from our Alumni - the good, the bad, and the in between of life unfolding. I am here for support while you are at Genesis and even when you leave to spread your wings out in this amazing world.
So, this morning I had an idea.... what if I add a little Karen's Corner or blog to the Genesis News Letter? When I reached out to Skyler, she was excited and answered with such a Happy Yes!
Ask, and you shall receive!!!
My hope in these newsletters are to share with you what I am practicing both on and off my mat at Genesis and in my own life, to be with you along the way! More tools to add to your tool box of coping skills such as new books, foods, quotes, poses, teachers... and to inspire you to continue this daily journey and choice of a Happier, Healthier Life of Ease - because a Body at Ease can NOT have dis-ease! And, it is a PRACTICE! One breath at a time, One day at a time, One thought at a time! It is never done as long as there is breath in our lungs! So, I hope you seeing my little addition to the newsletter today puts a smile on your face! I hope it reminds you to Pause, Breathe, Notice, Feel........ I hope if you are having a good day this moment, reading my words makes it an even better day! And, if you were having a rough day, this moment, reading my words may have helped you shift into having a happier moment!!!
What you focus on grows so, it is powerful to have these small reminders that you are doing
OK, that you have a support system here for you, encouraging you each and every day!!!!
Many of you know I set intentions daily and each month has a theme-
January's message is to - Plant the Seeds of My Desire! So for the next 31 days join me, find a quiet moment each day and ask...
What do I want to add to My Life?
What am I curious about?
What would make my day a little brighter?
Not what you don't like! Not what you want to let go of or loose (weight, job, stress) But what would add joy to your life? When we add new, inspiring, enjoyable things to our life.... the things that do not serve us any more fall away! They make space for the things that will brighten our life! Spark a new interest! Breathe new possibilities into our experience!
For me, I made time to ask Skyler about my Karen's Corner idea! I hung a new bird feeder in my yard, and I am now enjoying Cardinals, Blue Jays, Doves, a Woodpecker and many sweet, little birds in my yard. I ordered a new book Heart Talk Poetic Wisdom for a better life by Cleo Wade! 3 new days in January and 3 new ways to enjoy my life! I also made time for a bike ride! I get up 15 minutes earlier to see these birds and sip coffee! I created a new binder of inspirational quotes! I am researching my Karen Van..... stay tuned to hear what that Desire is (FYI planted by a Genesis Alumni who sparked the idea with me) some of these seeds sprout instantly, some take a little longer like the amazon book order and some take months like the Karen Van and some years to align and fall into place like my Y12SR - Yoga of 12 step Recovery Desire 2 years ago! But each and every seed will blossom in its own time <3
Starts with one seed of desire.... then let it go and let it grow!
I love you all! Until our next newsletter if you have any questions you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org and check out Y12SR.com and put in your zip code to see if there is a Yoga of 12 Step Recovery near you! This is a relapse prevention movement! It is AMAZING! A safe place to come together and practice the 12 steps and gentle yoga. Y12SR is for anyone affected by addiction so you can bring your wife/husband/child/parent/
friend....... every one of us needs a little EASE!
So much love to each and every one of you - Karen
Last year I did my very first 5k run on Thanksgiving morning- a Turkey Trot!
Over the years in recovery, I have done step work, participated in a 12-step fellowship, seen therapists, learned healthier eating habits, got in service, sponsored other women, went back to college and many amazing things that kept me vigilant in my recovery. I continue to try different things to find what works and what does not work for me. I was taught the journey keeps going and life always shows up.
My brother, in the picture with me, asked me to do the race with him and oddly enough, I agreed. I figured why not try something new! And, an activity with my brother that he enjoys, considering he has sat with me in many 12-step meetings. I was excited but also nervous. He reassured me and encouraged me to try it- actually similar to how he got me to go to Genesis House for treatment a decade ago! They say some things never change, right?
The race was very hard since I didn't train enough, and I was so nervous. It was freezing outside! My brother had finished the race and actually came back and found me...very far in the back! I wanted to just walk the rest, I was so tired! I remember him saying, "I got good news and bad news. There is still about a mile left, but we will pass my car where I have water for you." I kept going, and he ran alongside of me, which was realistically more him not letting me quit. I can't say it didn't annoy me but looking back that was a direct example of those in our life, that care enough to not let us give up and believe in us when we can't or don't.
What did I learn from the experience?? I learned that running on Thanksgiving morning in New Jersey is freezing! And, running is more of an independent activity, I wasn't with my brother the entire time! I still had a great time and was very proud of myself for finishing AND not finishing last! Most importantly, I learned how that time to myself, in my thoughts and breathing the fresh (freezing) air felt amazing. I experienced reduced stress and high levels of positive feelings, some refer to it as the "runner's high."
I may be in recovery but I still have an addict's mind. Whatever makes me feel good, I want more. Like most things in life, running should be done in moderation, which I did not do. I learned the hard way after a few minor injuries, bad running sneakers and many Epsom salt baths. I never gave up! The times I was unable to run, I missed it so much and how good it made me feel.
Running is good for my health but it works best for my mental health! My thoughts are always going but when I run, I focus on my breathing and body movement so much that my thoughts stop. For however long I run, I am free from worry, stress, over-thinking, fear, sadness or anything else I am going through. It does not take away my problems or cure them, it allows me to take a break from them.
This year, I am doing the Turkey Trot, and I am doing it for me! However, the weather is predicted to be 29 degrees! My tradition started with taking a chance to try something new and having someone (my brother Cainan) that believed in me.... Do you have a tradition??
I am grateful! Happy Thanksgiving!
Alcohol addictions can happen to anyone, even those who are strong in their christian faith. For Christians, finding your way to sobriety will require more than just standard treatment practices. Getting over the addiction is one thing, but repairing your faith in the higher power in your life, will be necessary to prevent the addiction from coming back. This has many people wondering if a Christian Detox Center can help get them back on track with sobriety and their faith at the same time. The answer is yes, but not all Christian detox centers are alike. Medications counseling, therapy, and group sessions are all important factors for overcoming your addiction initially. When it comes to keeping alcohol from gaining control of your life again, a strong faith in the Lord is the prescription of choice for your spiritual needs. Finding a treatment center that caters to the mental and medical side of therapy is great, but choosing one that adds spiritual health to the mix would be better. There are some important qualities you should look out for when choosing the program for you or your loved one.
Scripture Study is Important for Getting Back on Track With Sobriety and Your FaithStrengthening your Christian faith is key to achieving sobriety. A house built on a strong foundation can withstand some harsh weather thrown at it. The same is true for Christians. Building a foundation of faith from scriptures will help you withstand the toughest trials life throws at you, especially the ones that made you turn to the addiction in the first place. To construct a strong foundation of faith, a careful study of scriptures should take place. It will help you see what God has to say about the situation and what you need to do to overcome it. Christian detox centers don’t always use scripture study in their programs though. Without scriptures to combat temptation, you risk falling to the same alcoholic addiction repeatedly. Be sure that your program has a healthy dose of biblical studies included in their treatment plans.
Prayer is Necessary to Achieve Sobriety and Strengthen Your FaithAnother important element of a successful detox program is the use of prayer. Biblical study helps strengthen your faith and prayer helps boost your relationship to God. Fighting off temptation for alcohol will require the help of your higher power and the best way to reach him is through prayer sessions. A good Christian treatment plan will include a prayer for individual devotion and for group sessions. They can teach you to pray and will encourage consistent prayer time so your relationship with God doesn’t suffer.
Worship Services May Be Conducted Weekly to Maintain Your Christian Faith and Encourage SobrietyFor Christians who sign up for in-house detox, worship services may be a part of every Sunday. It’s not a part of the program, but it could be offered weekly to help you maintain your faith and build a strong relationship with your Lord. Sobriety isn’t easy to achieve for anyone whether you are a christian or not. Attending services consistently will help you avoid having the alcoholic addiction come back. Christians, who’ve been through a program like this, say having that outlet to continue their worship helped them stay positive and gave them hope of recovery. It also helped them become more comfortable with their recovery program. While there are a few centers built on certain denominations, like Lutheran, most will offer a more general service that anyone can take part in.
What’s Offered Beyond Detox for Sobriety and Your FaithAs with any other type of center, there are programs you can use when the detox process is over and you have to put the newly found techniques to use on the outside. Each center is different, but most will offer some basics to help you stay sober when you leave the in house treatment program. Many faith-based plans will offer you:
- Continued therapy integrating christian values
- Training for employment if needed
- Resources for childcare
- Social services