“As fearful as I felt in speaking my truth about my addiction, on April 3, 2013, I was even more fearful of losing my battle and leaving behind my precious children and my only granddaughter at that time, Rosie. I asked for God’s grace, strength, and guidance, and single-handedly, by the grace of God, took the initial step in asking for help to save my life. When I finally spoke up, I felt empowered. I felt an even deeper spiritual connection.
My best friends of over forty years, Bill and Vicky Kelder, were right there with me the entire journey. They observed me in a complete mental breakdown, where I was incoherent and telling them all about the things I believed to be true (including that my husband was trying to kill me) just weeks before I asked for help. And when I went to the hospital in New York to detox, they were right there doing everything that needed to get done so that I would not have any responsi- bilities to worry about during my initial stage of recovery. Vicky visited me in order to bring me some clothes, but was not allowed through the double steel doors that separated us. We waved to each other through the little window. I felt like a prisoner. And in a way, I was…
About a year and a half into my recovery, I had met and fallen in love with Steve. My therapist at that time, Mignyetta, discouraged me from the relationship, saying that she did not think I was “ready.” I left her practice, because at that time, I didn’t feel she was serving me in my best inter- est. I did, however, years later, return for a brief period of time when Steve and I were experienc- ing challenges, and my mother became gravely ill and subsequently passed away. I still work with my therapist as unhealed trauma rears its ugly head now and then, and I ask for support and assignments to help me “heal deeper.” I have learned that, even in therapy, we can take what res- onates for us, and just say no to what does not. We do not need to walk away completely, as long as we use our voice to stand in our own power to speak our truth. Inherently, we know all that we need. It was what I had learned as a child. If you don’t like something, just leave. Don’t give it a second thought.
I have learned to “take what works and leave the rest.” In every situation, there will be some- thing that doesn’t resonate with us. We can’t walk away from every situation. We need to be open and flexible.
Healing from trauma is a lifelong process, and I am all in. I want to heal, to grow, to evolve, and to be a shining example of what recovery and wellness truly looks like, feels like, and is: aware- ness, self-regulation, balance, and self-care steeped in spiritual solutions. This IS recovery. I have a great support system, and my greatest support and direction comes from the Universe/God/ Spirit. As I remain alert and awake and willing to embrace my spirituality, I understand more and more deeply why my life was saved on April 3, 2013.
With Spirit as my guide, I never feel the temptation or need, in any circumstance, to self-med- icate. Spirit is my strength. Spirit always has my back. Spirit is my alignment. Spirit is within, and Spirit is all around. Listen, look, listen, and feel beyond your physical limitations. Experi- ence this miracle: With just a simple shift in perception, we are always in the presence of a high- er source of energy. It is never “me.” It is always “we.” A loving, guiding, powerful, and know- ing higher source that teaches us and provides us with our highest blessings, if we are open to this gorgeous presence.
Trust your own intuition, reset your mindset to a healthy outlook and possibilities, and allow the Universe/God/Spirit to lovingly guide and direct you. I stand deeply in my faith. It is unbreak- able, unshakeable, unwavering. Here, we can be a catalyst for change, for ourselves and for others.
We must “update” our thinking through truthful self-reflection, and deep soul work, which is how we continue to evolve. We look for connection and meaningful conversation as a construc- tive tool in resolving conflict and healing, rather than infecting ourselves with anger and frustra- tion. This may be an opportunity to learn, to grow, to evolve, and to share. This is what I think of as a true spiritual awareness and awakening.
When we put in the work to better ourselves on a personal and soul level, we have the ability to offer solutions (through our own experiences) to those with open hearts, open minds, and the willingness to learn, update, and evolve. It offers the opportunity to greet each new day with re- newed hope, to work on our “universal assignments,” which promote a deeper sense of self- awareness. It promotes an eagerness and excitement to see new things that may offer a new per- spective as we step way outside of our comfort zones. It is everything we put into our lives—di- rected by purpose, passion, faith, joy, and love that manifests our best selves. It is how we channel our thoughts, emotions, and feelings.
The healing you seek begins in your soul. Inherently, each of us knows what we need to heal.”
The following are my personal favorite daily spiritual self-care practices that keep me grounded, connected, and in a beautiful and deep alignment with myself and with Spirit:
1. Early morning meditation/prayer, where I seek daily, loving guidance, and using one-minute “realignment” meditations as needed throughout the day.
2. Five to fifteen minutes of free writing in my journal, including gratitude for spiritual connec- tion, based on my early morning meditation/prayer experience, and writing a daily inspirational blog on www.writeprayrecover.com
3. Taking a walk with purpose (mindfulness at the beauty and sounds that surround me, and mindful breathing).
4. Staying connected to others in a way that is cathartic for my soul, as well as offering healing and hope to others.
5. Listening and connecting to music or an inspiring audiobook.
6. Eating mindfully and organically, and choosing foods that promote wellness, including plenty of water.
7. Practicing empathy and compassion, utilizing a judgement-free mindset of myself and others. 8. Using essential oils in a diffuser, or inhaling in a deep breathing exercise.
9. Cooking and baking.
10. Unplugging from social media in “chunks” throughout the day and replacing it with face-to- face or phone connection, or just silence. I absolutely LOVE silence!
A few of my favorite spiritual practices that offer me faith and peace on my journey, and with which I always end my day, are gratitude prayers, and body-scan meditation/mindful breathing strategy, which are effective for stress reduction, relaxation, wellness, and physical, emotional, and spiritual awareness.
I use a “gratitude prayer” that is as simple as I can make it, and yet it is powerful in reminding myself of my blessings, and says, “Thank you,” to God/Spirit/Universe for bestowing blessings on me:
“Thank you for your loving presence, guidance, support, and protection today, for all of my physical blessings, and most of all, for my loving connection to you.”
A body scan is a simple yet powerful type of mindfulness strategy that allows one to observe, or to “scan” their body, one body part at a time, to be cognizant of how one is feeling. If one choos- es to do more than “scan,” they may breathe into any tightness or uncomfortable feelings, which will soften that area of the body and promote relaxation and an overall feeling of wellness. You may want to accompany the “scan” with a relaxation/mindfulness app like “Calm” (or one of your own choice), as well as relaxation music, or even listening to a “Gong Bath” music accom- paniment. A “Gong Bath” offers a “psycho-acoustic gateway to heightened states of awareness and consciousness. The frequencies surpass the intellectual part of the brain and travel to the core of the cellular system where the healing qualities are fully absorbed.” I find it extremely healing. You can Google “Gong Bath” and find many on YouTube.
Observe how you are feeling physically as you “SCAN” each body part.
One at a time, bring your attention to the top of your head, your face, shoulders, arms, hands, chest, tummy, legs, feet. Just observe how each body part feels as you scan. Tight or relaxed? Clenched or soft?
Next, purposefully relax your forehead, open your jaw and let it fall, relax your facial muscles, and relax your shoulders, if they are pulled up to your ears (we do this when we feel stressed, and when we do, it also tightens our neck, which may cause neck and back pain).
How does your chest feel? You can put one hand on your chest, and one on your tummy to scan. Let your belly relax and continue to scan the rest of your body all the way down to your feet, one body part at a time. Just notice. Are your hands clenched into fists, or resting softly in your lap? Are your feet “floppy” in your shoes, or do they feel curled up and tight? How do your legs feel?
Now, that you have scanned, choose a “breathing cavity” of your choice where you can focus as your breath goes in and out. (Mouth, tummy, chest, nose) and begin a “box breathing” for about three minutes, focusing on your breath, and visualizing the in-and-out, or up-and-down move- ment of that cavity. A “box breathing” is a four-second deep breath, in through your nose (four, three, two, one) hold for four seconds, and a four-second count out through your mouth.
Lastly, at the same time, in alignment with your breathing, insert a positive thought or a positive visual into your space that makes you smile or feel peaceful. It can be a simple thought, such as “I know that I am safe.” Or “My loved ones are my joy.” In addition, or alternately, you may choose to visualize a place, person, or situation that brings you joy. Focus on this visual through- out your box breathing.
Positive affirmations and imagery, and mindful breathing, combined with relaxation music/mind- fulness strategy, set in a quiet space where we feel safe, resets the brain from fearful, stressful, and worrisome thoughts to calming, uplifting, and happy thoughts!
When you’re in the mood for a change of scenery, reset and refresh with these spiritual solutions and self-care practices that are so easily accessible.”
My book is set to be released for Christmas!
Love and blessings,