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2 months ago · · 0 comments

July 2021

“United We Stand. Divided We Fall”
– excerpt from a fable by Greek storyteller, Aesop
In 1776 thirteen British Colonies wanted to end their dependency on the British Crown, and to be free from the oppressive restrictions that were imposed upon them. On July 4th of that same year, the Declaration of Independence was implemented. These united colonies did what none of them could have done individually; they began creating The United States of America.

Today, Independence Day is celebrated across the United States on July 4th. Typical celebrations include parades, food, and a fireworks display.

At Wisdom and Recovery we see the situation of dependency and codependency just as the people in those 13 colonies originally did … oppressive, limiting, painful, and debilitating.

As children, we are both dependent (depending on another person for our very life), and co-dependent (depending on someone outside of ourselves to define us). If we are being raised in a healthy environment we transition out of these child-like states into a state of being independent (depending on our inner self to know who we are, and how to live a productive, loving, and joyful life). 
As a child it is an outside-in job (coming from one’s environment), and as an adult it is an inside-out job (taking resources from inside one’s self to share outwardly).
But wait…there is yet a higher position to strive for and that is inter-dependency-the dependence of two or more people on each other!
The individuals in those colonies from hundreds of years ago needed each other to do what could not be done alone, and it is the same with us. Becoming united with each other as strong independent people we could facilitate the emotional/physical healing of our world! We could create a synergistic experience beyond our wildest dreams.  
Many of us do have those dreams and know, without a shadow of a doubt, those dreams could become a reality! Maybe we could we have a holiday that is recognized worldwide and call it “INTERDEPENDENCE DAY”. Then we could all celebrate with parades in the street and fireworks for everyone to see?
Let us each have the goal to first become an independent strong person and then challenge ourselves to reach the next level! 
Happy Independence Day!

2 months ago · · 0 comments

June 2021

“I’m gonna be like you, Dad. You know I’mgonna be like you!”

– Lyrics from “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin
It seems we will spend a lifetime trying to understand why our fathers made the choices they did. However, we don’t have to look very hard to see how strongly their own fathers influenced them, just as ours influence us.

Neuroscience teaches us that experience directly shapes the circuits responsible for memory, emotions, and self-awareness. A child’s mind emerges from developing patterns created by a flow of energy between an adult’s brain and a child’s brain. In other words, we learn about the world and how to be in it by the adult caretakers in our childhood home.
When thinking of Harry’s popular tune, don’t forget to credit his wife, Sandy, whose poem about her first husband’s relationship with his father inspired the lyrics for “Cat’s in the Cradle”. Harry didn’t pay much attention when he first read it. However, years later when he felt regret about the lack of involvement he had in his own child’s life, he decided to combine words from the poem with familiar nursery rhymes. 

Washington State celebrated the nation’s first official Father’s Day on June 19th, 1910. It is credited to Sonora Smart Dodd, a Spokane resident and one of six children brought up singlehandedly by their widowed father. She went to churches, the YMCA, and government officials to get support for the idea. The celebration, coincidentally, was held on her father’s birthday.
There is a new paradigm around purposeful and conscious fathering and parenting. At Wisdom & Recovery, we look very closely at the environment in which we were raised, and how our parents influenced us in becoming who we are today. As adults in the program, we become responsible forcreating a healthy environment in which to parent our own families. We do this by creating new wiring in our brains. This counteracts some of the ineffective wiring that may have taken place during childhood.

This Father’s Day let’s gently reflect on the significance of fathering and the impact it has on a child’s heart and soul. Have a peaceful day!

2 months ago · · 0 comments

May 2021

Isn’t it perfect that Mother’s Day is celebrated in early spring when Mother Nature is giving birth to fertilized seeds after a long gestational period? Many animals are also giving birth at this time, which seems like good timing, as their young will have plenty of plants to eat, in addition to nursing from their mothers.
Mother’s Day began as tribal worship of the goddess of the sun, earth, and all that gives life. This ritual ended when the earliest settlers came to America, some say due to the harsh conditions that left little time for celebrations. Anna Jarvis, originally the power behind establishing Mother’s Day, later protested the celebration because of how commercial it had become (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Jarvis)
Mother’s Day continues to be celebrated worldwide. Some celebrate Mother Nature in Spring as well – with its mountains, beaches, waterfalls, trees, animals and plants. We honor Mother Earth for the food, air, water and all that she provides to nourish, protect and sustain our lives. In her “heart” are ions, which when inhaled, reach our bloodstream and increase the chemical Serotonin, the hormone which alleviates depression and boosts energy. It can also create a sense of euphoria, and enhance our immune system. It is well known that the mother/child bonding is the simple most important factor in the overall mental and physical development of an infant. When an infant or child is held to their mother’s heart, they also experience this boost in Serotonin, and their immune system functions at optimum levels. 
Even if you have lost your birth mother due to death, mental illness, addiction or another type of abandonment, you can still celebrate Mother Earth, letting her hold and nurture you. If you are a mother, honor yourself for creating the miracle of life. 

Remember, that to love and be loved, to support and be supported, and to nurture and be nurtured is our birthright, and that we are all connected.

2 months ago · · 0 comments

April 2021

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs! Ask what makes you come alive… and GO DO IT!Because what the world needs … is people who have Come Alive!
– Howard Thurman
If you are unfamiliar with Howard Thurman please spend a few minutes researching his work and I promise you will not be sorry.

So I asked myself what makes me feel alive? One thing I know for certain it’s being part of a community that focuses on a collective consciousness that heals oneself and which then contributes to healing the world. In the Wisdom and Recovery community, this is our highest goal! 
Contributions can take many forms and one very powerful form is helping someone, who is struggling with dark times, to step into the light. We can do this by speaking words of encouragement, by carrying ourselves in a mindful way, or by giving someone a phone number of a caring professional. Sometimes just a smile can be a significant contribution.

Remember, when we are feeling joyful and/or peaceful we are not only a magnet for positive energy, but we also are capable of sharing that positive energy with anyone we come into contact with. 
Spring is a time of year when animals are born and plant life “comes alive.” Isn’t it true that we humans also feel more alive in the spring as the sun warms us and increases our “feel good” hormones? Take some time now to think about what you are doing when you are feeling totally “alive.” Make a list of your most wonderful attributes. What are they? Your kindness? Your great sense of humor and playfulness? Perhaps it’s your compassion and wisdom?
Go out into this world and share these attributes with family, friends, and others that you meet on this pathway which we all are walking. The world needs each and every one of you and the time is now!

2 months ago · · 0 comments

March 2021

Looking forward to going back

An interesting oxymoron
Ever since the Covid pandemic began I’ve heard people saying, “I just want things to go back to normal.” Today, almost a year later I am hearing these statements again with more fervor! 
In my July 2020 newsletter, (almost four months into the pandemic) I wrote, “The Chinese word for crisis is composed of two characters. The first represents danger and the second represents opportunity”. 

Now… we can look forward to the probability of a return to some normalcy due to the vaccine being distributed in large numbers and herd immunity becoming a reality. 
Yet… is it normalcy that we desire or something more? Have we taken seriously the danger of “sleepwalking” through our lives? What opportunity avails us after that we have been through? What are the lessons that we learned about ourselves? What have we learned about humanity, loneliness, gluttony, and of nature and love? Have we found a new appreciation for how precious (and fragile) life really is? 

In the Wisdom and Recovery community, we have very little interest in living a “normal” life. Our focus is on conscious, awake, and aware living! We are living to celebrate an adventurous, kind, and loving life.
Let’s look forward with appreciation and anticipation. Let’s look back only to realize the lessons we have learned. 

2 months ago · · 0 comments

February 2021

When day comes, we ask ourselves where can I find light in this never-ending shade? 
– Amanda Gorman from “The Hill We Climb”
When I heard Amanda Gorman’s recital of her poem on Inauguration Day my eyes filled with tears. Later that day when I shared it with a friend it happened again. What is so heart opening about the words she said? 
A cold shade has existed for most of us this past year and we have longed for the warmth. We’ve all felt fear and pain while lost in the darkness, and our very survival has been at risk. Today, we finally see a glimmer of light at the top of the hill and we know there is a way forward.

Each of us is climbing the same hill even though we may be taking separate paths. For some that path is steep and treacherous; for others, it is a laborious and constant upward trajectory. Yet we all are on this hill together. We all want to move up and beyond where we are currently. 
What is at the summit? Where do you find your light? Is it the new president, a vaccine, or perhaps God? Is it a newborn baby, the beauty of a fresh snowfall, or the sparkling sunshine on the ocean waves? Whatever it is we must acknowledge it and embrace it. It is there if we look closely! 

At Wisdom and Recovery, our focus is on the evolution of our spirit, our soul. and the evolution of our brain as we challenge ourselves to be “Advanced Thinkers”. We challenge ourselves to think more clearly, feel more deeply, and behave more responsibly. We use the 20 Concepts as a path that offers an effective and certain way upward. 
As we climb this hill together let’s remember that while it’s challenging… it also is the way to a higher way of being and that there is a tremendous reward that waits for us at the top! 

2 months ago · · 0 comments

January 2021

 “Hindsight is 2020”
Looking back at the events of this last year I can’t help but think of chaos, fear, and heartbreak. I have never in my life experienced so much trauma for so many people. 
Hindsight typically means that when one looks back at past events, they can “see’ how they coulda, shoulda, or woulda made things different (made better choices). In other words, they should have had the foresight to have seen painful events coming and prevented them or at least prepared for them.  
For me, the phrase “Hindsight is 2020” means looking back and “clearly” seeing opportunities for my own personal emotional and spiritual growth and development. Let’s consider “What are the lessons that this past year has shown us”?
At Wisdom and Recovery, we do our best to be a gentle observer rather than a critical judge of life’s circumstances and our responses to them. We do this by adhering to a set of 20 Concepts (strategies) for dealing with all of life’s struggles and challenges.
We start with the first Concept “Understanding Your Brain and Body”. In our brain, we have “mirror neurons” which allow us to have a visceral sensation when we view another person’s emotion. This is evolutionary as a survival mechanism, meaning there is safety in numbers. When we see another person’s pain we feel it and do what we can to help because… if my brother is safe then so am I. This is what we call empathy and compassion, which is an intelligent response to the suffering of our brothers and sisters in the world
So in this New Year, I invite you to look back at the lessons this past year has brought and ask yourself, “What can I do this year to better contribute to the well-being of all humankind?’

3 years ago · · 0 comments

March 2019 Newsletter

sunset-einstein quote

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

– Albert Einstein

Dear friends.

Doesn’t it seem that people these days are somewhat preoccupied by time? They often say things like, “I just don’t have enough time”, or “There just isn’t enough time in a day.” In actuality, time is a formula for us to use in order to make things flow a bit more smoothly. Yet, sometimes it seems to cause more stress than flow!

The brain’s cerebral cortex is where thinking, numbers, and formulas are generated. In other words, time! In another part of the brain, the limbic which has to do with memory and feelings, there is timelessness. Take a moment now and recall a joyful, peaceful experience you have had and you will feel your body respond positively. That’s because the limbic doesn’t know real from imagined, or now from then. Cool huh?

Back to the formula of time and its conglomeration of numbers. It really is a tool. If we want to build something, whether it’s a house or a life full of joyful experiences, we have to use that tool. Now, think… doesn’t something else have to happen in order to use that tool to create what we desire? The answer is Yes! Attention, motivation, effort and maybe some enthusiasm need to be present, as well. Instead of time management, which is close to impossible, perhaps we need to begin to manage ourselves. Ask yourself, “What are my priorities?” What am I living for? and ultimately, “What makes me feel truly ALIVE?”

Start counting experiences rather than numbers. Then, as we approach the end of our life, time will become less significant and our life’s experiences will have value beyond measure. Remember to use the formula of time every day to look at Nature’s beauty, to hug someone, to say a kind word, and to laugh!

3 years ago · · 0 comments

February 2019 Newsletter

watercolor image of all 
you need is love words

“All you need is love.”

-John Lennon

Dear Friends

Someone once said “Hate is not the opposite of love . . . fear is!” Think about this for a moment, can you sense the truth in that statement? Try this experiment. Think about something that is frightening for a moment, hold it and notice how you feel. Check your chest, your facial expression and, your shoulders. Now think about someone you love deeply. Hold on to that thought. Did you feel the shift? How does your body feel now? How powerful the position of love is!

Did you know that if you rub your hand over the area on your chest where your heart is located, the hormone oxytocin is released? Try it now! This hormone is often called the “Love Hormone”, and it causes the human organism to bond, and attach. It is automatically released in women after the birthing process, and also while a woman or man is having an orgasm. Oxytocin also increases the ability to have empathy, compassion, and desire. But, wait…there’s more! Something else happens when Oxytocin is abundant – The human body functions at an optimum level. That is, all systems work together perfectly to support and enhance the quality of our life. Why not go ahead and rub your chest now?

We just talked about love, but what about fear? Fear works in the exact opposite way as love. In fact, one study showed that if someone holds the thought of fear for only five minutes, their immune system will be suppressed for as long as six hours! Wow!

If we have a choice to move into love (and we do), why do we hesitate? Doesn’t that hesitation mean we have chosen to feel fear instead? Notice and be a gentle observer of yourself. Don’t just go out and look for love. Instead, find and heal all the barriers you have built up against it. As President Obama once said in a speech he gave in Omaha, Nebraska, “What matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame – but rather, how well we have loved.”

Keep in mind the lyrics from yet another Beatles song, “And in the end, the love we take is equal to the love we make.”

3 years ago · · 0 comments

January 2019 Newsletter

charity word art

For last year’s words belong to language and next year’s words await another voice.”
– T.S. Eliot (1888-1995) Winner of 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature

Dear Friends,

Ponder, for a moment or two, what T.S. Eliot’s words mean to you. As I read them, I felt a sense of excitement and hope for a more consciously evolved life.

Recently, I read the book, Evolutionaries by Carter Phipps. The book speaks about like-minded people who believe that each of us individually and all of us collectively are responsible for the evolvement of the human species.

As we think about T. S. Eliot’s quote, we might consider looking back at our own lives and language. Would we make the same choices today that we made a few years ago? Realizing that we have changed, we had no choice but to evolve in and over time. Yet, we do have a choice to quicken that process, if we desire.

Like Evolutionaries, we at Wisdom and Recovery believe that we all can contribute to a more evolved consciousness by being mindfully considerate to all living species, and acting with kindness, honesty, and integrity. Imagine what our lives could be if we held these characteristics as our highest goal.

Some of us must first ask ourselves if there are issues that perhaps are keeping us blocked from living a fully awake and highly-evolved conscious life.

Through this enlightening process, we will eventually be able to proudly contribute our words to be a healthy part of next years voice!

Namaste