Life changing moments often come unexpectedly. The good, the bad and the ones an individual never wishes to experience. For Nathan Harmon that moment occurred in July of 2009. It was a night that was supposed to be filled with laughter and a new friendship. That ultimately ended with a fatal car accident leaving 28 year old, Priscilla Owens gone forever, a girl he had known for only three weeks.
This week marks 31 years since my extraordinary daughter was born. However, she was not due for another two weeks, a date I had etched into my brain and had joyfully anticipated (along with some fear and nervousness) for nine months. I had read all the books and taken the classes, and I knew what to do when my water broke and when the labor pains could be timed at specific intervals…
There is a lot of emotional dysregulation … with substance abuse disorders. Animals serve as role models for mindfulness … while someone in recovery is relearning how to navigate the world of an emotional being … To conquer the anger, shame and guilt of a relentless feeling disease, requires an honest inventory. With pride set aside, the recall of our memory is best in a non-judgmental setting, [with] unconditionally-loving pets, whether it is pet therapy or animal assisted therapy.
I am grateful to know I am in the perfect place for me. I give myself permission to slow down, to listen to divine inner wisdom, and enjoy. August is the perfect month to stay awake, remain curious, listen deeply, and glide into what is next like an invigorating ride down a water slide.
I didn’t wake up one day sober and filled with a sense of peace. I’ve been wandering around this planet for 20 years, and I’ve spent the vast majority of them sabotaging myself compared to the few years I’ve put towards recovery. In the last year though, I’ve found that by actively trying to connect to some power in the Universe that is not me, I’ve come much closer to finding myself than I ever could have dreamed. I’m still learning, and there’s so much to spirituality and recovery that I haven’t even begun to tap into, but that’s why I focus on taking things one day at a time. Healing doesn’t happen overnight, but as long you continue to pursue it the sky’s the limit, recovery is infinite, and anything is truly possible.
An article in the August 2018 issue of Science of Mind Magazine, written by regular contributors Mark Waldman and Andrew Newberg, showcases the benefits of slowing way down when walking––even creating a meditation out of it. A list of suggested affirmations is provided to say with each step to help slow and center our mind and brain, a departure from the mindless way we typically approach this experience. The authors list ten, and they suggest “for extra credit” that we make up two more of our own to create our personal 12-Step Walking Meditation.
When I was thinking about quitting drinking, no one in my “real life” seemed to get how I was feeling about alcohol. Struggling with your drinking can be a very isolating experience, but seeing your story reflected in someone else’s can be so powerful.
Birthdays in my family growing up were not celebrated in any great ways. We’d get a present but no special treatment, no special dinner, certainly no party, and mostly no cakes, if memory serves. My sister and I validated this years ago, so once we had our own kids, we especially love to celebrate in the rightful manner.