rally for recovery

we rallied

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i spent 4 months married to the production of a 4 hour event (pics from recovery rally above) and i am completely pooped. i still have other commitments and things to do. but life and melancholy have slowed me down. 

i am still in shock over the passing of my friend. without realizing it, i find myself overwhelmed and reactive with an emphasis of trying to cut my self free of my life. i have dropped this service commitment and that commitment until i found myself ready to set free some resources for others because i don’t feel i can handle them right now. but a friend reminded me to just chill and  stop making decisions right now. i just need to be for a bit and i guess that’s what i’ll do.

until then, please consider watching the 1st rough clip of footage. big kudos and thanks to tim ryerson of tnt productions for the work.

living the promises

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If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and selfpity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

throwing a party- or more accurately – a rally, takes some patience. it takes help, it takes attention, it takes money, and it takes time. i must say i have had quite a ride working on this event- 2012 Recovery Rally Colorado.
there have been so many steps- securing the venue, lining up speakers, recruiting volunteers, keeping volunteers busy, finding the right sound person, securing sponsors, engaging resource vendors, supporting the volunteers, securing funding streams, networking, and the one that probably makes my heart sing the most- marketing.

i have learned that i am enamored with helping develop a “look’ for these things and working to get the word out. now that the festival is tomorrow, all of this particular heart-engaging work has come to a close. i will get to share stories, test my courage by speaking to our participants (easy because i have a purpose- introducing  others). i hope and pray that i will not make an ass of myself- although i do realize that if i do make an ass of myself i will still survive somehow.

but the opportunity i have had to give a face and an image to this festival is one of the promises coming true for me in my life. i get to be useful and in the process, my heart gets involved. i don’t have to yearn for the approval that i used to need almost as much as i needed air to breathe.

so there are many last minute details to finish to ready for the party. pick up a guest from the airport, pick up the programs, finalize the water situation, answer a multitude of emails, find a balloon arch, find weights for the tents, troubleshoot a few last minute snafus.

it seems moot at this point to hope for a successful rally. it is already in motion. and i feel like i have already been part of a success. it feels fantastic. and i am completely grateful. many thanks to jena at rockethouse designs. and thanks also to afr for the opportunity to dance to my own music.

Colorado Recovery Rally 2012 program

Honor Guard

Advocates For Recovery Brochure

suit up and show up

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image credit...mariano vivanco

Courage of the Spiritual Warrior

The courage that makes for a good soldier also makes for a good Spiritual Warrior, but the intent becomes completely different. A soldier has courage to face a challenge that may bring physical harm. The Spiritual warrior has the courage to question challenge his or her own beliefs. By challenging our own beliefs we can dissolve the lies that cause our suffering. To challenge our own beliefs requires courage because it means the end of our illusion of safety. When other people challenge our own beliefs we are usually quick to defend. We defend them even if they cause us to suffer. As a warrior we learn not to defend what we believe, and then to challenge those very beliefs ourselves. In this way we are able to sort out the truth from illusions.

so this month has seen me start back at the gym with cardio classes at least 3x per week, a new 2night counseling gig at an agency where i was already working 1 evening per week, began supporting a new meeting 1x per week, and the details for the long awaited recovery rally bubble up daily like a fresh bottle of pellegrino newly opened.

i relentlessly insist that all of this is within my scope, without really taking the time to assess what the cost of this responsibility, but the cost involves my peace of mind and my serenity. additionally, my good friend is preparing to shake loose this mortal coil, and i am not very present for him. he isolates and redirects and avoids. there is a part of me that feels helpless. i know he is struggling and i have little idea how to relieve this. i spend some time, but as is my way, i remind myself i am not doing enough nor am i doing it right. underneath it all is this childhood belief that my love isn’t enough.
yesterday, one of my workmates repeatedly placed papers from the printer on top of other papers on my desk. i became perturbed and defensive. i  acted out. i am still prickly and on defense. i scrapped with a board member today about an issue of little import, who needs to be happy, when i should be right? just like a pitbull latches on to its adversary- clenching hard, shaking rigorously, and doing anything to avoid letting go, i covet mistrust and sulking with staunch insanity. who needs a horror movie when i have my own behavior?
how, after all these years of personal growth  work and letting go of ego, do i find myself drowning in a tumult of human weakness? i have not wanted to write about this for fear of being exposed like the emperor wearing his celebrated and ridiculed nudie outfit.
but i do know that i can’t pretend that these character defects that are taking root dandelions in summer aren’t real. they are. i am affected by my life and the situations around me. i don’t react as graciously as i would like. it is my first response to think the worst. to run. to separate.  and this is what i have found myself doing this week.  doing what i always do.
 making things for me to then undo…

The old line says, “Suit up and show up.” That action is so important that I like to think of it as my motto. I can choose each day to suit up and show up, or not.

this year’s love (or how i will spend my summer)

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Welcome to the logo for the 2012 Rally For Recovery Colorado
Designed by RocketHouse Designs
 11th annual Rally hosted by AFR and held in Denver Colorado
September 8 2012
 Walk For Recovery 
meet up 9am Union Station Denver
walk to Civic Center Park arrive 10am 
Greek Ampitheater Civic Center Park
 City and State Officials proclaiming September is Recovery Month.
Selected family members share recovery experiences.
3 hours of music, fun, food, and celebration.
Resources for people new to recovery.
fun for kids-art, games, bouncy castle
Colorado Recovery Communities Come Together
Recovery is Real
Recovery Works
Recovery Heals Families
and now here’s one of my favorites songwriters.

no need to kick tomorrow

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i have been acting chair for the planning committee for the afr (advocates for recovery) rally and will emceeing with my friend kisty tomorrow. i have come to understand that this thing called recovery is very underrated. so much money is spent on prosecuting people who use and people who have addictions. so much more money is spent on incarcerating people for using drugs and alcohol and for being addicted. but so very little resources are spent on promoting and supporting this thing we call recovery. i guess it doesn’t have quite the same glamour. for me, now, where my life has come, recovery is worth celebrating. it’s worth shouting about. it’s worth holding up to the light so that others might see.

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i worked a birthday party for an 89 year old woman last evening. Her home is a 1949 Craftsman bungalow that has been changed little since its construction and is nestled on a 25 acre parcel of what was undoubtedly a much larger piece of land originally in an exclusive part of old moneyed denver. the view was astounding and the age of the caterer and the guests was impressive to say the least. as i pulled up around 5p, the matriarch was just returning from her rounds checking the pets and the horses on the farm which is a daily routine.

it was old denver money at this function and it was definitely intoxicating. the woman who trained and raced secretariat was there. 2 state legislators were in tow as well. i found myself completely enamored with the ambiance and impressed with the survivorship.

i was asked this week to chair the committee that will produce the ‘rally for recovery 2011″. it’s an annual event in colorado which highlights the benefits of recovery and celebrates some of the “gifts” that come with it.
it’s not my usual after hours activity, but i am looking forward to a new challenge. you can learn more about the rally at www.advocatesforrecovery.org

a couple of good friends are planning a visit from chicago in august. i am thinking i will take them to the western slope for the pallisades peaches festival.  i am looking forward to checking it out as well as getting outa dodge for a coupla days.

in a meeting tonight, i realized that i have become comfortable with accepting that life is forever changing and is far from perfect or easy. i think i used to get caught up in the challenges of change and the difficulties in that. but i am coming to understand that this is the nature of life. last night we had a torrential downpour and the streets and drains flooded all the way up to the sidewalks. there was relocated mulch all over the sidewalks and the stairs up to my house and there was a fencepost from i don’t know where sprawled out as well. i could have gotten mad about it, but it really is the nature of life to shift. i honestly hope i am learning to work with this.