Archive for January, 2014


January 28th, 2014

Last week the mother of a very close friend of mine died on the east coast.  He and his family were with her as she was surrounded by loved ones during the sacred time of taking one’s final breath.

Tonight I’m going to my friend’s house for the first night of “shiva” which is a Jewish tradition when the mourners typically do very little and friends and family take care of them.  It’s an ancient tradition which I experienced after the death of my father in 2012, and I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to do very little and let others show up with food, love and compassion.

Because our culture doesn’t always carve out time for bereavement, it’s refreshing when there is room for the deeper, life-changing experience of loss–especially the loss of a familymember.  A little comfort food, a lot of hugs and a chance to be taken care of goes a long, long way.



January 20th, 2014

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and some people have the day off from work and some do not.  Either way it’s a day of remembrance and a day to honor one of the greatest American voices of civil rights in our history.  MLK paved the way for the rights of people of color, for women, for glbts and for anyone who has historically been seen as “different”.

Those in recovery from addictions (and trauma) can also be seen as a  misunderstood “minority” which seems to be changing slowly as greater education and public acceptance seems to be expanding.  As we learn more and more about the bio-psychosocial underpinnings of addictions, hopefully there will be more scientific data so there won’t be discrimination against those in recovery regardless of the “color of the addiction.”


January 5th, 2014

As we enter the first full work week of 2014, it’s back to the routine for most of us.  Are routines a positive thing or not in our lives?  Generally speaking, a routine involves structure, habit, and usually consistency.  Not everyone feels this way, but I tend to thrive on structure, habit and consistency, and I believe it illustrates my desire to create a sense of order (or possibly control).  Having come from a family with chaotic, unpredictable tendencies, it makes sense that I would lean in the direction of order and predictability, and this is where the dilemma exists.

Order and predictability may be helpful in moderation, but I’ve come to understand that creating more play and  spontaneity in my life is my growing edge.   I’ve come to accept the desire for routine and structure within me and also believe that it can live side by side with play and spontaneity.  As we enter 2014, I encourage you to embrace all of these dimensions of yourself and create more opportunities for breaking the routine in the most fulfilling ways possible.