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Letting Go, Embodying Life: Finding Happiness & Well-Being in Recovery


Recovery is a reclaiming of the self.  As the wonderful, Melody Beattie shares in “The Language of Letting Go”:

“Recovery is not about being right; it’s about allowing ourselves to be who we are and accepting others as they are.” 

“Others do not have our magic. We have our magic. It is in us.”

“Beliefs create reality.” 

Letting Go:

On the journey of Recovery, we arrive with many patterns, feelings and beliefs, which we have gained through our life experiences.  Sometimes our area of Recovery is clear — there is one pattern or addiction, that brings to this path. And, there may be other patterns we don’t see right way.  As we begin to recover, we discover many of the places where we are living out of alignment with ourselves. We begin to see that we are going against our own deeper truth.  As we begin to see more clearly, we can begin to let go and surrender — this is how our essence emerges.

Remembering that Letting Go is an ongoing process on the journey of Recovery is a key to finding happiness and wellbeing.  Here are some questions to explore to support letting go:

  • What are you noticing in your life today that it is time to let go of?  
  • What patterns are you aware of that are no longer serving you?
  • What feelings are at the surface right now or are you aware you are holding onto that you need to release?
  • What beliefs are you carrying about yourself or the world that are keeping you from moving forward in your recovery and in your life?

Some ways to practice Letting Go:

  • Sharing Your Feelings
  • Singing
  • Emotional Release 
  • Journaling or Writing
  • Dancing
  • Creativity/Artwork
  • Connecting With Nature
  • Exercise Fire Ceremony
  • Prayer & Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Storytelling

“Happiness is the goal of all goals—the be all and end all of life.” 

~ Aristotle

Embodying Life:

On the path of Recovery, we are letting go of much of what hasn’t worked for us in life as well as pain we have experienced.  We are often surrendering the only coping mechanisms we may have known and find that without these old patterns, feelings and beliefs, we don’t know who we are.  This is the journey of Recovery – reconnecting and reclaiming our true self, our essence and ultimately, embodying life in a full and vibrant way. 

In indigenous cultures around the world, there are four universal questions that a shaman or healer might ask a person to help them reconnect with themselves and learn to embody life:

  1. When did you stop singing?
  2. When did you stop dancing?
  3. When did you stop being enchanted by story?
  4. When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?

These four things — singing, dancing, story-telling and silence are considered the four crucial ingredients for happiness — they are how we as humans embody life.

Sometimes as we move through Recovery, we find peace and serenity in letting go and it takes more time on our journey to find happiness and well-being.  We are on a path that requires getting to know ourselves and we may never have had a sense of who really are or what makes us happy.  Part of recovery is learning what makes up happy and what helps us to feel alive!

The philosopher Baruch Spinoza suggested to ask ourselves 3 questions daily for 30 days to truly find ourselves and discover what can bring happiness and wholeness into our lives.

  • Who or what inspired me today?
  • What brought me happiness today?
  • What brought me comfort and deep peace today?

Some other questions for you to explore might be:

  • What does happiness mean to me?
  • What would my ideal day feel like and/or look like?
  • What can I do to support a greater experience of well-being?
  • What one thing can I do today to increase my happiness?

Wishing you much happiness and well-being on your journey of recovery and of life!

This post was excerpted from a workshop material for the Women’s Unity Retreat on June 4th, 2016. If you are interested in bringing a workshop or program to your group or organization on this topic, contact us to explore!

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