I started practicing meditation about 10 years ago, at the Shambhala Center in Chicago. (Shambhala is an international organization founded by Chogyam Trungpa, a Tibetan Buddhist – see shambhala.org). I was in early recovery from alcohol, and I decided I wanted to learn how to meditate. It just seemed like a good idea at the time. I’d been told I could show up on a Sunday morning at the Center and ask for someone to show me how, so that’s what I did. After about 15 minutes of instruction, I joined the others who meditate together there on Sunday mornings. Eventually I went on to take some meditation trainings and started reading stuff (anything by Pema Chodron).
I now meditate with a group about once a week and at home daily (more or less; these habits took some effort to instill, and there has been a bit of on-again / off-again over the years). The results show up in daily life as an increasing capacity for clarity and calmness, and for seeing more possibilities in difficult situations. Oh, and things like moments of joy and appreciation. Continue reading →
Looking for a deeper connection to SMART Recovery?
Interested in networking with other volunteers?
Wanting to learn more about the science behind SMART?
Curious about SMART’s plans for the future?
SMARTCON 2015 offers all this and more!
This year’s conference will be held in Cincinnati, OH. Cincinnati is a beautiful, bustling city with mid-western charm, and a revitalized downtown and waterfront area. It is known for its entrepreneurial and artistic talent — not to mention its chili and ice cream! And…..it’s located in Ohio, home state of SMART Recovery’s Central Office.
Whether you’re a volunteer, a meeting participant, a clinician, or a friend of SMART Recovery, the Annual Conference is your chance to fully experience the energizing and inspiring annual gathering of this international community of people working to help others create positive change in their lives.
I’m walking down the same street I’ve walked down hundreds of times before. Nothing’s changed. It’s the same street. Same stores. Same liquor store, one that has never interested me before because it’s filled with things I can’t have, or rather, let’s say, things I choose not to have. But something is different this time. This time, I really notice the liquor store. This time, I hear a scotch bottle whispering my name.
Well, then, “beam me up, Scotty.”
I see myself walking into the store, picking up a couple of bottles of scotch and two bottles of wine, paying for them and walking back out onto the street. I have been feeling kind of down lately, maybe bored, frustrated, but nothing new has happened that has thrown my life into a tailspin. I’ve just suddenly fallen into a trance and decided to get drunk.
I go home and take out my favorite scotch glass and fill it to the brim. I make a toast to the ether and take a small taste. Continue reading →
1,500th SMART Recovery Meeting Opens as Fast Growth Rate Continues
The number of SMART Recovery meetings has reached the 1,500 milestone – less than three years after crossing the 1,000 mark – as more people embrace the program’s emphasis on becoming empowered to overcome addictions using science-based tools and peer support.
The 1,500th, a Friday evening weekly meeting, has opened at the Portland Recovery Community Center (PRCC) in Portland, Maine. Niki Curtis, the SMART trained facilitator for the meeting, explains:
“When I first arrived, we didn’t have many non-12 step meetings, so our Program Manager asked if I would be interested in SMART Recovery training. I am so glad that I said yes because since that training two years ago, I have utilized the program’s tools in my own life and shared them with others in meetings. For instance, I found that doing SMART’s Cost/Benefit Analysis helps me with decision-making. The ABC tool helps me deal with my anger around loud neighbors, and I am using SMART’s Urge Log tool to quit smoking. I have been working at the Center for two years. I love that we offer all types of meetings and that, like SMART, we respect all types of recovery. Continue reading →
The focus will be on how using simple evidence-based tools from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that can help anyone, not just those struggling with addiction. SMART focuses its application of these tools on addictive behavior, specifically, but we can use those same tools to help us learn to better cope with underlying issues – stress, worry, anger, anxiety – and free us to create and enjoy the lives we want. Continue reading →
A truly professional salesperson is required to discover what my desires, needs and wants are, and assist me in getting them through using their product or service. Where they can’t help me, they are to tell me, and allow me on my way.
In recovery from addictive behaviour, I have, perhaps, a need for a very powerful salesperson.
They are required to be more powerful than the automatic salesperson in my head – the addictive voice, horse or monkey brain – .
They are required to sell me on the features of my recovery, and FAR more importantly, on the BENEFITS that I will enjoy as part of my recovery.
A successful sales approach has been said to have 4 characteristics: “AIDA.” Continue reading →