As I’m sure you’ve seen from my social media posts this past week that I attended the She Recovers conference last weekend in NYC. This was just your normal weekend gathering of 500 women who congregated together under the veil that we are all recovering from something.
This was a star studded spiritual gathering with featured speakers; Glennon Doyle Melton, Elizabeth Vargas, Elena Brower, Nikki Meyers, Gabby Bernstein and to end the amazing weekend, Marianne Williamson; the OG spiritual guru, who brought down the house on Sunday morning. God’s day.
Something happened this weekend that I can’t even put into words. It was a spiritual experience like no other where I felt like I was living in a bubble of love, light, humanness, raw emotion and connection. It made me want to be a better human to myself and to others around me. (Did I seriously just write that?) I was able to hear my friend Sarah Roberts speak about sugar freedom and how it’s such an addictive substance. (She also wrote an amazing book called “The 28 day Kick the Sugar Challenge”) and she blogged about her experience. It so resonated what I was thinking, “It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life so far and I am deeply grateful to all of the organizers for pulling it all together. Feel free to read her full post here; http://sarahtalksfood.com/secrets-from-masters/
For me, one of the take away’s from the weekend was how we are all so connected in our recoveries. Whether it’s alcohol, drugs, food, co-dependency – we all get it and we all relate with one another without judgment. I was reading my friend Pamela’s blog, Sober Mami, and her words were loud and clear; “Because let’s get honest: Something freakin’ epic has begun; the starlight carpet was laid out for 500 women to walk – led by Dawn Nickel and Taryn Strong. Because in the end, it is these 500 women who are the true “stars and heroes” – sometimes bigger than the ones up on stage”. Read more of her piece on her blog; https://sobermami.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/and-so/
But, the biggest gem and theme of the weekend that was delivered was in in sharing how much we need to relish in the pain. Not hitting the “easy button” as Glennon called it. Not numbing out with food, sex, shopping or other distracting behaviors that are just as harmful to our soul. Nikki Myers, who is an expert on Co-dependency, shared that “Co-dependency is the disease of the lost self, the disease of looking elsewhere.” Further on, she said “Sometimes you gotta go through the Fuck You to get to the Bless You!” If that isn’t the spoken truth! On Saturday evening I heard Gabby Bernstein, the self-proclaimed Spiritual Junkie, speak where I felt like I was in her living room having tea. Her story was my story and her uniqueness with which she spoke seeped deep into my soul. She quoted from A Course in Miracles and served as our warm-up for Marianne Williamson on Sunday morning. When Marianne, whom I’ve followed since early sobriety, took the stage on Sunday, I had no idea that I would feel like I was in a stained glass cathedral as the love and light poured in from the sky. Her uplifting and motivating presence was overwhelming, but more overwhelming was her word. Her word was strong and it sent chills. She spoke for 90 minutes and every word was my teacher. My reason for wanting to be more than I already am and my invitation to love more and embrace the pain; when she commented, “Don’t go over it, be with it”, and also, “Do not squander the hours of your suffering, this is your growth”. I felt that all my pain and suffering that brought me to where I am today was more warranted that I could have imagined. This is the kind of growth that no one wants to experience or go through; but in that darkness is where the true healing lies. Freedom.
Another awesome part of the weekend was that I met so many of my cyber sober sisters. I can’t even list everyone that touched me this weekend, but know this – my weekend would never have occurred if I didn’t step out into the light two years ago and self-publish my Memoir, Last Call, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TBWNTGU and started blogging http://lastcallblog.me my sober experiences and my truth. I’m incredibly grateful that I walked through the fear of being able to share my recovery out loud. As I sit here, on the eve of my 13th Soberversary, I am reminded that it’s not about how we got sober, how much time we have, or how many times we’ve gone through the steps; it’s about the pain. The pain of getting sober and staying sober and having the light on the other side get closer and closer, so we can heal. As my sponsor in San Diego says, “God show me the truth and teach me to heal.”
So, thanks to all you lovelies, homies and spritual junkies who came this weekend! Can’t wait to see you all at She Recovers in 2018! Did I hear someone say it may be in Los Angeles?
Photo Credit: Natalie Austin