One of the most important aspects of my journey in recovery has been my journey through spirituality. I choose the phrase journey THROUGH specifically as opposed to journey TO because that is exactly how my journey has occurred.
It began as many of us have with a less than successful connection with organized religion as a child, the one connection always holding me, my connection with nature, especially trees.
Upon first coming into recovery in my early thirties, I began the search for different churches and religions to connect to a higher power and came to find a connection with Eastern Philosophy of Lao Tzu. I studied meditation and for many years that was my spiritual connection to a higher power. My connection to nature remained strong, however and my “journey through” in 2015 led me to becoming a Level 2 Reiki Practitioner. I began to travel in different spiritual communities and was introduced to sound meditations using Himalayan Singing Bowls, Gongs and other sound instruments.
I became so intrigued by this kind of meditation, a meditation of sound rather than silence, a meditation shared by many people at once as opposed to meditation alone, that I began to study the playing of these instruments.
My spiritual connection began to grow more outward, from inner voice to instruments of all kinds, gongs, drums, bells, and of course finally my voice. I was now meditating, playing, singing and drumming at all sorts of events from Sound Baths to native American Drum Circles to African Drum Circles.
In 2017, I was introduced to Kirtan, an Indian form of chanting where a leader chants a mantra in Sanskrit, an ancient language older than Latin, and the group chants it back. The music gets faster, and people clap and sing and dance – what a beautiful, wondrous experience!
I became familiar with the stories these chants were about and decided I would one day learn how to lead a Kirtan myself. Journey through with me 5 crazy years, a pandemic, a new job as a Peer Recovery Advocate, a few other life experiences and in June, I led my first Kirtan!
What do all these experiences since 2015 have in common? Connection! My journey through spirituality has shown me that what helped me find my own voice was connection. Connection with others. And more importantly that there are many places that one can find connection in recovery to journey through their spirituality. Today Sound Baths, Mindful Meditation, Kirtan and many other modalities all play a part in my recovery and like the trees I prayed to as a child it’s the connection that helps me prosper, grow and journey.