Note from Dawn and Taryn: We met Kelly in August, 2014 when she attended her first retreat with us. She has since become a close friend and a leader in our community. We are so excited to introduce her here and in the not too distant future will welcome her as a charter member of our (still being finalized) She Recovers Coach Collaborative.
I am so excited to be working with Dawn and Taryn to facilitate the She Recovers: Yoga and Connection in Seattle event. For the past three years, I have traveled often to their amazing yoga and recovery retreats. That they are now bringing She Recovers to my neck of the woods is an incredible treat!
The funny thing is that three years ago, I never would have associated myself with the word “recover.” I’d never done yoga, and I thought that I had more than enough connection in my life already.
What a difference a few years can make.
Living a life of congruence, where my outside actions match my inner beliefs is something that has grown to be my biggest priority over the last decade of my life. It comes down to the fact that when I’m living in alignment, I feel a sense of peace that is disrupted when I’m not.
This has often meant choosing the road less traveled, including attachment parenting, homeschooling, and vegetarianism. Each of those choices made me feel different at the time, but they were choices I made very consciously and they have enriched my life.
In recent years, my journey to living in congruency has led me to make choices that were more painful: I quit drinking alcohol, got divorced (after 24 years) and radically downsized my home. Each one of these major decisions involved enormous loss and meant walking INTO pain and discomfort rather than away from it. None of these choices were in my game plan. I hated the answers that were in front of me and had worked hard to resist them even when they had become increasingly clear. Yet, in my most honest moments, I would see myself just like a two year old child holding on to too many toys, stubbornly refusing to set anything down despite evidence that doing so was necessary.
Quitting drinking was fundamental to this process for me. It forced me to begin to fill my inner toolbox with healthy coping tools for the first time in my life. It was also a major identity changer. Who was I, if I wasn’t someone who went out for drinks to celebrate and relax? And how would I get along in a world that pressures us to drink and that glamorizes drinking despite the pain that it causes so many? I ended up reaching out for support to an online community and found great relief in knowing I wasn’t alone. I began practicing gratitude, exercising, meditating, and practicing self-care in a whole new way than I ever had before. My tool box began to fill up.
It wasn’t very long before I somehow stumbled onto the She Recovers website. I loved their belief that we’re “all recovering from something” and in an uncharacteristic move, I signed up for their first retreat held on Salt Spring Island, in British Columbia, Canada. I remember being very enticed by the name of the retreat: “A Sacred Pause.” That was just what I was most craving. Since it was a yoga retreat and I’d never done yoga (!), I signed up for yoga for the first time. I will always remember getting there to that first retreat, after about 8 hours of travel and wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into. I didn’t know a soul and I had never done anything like it before. But that experience turned out to solidify my “recovery” by leaps and bounds. I had come for the PAUSE but what ended up having the biggest impact was the CONNECTION. While I did take lots of time out to recharge, by the end of that first retreat, I had found myself falling in love with each woman there. These were women who were brave enough to take off their masks and share from their hearts. These were women who had the courage to do what they had to do to keep growing into the healthiest version of themselves. As they shared pieces of their hearts, I found myself believing in them fiercely, which had the incredible boomerang effect of helping me to believe more in myself, too.
I had found my tribe.
Since then, I have made it a priority to save the money I would’ve spent on alcohol and nights out in the past- and put it towards this kind of reward instead. It’s amazing how it adds up. I have now attended three more retreats in both Mexico and Canada and have another two on my calendar in 2017. Life is hectic and full and I really see it as part of my preventative health care, to make time for these sacred pauses in my life. At each one, I’ve come away feeling restored and have ended up feeling a sense of connection with more and more women. What a gift!
Who knew when I began this journey that my world would open up the way it has? I have a whole new faith now in the fact that doors closing mean new doors are opening. It has helped me to trust in life in ways I was never able to before. Working to fill and maintain my inner toolbox has given me the reward of knowing that I no longer need to reach for ways to be rescued or soothed from the outside. Instead, I know deeply, that it is an inside job—-and that is incredibly empowering.
And while it is an inside job, connection with others walking this path is a fundamental part of what makes this journey so rewarding. That is why I now jump at any chance I get to meet others making the hard choice of setting things down that no longer serve them and taking the leap of faith and believing that there are other gifts in store. These are the people I want to get to know better….these brave, courageous, women willing to listen to their inner voice. I know that we are stronger together and I have been moved and inspired to keep company with others shining their beautiful lights.
To this end, I truly look forward to sharing this connection at our upcoming workshop on my home turf in Seattle. What a great way to start off the New Year. There will be (truly incredible) yoga but even more than that, it will be a day to look around and realize we are not alone.
I so hope to see YOU there! You can sign up for the Seattle workshop HERE.
I’ll also be at She Recovers in NYC event in May. But that’s a blog post for another day.
Kelly Beck has experienced the consequences of addiction from various angles and is passionate about the world of recovery. In both professional and personal settings her life’s work has centered on empowering others, individually and in groups, to achieve their greatest success. In addition to being a Certified Professional Recovery and Life Coach she is currently working on a “Certificate in Contemplative Psychology” issued by the esteemed Karuna Training North America (focused on joining psychology with the practice of mindfulness, compassion and Buddhism). Kelly believes that everyone could benefit from embracing the tools of recovery and that it is never too late (or too early) to fill up our internal toolboxes. For more about Kelly and to find out more about her coaching services, visit her Shining Bright website and Facebook Page.