Monday, March 17, 2014

Philly, Newtown, Wilmington

Friday March 14th was the first class of tour. It was at Today INC Rehabilitation Facility in Newtown, PA.  10 women, ages 18+

I suppose that I feel a somewhat special connection to that place, because an addict in my life was an in-patient there several times in an attempt to get (and stay) clean.

I thought about what it means to be starting this tour.
thought about how to structure the class for this specific population.
I thought about the holding patterns of someone in recovery.
I thought about my own holding patterns on (and off) the mat.
And I thought about how incredibly difficult it is to get clean
And to stay clean
And to not act out in our addictions, whatever they may be.

I think that changing our habitualizations-- not acting out in our addictions-- requires a tuning in to the present moment. Ie- how am I feeling in this moment? How is my breath in this moment? Etc.
If we have the skills to give a name to how we're feeling each moment, as well as the skills to cope with and regulate these feelings, we can change our habits.

If you think about it, we never set out to act in our addictions in some future date; we don't say, "I'm feeling so shitty right now, I'm going to (insert addiction)...tomorrow." We indulge to change how we're feeling in that moment; and each time we indulge, we strengthen that propensity.

The breath is the link between the body and the mind. If we can learn to correct the modality of the body, we can learn to correct the modality of the mind (and vice versa). If we can learn to breathe consciously and mindfully, we can learn to regulate our own emotions, as well as how we feel about ourselves. As with anything, it takes practice; it's difficult at first to change our habits because first we have to notice what they are. 

Our class at Today INC was very restorative and very breath focused. Afterwards, we debriefed, as some of the students would be leaving the rehab in a couple days to move to a recovery house.

I spent the next day preparing to (officially) leave for tour, as Sunday morning was the true departure date. My friends made me an incredible breakfast to set me on the journey (I truly am blessed).

Leaving my home in West Philly was as strange as I expected it would be. I had left my home hundreds of times before heading somewhere on my bicycle, but now I was doing it for two whole months. I'm still wrapping my brain around that one....

The ride to Wilmington was not too far; 32 miles. A bit cold and grey. I sprinted a lot of the way because I felt like I just needed to be there for this journey to feel real. That, and I am also working on (and always working with) how to be more present in my own life.

This afternoon's class is at Ferris Detention Center for boys in Wilmington. 15 boys, ages 13-18.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the snow quickly dissipates, as I am heading 60 miles to Forest Hill MD tomorrow, and I'm trying not to project too much into the future, all the while feeling a million different emotions about this journey.

To a more present moment awareness...

Stay tuned