Most of us experienced some magic in life at a young age; the awe-like wonder of a small child
entranced with new things, new experiences; not rushed by the obligatory demands of time and pressure. Over time we get talked out of the magic, out of the interest, into obligation, into demands from well-intentioned or not-so-well intentioned adults. Many of us experienced abuse or environments far from magical. Often times, the substances that lead many of us into destructive cycles of addiction and alcoholism, where the same substances that initially brought back some magic into our lives.
We felt the surge of something missing, that enabled us to dream big, or find the beauty in small aspects of our reality, or that enabled magical connections with others. In Recovery, it’s necessary to find a sufficient substitute for the positive freedoms that substances may have initially brought to us. Enter: Mindfulness, a key component to getting out of the head, where so much of the negative effects of addiction reside, and into the heart; into awareness, and into a world of seeing from a new perspective.
So first of all, how could you define mindfulness? When I think of the practice, images of compassionate monks meditating for hours on end come to mind. And meditating is a very effective platform for practicing mindfulness, but you can bring the practice into any moment, with a little attention. In general, it can be described as a non-judgmental awareness of all one is experiencing at the moment: emotions, sensations, thoughts, and observations. In fact, we are built with the capacity to receive so much information in any given moment, more than we could ever consciously process at one time. So in a sense, mindfulness is a way of empowering ourselves to choose whether to be the emotion, the pain, the suffering, or to be the witness/observer of what we are receiving. So how exactly does one become non-judgmentally aware when in a state of self-depreciation, emotional triggers, or general suffering and discomfort, that comes along with new recovery?
Mixing it Up for Mindfulness
One helpful avenue to facilitate greater ease in becoming mindful is to try new things, new experiences, and new environments. The science behind this has to do with a phenomenon called conditioned stimuli (you can read more about that in this blog post here.) Basically, in the fresh experiences, there are fewer triggers from the mind for negative patterns from our past, that hijack our focus, so it can be a little easier to be present and notice things we wouldn’t normally notice: more enjoyable aspects of reality. The thoughts and focus of criticism and suffering have a little less pull than they would under our usual day-to-day routine.
Not only that but we get to build new positive memories, new neural pathways, often independent of the trauma and suffering of the past. And when it comes to including adventure and magnificent natural phenomena in these new activities, we can sometimes be boosted quite far, from suffering, or neutrality, into everything from joy to wonder, and even bliss. That is a big catalyst for taking more steps to strengthen our recovery. At Oasis Recovery, we value greatly the practice of trying new things and opening up to new experiences. We implement a wide variety of therapeutic practices and adventure excursions to foster new perspectives, and to enhance the practice of mindfulness, that permeates so much of the process of healing; waking up, and finding freedom.
If you are struggling with addiction and would like a treatment environment that fosters mindfulness and new experiences click here. If your loved one is in need of treatment that helps heal through mindfulness and new experiences click here.
To witness Oasis Recovery in action providing these powerful tools for healing and recovery watch the video below!