Embodied Spirituality for Recovery
Anthropologists studying all kinds of rites of passage around the globe have described most of them as having three basic phases: the separation phase, when someone “cuts away” from their former self, deciding to leave life as they know it behind. Next is the liminal phase – a state in-between worlds, a place of rocky, unfamiliar terrain, of disorientation and despair, where nothing is what it used to be. Finally, they reach the reincorporation phase, when they come home to themselves and to the world, leaving their isolation behind and reintegrating into the world as a new, changed being.
Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction can feel like this – the shedding of old skin, followed by the pain and rawness of exposure, and then a process of coming back home, learning how to get comfortable in one’s own skin. This process is not easy. Finding a pathway to faith, trust, and connection to something larger than one’s self and ego, is crucial to overcoming the confusion and anguish of the in-between stage.
Our busy, secular world often forgets or ignores the vital healing role that spiritual ritual has played for thousands of years, in grounding human beings and normalizing the chaos, pain, and uncertainty of life. Across the globe, spiritual rituals have been used to dramatize these processes to help people weather the storms of life by connecting to spirit, to community, and to their deepest voices of resilience.
Over 20 years of deep exploration of yogic, meditation, and Native American traditions, I’ve evolved certain practices that keep me rooted, whole, and connected to spirit. I live and breathe them on a daily basis – and they are indispensable to my spiritual and everyday life, especially in times of great disruption or pain. The 7 Foundations™ program I’ve developed is a distillation of those practices, inspired by my Native American elders and the Native American medicine wheel. The Medicine Wheel has become my soul map, bridging the spiritual realm and physical plane. Having worked with tens of thousands of people across the globe, and as the spiritual director of two addiction recovery programs, I’ve come to understand that these foundations don’t work just for me; I’ve seen them work for countless others.
This program and my intentions are about changing one’s relationship to one’s body as a sacred place, and living with spiritual integrity – so that the client’s way of moving in the world, their communication with themselves, their process of decision-making can have greater stability, intention, and meaning.
Each of the 7 Foundations is inspired by the symbolism and directions of the Native American Medicine Wheel. Medicine Wheels were physical monuments created by many Native tribes as sites for sacred ceremony, prayer, and vision quests, and meant as physical manifestations of spiritual energy. They represented the neverending cycles of life – of birth, death, and rebirth, and were wheels of protection, enabling tribe members to gather surrounding energies into a focal point and to commune with spirit, self, and nature.
The wheel was meant a reflection of the togetherness of community, of symmetry, and balance – and also of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. It gave people guidelines to follow for personal growth. It told people what they needed to learn and what they needed to teach.
Parashakti is a shamanic healing practitioner with more than two decades of experience facilitating workshops, training, and retreats around the world. She is the creator of the Seven Foundation™ and Dance of Liberation™ programs. Parashakti has worked as spiritual counselor and group facilitator at Breathe Life Healing Centers which specializes in trauma care, drug and alcohol treatment, and eating disorders. At Recover Integrity, a boutique addiction recovery program for men, she worked hand-in-hand with the clinical team to merge her Seven Foundations™ curriculum with traditional therapies, designing a spiritual lifestyle program that reaches where conventional recovery can’t to support sustainable recovery holistically. Rythmia Life Advancement Center in Costa Rica now features Dance of Liberation™ as the ceremonial closing of their one week-long retreat. Dance is movement – another word for change – and Rythmia offers this practice as a way to honor, integrate, and celebrate their guests’ transformation.
Holistic Addiction Recovery Institute – Discovery Weekend
A Two-Day Workshop with Parashakti
Saturday – Sunday, June 22 & 23, 2019, 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
To learn more and register, click here.