College Recovery Programs: Supporting Students Choice for Recovery and Academics

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School may still be out for students, but Patrice Salmeri, Director of Augsburg’s StepUP Program in Minneapolis is hard at work ensuring all is ready is for the start of another successful school year. Recently she took time out to answer questions about college recovery programs and Augsburg’s StepUp Program. Collegiate recovery programs (CRP’s) provide support for students in recovery who are seeking a degree in higher education. Colleges with recovery programs provide the infrastructure necessary to support the academic performance of college students in recovery. CRP’s are not new — they’ve been around since the 1970s. Brown University was … Continue reading

Kindness Matters

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Unite4:Good (U4G) has created a global platform dedicated to inspire, innovate and drive grassroots kindness. Our goal is to build a community where we lay the foundation to empower individuals to perform acts of kindness as part of their day-to-day lives, because we believe that true happiness can be attained by practicing intentional kindness both to ourselves and others. In October 2015, we will launch our platform dedicated to providing positive content and opportunities to make a difference. Leading up to our launch, we are kicking off our #WhereKindnessCounts Competition to encourage and reward people for doing acts of kindness. … Continue reading

Finding Purpose in Recovery

For an addict, the prospect of no longer using whatever it is that gets them through each day is daunting. There’s a comfort in knowing what life is going to look like even if all it entails is dragging yourself out of bed, taking a drink, smoke, or hit of crystal meth, and going on with a day focused only on managing the disaster. The dark cloud that surrounds us is obscured by our drug of choice — it’s what makes the days tolerable. The first step of recovery – Addiction treatment sets the table Some of us are sent … Continue reading

Ante Up! All In For Life’s Games

Eleanor Leonard

“You know horses are smarter than people. You never heard of a horse going broke betting on people.” ~ Will Rogers Gambling. What comes to mind? An iconic movie scene? Maybe Daniel Craig’s James Bond staring unflinchingly across the poker table at the villain before Bond’s straight flush wins him $115 million. Perhaps the roulette table at Rick’s Café Americain in Casablanca? Or animated characters in Toy Story 3 placing bets around a Fisher-Price See ‘N Say toy? Or the Enterprise crew playing poker in Star Trek: The Next Generation? Movies have portrayed gambling scenarios from elegant to seedy since … Continue reading

When Married Couples Drift Apart

John Driggs

My best friend Nancy was recently blindsided by a big hit that is changing her life forever. I really feel for her. Her husband Stewart, who has been unemployed for the past five years, announced out of the blue that he is filing for a divorce. I was shocked and saddened beyond belief by her news. I mean, here is a wife supporting the household with a successful law practice, extremely grateful that her husband has chosen to be the primary caretaker of their two children. Stewart has always been nuts about the kids and she thought they had a … Continue reading

Cultivating Compassion

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I recently visited Louisville, Kentucky, on the wide and muddy Ohio River, six miles from where slaves once swam to the free state of Ohio. The river’s navigation was interrupted here by the Falls of the Ohio, forcing early travelers to portage and offering creative entrepreneurs a site for budding commerce. Gradually a small settlement grew into an elegant city–home of the Kentucky Derby and the Louisville Slugger, an active center for interfaith dialogue and the title Compassionate City. As a Compassionate City, Louisville is committed to champion and nurture the growth of compassion. Louisville is working on several initiatives … Continue reading

The Game of Catch

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I want you to imagine something. I want you to imagine what your perfect day would look like to you. How late would you sleep in? Drawing the curtains open and looking out a window, what would the weather look like outside? Take a deep breath through your nose. What does this day smell like? What would you eat for this day? Who would you spend your time with — or would you be alone? What would you do or where would you go? Anything special happen on this most perfect of days? Close your eyes and imagine this day. … Continue reading

Experiencing Spirituality: Finding Meaning Through Storytelling

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By Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham Jeremy P. Tarcher     Penguin     The authors of the book The Spirituality of Imperfection continue their exploration of spirituality using storytelling of everyday life and experience. They want readers to learn that spirituality can be fun. They say that they do this “by living fully humanly.” They discuss the art of storytelling and the role of the storyteller. To do that, they use stories from a variety of countries, cultures, and religions. For example, in one short story, it is explained that “wisdom comes only when you stop looking for it and start truly living … Continue reading

Help Your Child to Thrive: Making the Best of a Struggling Public Education System

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By Liane Brouillette      Balboa Press      Brouillette is an educator and actively involved in providing families of students with the resources to make informed decisions. She states her goal is to “provide parents with simple, effective ways to help children succeed in and out of school without spending all their evenings tutoring.” She thinks that parents can better spend their time talking with children in a way that awakens intellectually curiosity and confidence. She uses this book of real life examples to show them how.  She discusses America’s public schools and their efforts and failures to support a child’s academic and … Continue reading

Unplugged: How to Live Mindfully in a Digital World

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By Orianna Fielding     Carlton Books     What would you discover if you were unplugged for a week? We all know and appreciate the pros and cons of almost instantaneous, around the clock, connectivity due to digital technology and social media. Being “on” all the time can wear on a person, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Included is a 12 point questionnaire to help identify how addicted you are to technology and how you are affected by digital overload. Fielding provides mindfulness techniques and a step by step approach to restore balance. One positive step for families to reconnect with each other is … Continue reading

The Path to Wealth: Seven Spiritual Steps for Financial Abundance

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By May McCarthy      Hierophant Publishing      What others might call God, Universal Spirit, or their Higher Power, McCarthy calls her Chief Spiritual Officer or CSO. She meets with her CSO on a regular basis, as part of her daily 30 minute practice to financial abundance. She outlines a seven step process: read something uplifting; write gratitude statements to your CSO; speak your truth as you read your letter out loud; imagine having the experience; listen for direction from your CSO; celebrate the good that shows up; and finally, end your day with gratitude and forgiveness. The book is divided into two … Continue reading

After Switching Therapists

Breathless,lunch-less,my quaking bog bodyspills what it can,fills the room with fear. Arthur says,“You fear what you don’t know.Once you know itit will no longer besomething to fear.” He listens again and says,“I could be wrong,but I think this is aboutanger and power.” I exhale, smile.I can breath again.Imagine, all this crazy, scary shitwhittled downto two common nouns. from Excavation, poems by Janet Jerve published by North Star Press., 2013.  Janet has taught poetry in Minnesota public schools and worked as a writer/editor for nonprofit organizations.

The Impact of Making an Impact

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We hit bottom. Then we hit bottom again. Then we wake up and we are 30-years-old and wonder, “where did I go?” How did I arrive to waking up in the gray damp squalor of a jail cell when last I was paddling an orange We•no•nah canoe to the far, far end of the lake. Through the Tunnel of Love and into the shallows with pancake sized lily pads and one two three four five painted turtles sunning themselves on a withered log. I left off somewhere. Where did I end and the party and chaos begin? Ah, yes. Boston. … Continue reading

Collegiate Recovery Communities

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  Collegiate Recovery Communities (CRCs) are alive and kicking up their heels at the following college campuses. Didn’t think there was much fun to be had in recovery? Simply surround yourself with fellow sober fun-seekers and you will be amazed before you are halfway through. If you are at a point in life to get the grey matter moving again, check out the schools below. Give a call, plan a visit, and immerse yourself in education and recovery. Let the future begin again. Augsburg College The StepUP Program Minneapolis, MN 612-330-1405; stepup@augsburg.edu The College of St. Scholastica CLEAN Recovery Services … Continue reading

Sentimental Education: In the Rooms

Emily Roiphe Carter

It’s an old crack, but when I heard it for the first time, it was the first time I’d heard it: “You don’t need rehabilitation, you need habilitation.” It was true, until I had to get sober I had neglected to learn almost all of the things that most people my age were already doing by reflex. One of these things was sitting in a room with other people without being chemically fortified. Until my first AA meeting I did not know how to comfortably sit in a social arrangement with other humans. I either tried to get all the … Continue reading