Recovery, Renewal and Growth

Being Nice May Not Be Very Nice

 Geez! Some people just don’t know how to be grateful. I told my ex-wife, Laurie, that I’d be over to light her furnace. Laurie’s a klutz with mechanical things and I thought she’d be blow her whole house up if she did it herself. When I came out of the basement with soot all …

Healing Through the Canvas

When my dad passed away I had no idea what to do with that level of grief and sadness. I had never experienced anything like that before. Although I had experienced the death of grandparents and a cousin, I had never lost anyone that close to me. My heart hurt. My dad wasn’t just a …

Get Up and Sing: Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge Choir

The Phoenix · Get Up and Sing: The Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge Choir Sunday morning is not the time for sleeping off a bad night of boozing or shooting up. Nor is it time for making more broken promises to yourself that you know you’re going to break. At least that’s true for choir …

The Birdsongs of Home

“The cawing of the crow, the lament of the quail, the coo of the dove – all of these songs remind me of ‘home.’” —Louise Elowen Nature has all sorts of beautiful music to offer. And I don’t just mean the sound that your noise machine produces, like the ocean, which helps to lull you …

The (Sober) Dating Game

In my first year of sobriety, I made a self-imposed purity pact. I planned to stay out of all relationships until I made it to my first sober birthday. No sex, no drugs, no drink. My best friend Stephanie also took this oath. Together we drank the virgin Kool-Aid that our recovery community suggested was …

World History of Drugs (Part VI)

The following is the final article in a six-part series from author, George Lewis. Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of The Phoenix Spirit. In “Part VI” of the World History of Drugs, you will meet the pawns in this deadly game of politics and drugs. You will learn how the …

Ask the Expert: Drama Therapist Nadya Trytan

We feature an expert in the mental health and substance use disorder field to answer questions. This issue we talk to Nadya Trytan about Drama Therapy and how it can assist those in recovery and those with mental health issues.  Q: What is Drama Therapy? I am frequently asked this question, and there is so much …

Our Villages and the Power of Affirmation

In the past eighteen months, everyone has been through an incredibly complex time as our usual ways of doing life and relating to others have changed – very often, radically! As I thought about and lived through these events and experiences, I found myself thinking about two realities – first, our need for places to …

If You’re Suspicious and You’re Sure That Others Are Secretly Against You

“I am me plus my context. If I cannot change my context, I cannot change me.” — Ortega y Gasset, Prolific Spanish political theorist and philosopher (1883-1955) Suspicion and paranoia may not be fun to talk about. They have become alarmingly common these days and are at the heart of what leads to senseless gun …

Traditional Healing for Native American Communities

Traditional healing is a relatively new program based on well-established “tried and tested” methods. The nature of traditional healing is based upon knowledge and sacred ceremonies passed through the generations, carefully taught, and intrinsically linked to the respect of the communities. The Minnesota Department of Human Services’ Traditional Healing for Native Communities program, which is …