Brock Travis, PhD

Such a long list of stars who’ve died early because of alcoholism and addiction! People who seem to have everything. People with success and romance beyond normal measure. People with priceless connections and opportunities. People who can go to rehabs that start at $1000 dollars a day. People who use alcohol and drugs in such

a way that they die long before their lives are through. Are we missing something here?

Early in my career in the Recovery field, I believed there was a common profile that characterized the addictive personality. My own family story had given me the impression that addicts were simply users - in psych terms narcissistic and egocentric.

Now I am not so sure. I have been to a couple of memorials recently, for friends who died too young from the “ism”. Both were competitively athletic with healthy appearance.

Both were popular, with family and friends filling the room for their ceremonies. Both had made significant contributions to the world through helping others. Both had been in and out of programs for many years, including detox and rehab. Both were known for being compassionate and for the most part responsible people. And both of them drank themselves to death alone in their homes.

I have pondered about these and other deaths, and my sense is that the one and perhaps only thing that addicts and alcoholics all share together is a void at the depths of their being. I know my own struggles have been around a kind of hole in my soul. So

I have come to believe that the reason so many of us are haunted by panic and despair and driven to ease that pain, is that there exists an abyss at the center of our lives. A client once taught me - “Iʼve tried money, sex, power, drink and drugs. If this Spirit thing doesn’t work, then I’m doomed.” Maybe desperation is a prerequisite for Recovery.

If you read or watch the play about the founders of the recovery movement, then you can tell that these people, Bill W. and Lois, Dr. Bob and Anne, were given a gift. A vision, a calling, a mission that they came to share, which drew forth great strengths from the depths of each of their souls. None of them were perfect people, and their lives were not easy. But they strove to practice spiritual principles of love and truth, because they were willing to do anything. Career and friendship given over to service - this is the missing “something” that fills the void in our being. It is, for some of us, the desperate decision to turn over our everything that finally heals the hole in our soul.

Talent, no matter how successful, and glamor, no matter how romantic, are never enough. A good life needs Spirituality, Relationship and Vocation. In that order.

These are the three jewels of recovery. Both our works and our loves need to be inspired by spirituality - letting a power greater than ourselves fulfill the emptiness.

1. Spirituality is an act of will. At some point in the course of Recovery we make a decision to surrender ourselves to a greater power. This is a miracle of awakening that changes willfulness into willingness. The ongoing daily lifelong choice to turn over not only our life but our very will transmutes personal intention for serving our own self into spiritual intention for service to others. Spirituality is the greatest jewel of Recovery.

2. Relationship is the way the spiritual force of love moves into our life. We make the shift from hurting and using others toward helping and serving them. Through our daily relations with our families, our partners, our friendships, our communities, we are changed by the power of love. This jewel is the heart of our lives.

3. Vocation is a way the spiritual force of truth moves into our world. The urge to serve calls us into supporting ourselves and our loved ones by doing some good work and we bring our practice of honesty and respect into whatever business we choose.

The truer we are to ourselves, the better our impact upon our surroundings. This jewel is the mark that we leave on this world.

Vocation and relationship are basic aspects of being human. But if spirituality is missing, and selfish craving is allowed to take over, then career and family become empty, no matter how successful or romantic they may seem to be. What is it that is actually recovered on the journey of Recovery? The healthy natural order of will, love and work. Let spirituality transform our relationships and our vocation into something that is loving and truthful. This is how we can find once again the real self that we were meant to be.

About the Author

Brock Travis, PhD has been providing spiritual counseling and advisement since 1991. His work is both spiritual and practical, focused upon answering questions, solving problems, providing guidance and support through life changes. Often experience is the best teacher, so some of Brock's current offerings arose from the care giving and death of a loved one.

After his own “shamanʼs journey,” and the learning and healing it engendered in his own life, Brock found ways to share hard earned and proven ideas, skills and tools to help other people going through challenges, such as recovery, caregiving, transitions, stress, loss, and issues pertaining to health, relationship and direction.

Brock's approach is very much about mindfulness and serenity. He has taught meditation for schools, colleges, churches, centers, rehabs, clinics, hospice and other agencies. His coaching helps individuals and families bring practical meditative spirituality into their busy lives in ways that let them find a peace that works for them on their path.

Brock Travis' teaching and coaching are not religious nor are they clinical. His work is based upon the universal spiritual principles of truth and love, wisdom and kindness, honesty and respect.

Brock Travis, PhD - Guidance & Support through Life Changes

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 March 2014 18:56 )