What Recovery Feels Like

heart_chakra-MindfulHappiness-Anthony-QuintlianiAlmost a month has passed since the Yoga for Trauma Recovery Immersion experience at Breathe Los Gatos. This was one of the most incredible experiences of my career–facilitating eighteen people through their respective healing and learning processes. Each person in the group displayed a willingness to look deeply inside and then to bring their healing outside of the room and into their lives. The transformation of each student–big and small–were not only seen, but felt in my heart.

As I watched the process unfold, I couldn’t help but notice what recovery looks and feels like.  In a word, it looks good. It feels even better. Here’s what I know about recovery…

What it Looks Like: 

Actively doing something. “When I got busy, I got better.” Those who are invested in their recovery are engaged in therapeutic activities: therapy, group, life coaching, yoga, alternative healing, meditation, reading, etc. Healing becomes a discipline or a practice.

Boundaries. Those in recovery are in a process of reconnecting to their intuition or inner wisdom. This means paying attention to what helps and what hurts the healing process. Often times setting boundaries involves walking away from unhealthy relationships, letting go of addiction, focusing on the positive, using assertive communication, and so on. Boundaries help us understand and honor who we are to the core.

Empowerment. Common among trauma survivors is the sense of victimization.  After suffering abuse, relationships across the board can begin to look like a dance between victim and perpetrator. During the healing process, trauma survivors learn to trust again–in themselves and in other safe relationships. Relationships are done on an even playing field rather than a “better than” or “less than” come from. You are able to say what you mean in calm, caring, and strong ways. You take accountability for your life and learn to let go of all you cannot control.


What it Feels Like:

Intentional. When you are invested in recovery, intention is placed into all you do. “I attend Al-Anon to get the love and support I need.” “I go to yoga to feel good in my body.” “I call a friend so I can feel connected to others.” Living with this intention sends yourself the message that you are worthy.

Living from your heart. Your heart becomes full. It becomes open. It is easier to feel love and give love. You develop a relationship with yourself. You love others more deeply. You feel happy, calm, and grounded. You believe in yourself.

Gratitude. Life changes from, “I have to,” to “I get to.” We start to focus on what we have instead of what we lack. We make meaning from our tragedy. We grow from the highs and the lows.


Recovery is a gift. The best part of what I do is witnessing the radiance and inner light shine as a person surrenders into their healing. I’m thankful for this every day.


What does recovery feel like to you? 


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