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Makana Means Gift

Flying home from an awesome weekend in Charlotte, NC, spent with Ward Blanchard and Associates presenting to their Family Program, I was struck remembering the honesty and vulnerability with which the participants shared their personal stories. During open remarks, the families were asked to introduce themselves, share who they were there to visit, and on a scale of 1-10 share how much they felt they knew about alcoholism and addiction. The crowd was prompted for a volunteer to begin, and on the back row, the hand of a blonde haired twelve-year-old boy shot up. As he stood, with a quivering voice he said his name, and then, “I am here because my dad is an alcoholic and on a scale of 1-10, I believe I am a 3 or 4 with what I know about this disease”. His words and courage snapped the room to attention and hung in the air for a few moments. Not only was this the youngest person in the room, but quite possibly the bravest, and the most honest. I have heard it said before that all relapse begins with some form of dishonesty. And, that all dishonesty is born out of some form of fear or avoidance. Having been working in the field of behavioral health for almost 10 years, I can say that, anecdotally at least, this bears out pretty well. For some time now, I have been stirred by the universe to explore these observations (and more) about relapse, dishonesty, fear, self sabotage, etc.   What is driving the behaviors that proceed the relapse, or even the initial downward spiral into alcoholism and addiction? We know that depression, anxiety, untreated trauma and general ‘spiritual malady’ manifest in various ways – addiction, alcoholism, relapse, codependency, process addictions. We also know that, for some, untangling the myriad of complexities on these and other behaviors is vital in understanding, and rectifying, the underlying causes and conditions that show up in self defeating patterns and addictions and prevent us from moving forward in our recovery with consistency and freedom. After much conversation, hand wringing, tear crying and soul searching, the leadership team at the BRC Family of Programs has designed an exciting program that is an addition to our continuum of services. Drum roll please…Ladies and gentleman, Makana Path is born circa May 2018! (My mind just flashed to my Dads 1970’s album “A Star is Born“, with the picture of Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson… perhaps that’s a blog for another day!) What is this new program? Makana Path will provide a one of a kind 21 day spiritual intensive specifically designed to,  during a short and very focused stay, address the underlying issues that continue to present a barrier to recovery, and prevent our clients from living the happy, peaceful and abundant life they deserve. We have also decided to add in the convenience of a detox on-site for our clients, as well as for the public who may be seeking medically supervised detoxification. Filled with lush surroundings, organic food, daily yoga and meditation, the masters level designed and implemented clinical  programming and shared wisdom of 12 Step mentors will surround our clients with the holistic guidance and direction to quickly interrupt their disease cycle, expand their awareness, pivot their trajectory, and place them firmly on the solid ground of recovery and a path forward. When my youngest son Sheldon was born, his Hawaiian grandfather said to Jonathan and me, “Name him Makana for he is a gift from God!” There is no doubt he was right, and my hope and prayer is that this version – this Makana Path – will be another gift to the world. After all, we all need more honesty and bravery, and on my best day, I too am probably a 3 or a 4! Let’s learn and grow together shall we? Let’s Bring Real Change! Peace and Love, Marsha Stone, CEO BRC Recovery Family of Programs