A very happy one year of sobriety to Tina. Tina has maintained her personal recovery through perseverance and commitment to her own sobriety. Please congratulate her when you see her.
Mountain Vista Farm is changing the LifeRing meeting to 4:30 PM on Mondays. This new time remains open to the public. The meeting is now convened by Thompson Hamilton and has been attracting large numbers. There is talk of starting another LifeRing meeting at Mountain Vista Farm.
The LifeRing annual Congress will take place this year on May 31 through June 2. The physical location of the congress is in Denver, CO. The keynote speaker this year will be Dr. Gabor Maté, author of "In The Realm of The Hungry Ghosts."
The single greatest event at this year's congress will be the adoption of absentee voting. The first item on the agenda for delegates attending the congress this year will be an extensive proposal by the LifeRing By-Laws committee to allow for absentee voting on all issues decided by congress. Delegates will be able to vote for Board members, propose directives, vote on proposed directives, and nominate Board candidates without physically attending the congress.
The voting system used will be a single pass majoritarian system with a form of ranked choice voting. There will be five candidates running for four seats. Delegates will be asked to select their preferences ranking the candidates.
Each LifeRing meeting around the world is entitled to one delegate. No delegate can accumulate more than one vote. Meetings should select their delegate through some form of democratic process. Either an acclamation or roll call are examples of how this can be done. The convenor is the default delegate for institutional meetings. Open meetings may select the convenor or any other qualified delegate.
Please find the Spring 2013 newsletter here.
The focus of the newsletter is the "Absentee Voting" proposal to be presented at this year's LifeRing Congress. This proposal took over nine months of very hard work to craft. Please read the newsletter and ask any questions on the "comment" button.
There is a new telephone number for LifeRing in Sonoma county. Please make a note of it and please share it with all.
The new number is (707) 596-8860
The LifeRing Secular Recovery meeting at Mountain Vista Farm is re-starting as of Monday, January 21. Meetings will occur on Mondays at 8:00 PM. The meetings are open to the public. A member of the Mountain Vista Farm staff will be in attendance to observe or monitor.
Meetings at Mountain Vista Farm will be in the "Topic" format. Topics will range greatly but will remain focused on sobriety. Many topics will be chosen from the "Recovery By Choice" work book.
Everyone is welcome. If you plan to attend, please bring a copy of "Recovery By Choice" if you have one.
The LifeRing meeting at the Olympia House rehabilitation facility is now officially open to the public as of January 9, 2013. The first open meeting will be on Tuesday, January 15, 2013.
For those of you not familiar with this facility, it is on Valley Ford Road near Bloomfield. Bloomfield is between Petaluma and Sebastopol. The Olympia House facility is about 1/4 mile off of the road near the top of a hill. The facility was originally the St. Anthony's rehabilitation and farm. It sat abandoned for a few years until new rehabilitation and dairy operators began business in October of 2012. LifeRing was there from the first day.
The Olympia House welcomes LifeRing visitors as part of their open approach to recovery.
When attending a meeting at Olympia House, please do not be alarmed by the herd of water buffalo at the dairy operation you pass through. The dairy operator has imported a herd of water buffalo and intends to begin producing genuine 'mozzarella di bufala' in 2013.
RadioMD.com interviews with Christopher Springman
Robert & Craig
Gillian & Emily
Mahala & Byron
Craig & Mahala
by Byron K.
I can still remember the horrible dissonance that accompanied logging onto the internet with a 9600 baud modem over a phone line in the 1980's. I can also remember the amazement of finding another universe at my fingertips. That was in the late 20th century and we are now in the second decade of the 21st century. Virtual activity is growing throughout our daily lives. We can realize benefit from virtual experience.
My experience with LifeRing Secular Recovery began online. I discovered LifeRing online after flinching at the dominant sobriety support group. I explored the various online resources of LifeRing and found different areas that were beneficial. There were many unique online resources that were each valuable. There were email lists, forums, social networks, and chat rooms. Each resource has its own subscribers and advocates. I don't completely understand all of the different resources, but I most definitely appreciate their value for the subscribers. I also found local face to face meetings online that I could attend.
While many will say that nothing can replace face to face meetings, I think that online resources can be just as valid. They're not better, just valid. There are obvious benefits to both face to face and online support resources. In face to face meetings there is much non-verbal communication that can be missed in an online resource. Online resources can also benefit from the lack of non-verbal communication. From both an enforcement and attendee perspective, online resources can be much more secure.
We have members of LifeRing in leadership positions that have used online resources exclusively, and have maintained extraordinary levels and longevity of sobriety. Online resources are essential to the recovery of many, especially in remote areas or areas that do not offer face to face alternatives. Early in recovery, when immersing yourself in support may be most important, online resources shine. Being able to talk to someone 24-7 about sobriety or just discuss the weather with a sober person is hugely beneficial.
Face to face meetings are also hugely beneficial and I do not want to suggest that they should ever be replaced with virtual meetings. The truth is that there is benefit from all forms of support and none should be discounted if they are helpful in any way.
The next time you are too tired (or lazy in my case) to make it to a face to face support meeting, try something virtual. The value is real.