September 7th, 2012 by Jan

People in recovery like to count. 30 days, 3 months, 30 years… because first off, it’s a big deal and second, there are folks in this world that actually cheer for you when you are clean and sober.

As someone who loves celebrations, as well as, someone who had huge commitment issues as a young woman, I also like to count and call out anniversaries of time.

On September 8, 2003 I was given the opportunity to create a Qigong program at the Orchard Recovery Center on Bowen Island.

Getting the job wasn’t easy. I had three interviews and a lot of sweet talking and explaining to do before I was given the okay. Now that program is in its ninth year and addicts in treatment at the O, have the opportunity to start the day by standing in their own skin.

It’s the best gig I’ve ever had.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all the teaching opportunities I get. The people who study Tai Chi with me are pure gold. It’s a gift to share skills, and teach people who are interested, dedicated, and excited to learn. But these are the students who choose to learn from me; class is not mandatory. People who come to the O don’t come for the Qigong!

Still, it is friggen incredible to witness someone who is hurting take a mindful breath. Watching that person settle into themselves, possibly for the first time ever, making themselves 2% more comfortable, making a little progress each day, is a real sight to behold.

The Qigong class at the O is mandatory. It’s also only a half hour long and it is routine, strange, funny, deep, moving, and life changing for many. It is also boring and stupid for others. There are days I feel like a lion tamer using a whip and chair to get attention and other times I am moved to tears by the beauty and healing I see.

Bob Murphy said it best when he mumbled, “Ah, you’re making me feel better.”

Mornings at the O for the last 9 years make me feel as if I’m doing something really good and important in the world. Because when anyone recovers from addiction, there are immeasurable benefits not just for the person in recovery, but for their families, children, and community — healing for one is healing for many!

I am grateful to be a part of the compassionate and professional team at the O. I want to thank Lorinda Strang and her staff on their amazing work. And I salute the clients who give themselves a chance to be.

3 thoughts on “Anniversary

  1. Daryl Samson

    A big fan of the Jan and all that you do to help others find contentment in recovery. I really support your work and saw its value in my 8 years at The O. Life is good in retirement.
    Daryl Samson


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