DEVOTION – is the consecration of oneself to an ideal or a cause such as to the service of the Highest Good for All. Devotion implies singleness of purpose which supplies an interest so great that serving the object of one’s devotion is a joyful, untiring experience. The finer emotions of allegiance, faithfulness, loyalty, steadfastness and reverence are involved in devotion, but to this is added the zeal in service due to love of and personal attachment to the object of devotion.

During this entrée into the Season of giving I’ve been thinking about the lessons learned from doing service. The theory and practice of service. It has been a source of egoic growth for me, a nice way of saying it shoves my “stuff” in my face. The saying goes, “Do the right thing, for the right reason. What I saw and felt over the years of service, was my own stuff underneath my desire to make a difference and working through that actually changed my relationship to service. It’s hard to explain, words here for me are imperfect. A talk I heard from a woman in recovery once ended with a great truth about this. She said that her lesson ultimately was, “She did not need to fix anything. Everything was already ok”. She realized she was always trying to fix stuff and that was about her stuff. My own desire to help, to make a difference still had to grow through my own unmet emotional needs to see what my truest motivations were. The right reason.

Speaking of service, Warriors in the Triangle brought the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery’s (CCAR) Recovery Coach Academy training here. CCAR are leaders, with a respected training and Betty Currier, who moved here in 2013 comes with vast experience in all that and offered to do trainings.  Here’s an RCNC podcast with Betty on this history and more.

“Recovery Coaching is a peer-based addiction recovery support service that is non-clinical and designed to engage others beyond recovery initiation through stabilization and into recovery maintenance.”

My mild impulse/thought when I first heard of this was it’s not time yet. That was motivated by the fact that Coaching is not yet a paid service within the public monies world of behavioral health here in NC. We have been chugging along striving to grow Peer Support as a paid service and I guess I didn’t want anything to conflict with that.

I was wrong.

The first trainings were here, at Governor’s Institute, in our conference room which means I got to get a sense of it and once I witnessed it I realized what a wise idea Betty (and her training partner Brenda Monforti) had. The trainings have since moved over to the RCNC location.

There are a number of takeaways but a key one is;

Coaching training helps those who wish to grow their Ally status, giving them the support needed to become effective volunteers. It grounds them in the multiple tools and principles that create and make effective coaches. To be an ally and wish to volunteer is to have an effective pathway into greater work. Volunteers are the pool by which organizations, say Recovery Community Centers get to see and evaluate appropriate new hires. Many organizations such as hospitals and hospice centers, etc. use this tool to hire.
When I, over time, get to grow my understanding of charitable, non-profit organizations what I often see is what those of us on the outside often don’t see. That the organization has done stupendous work developing policies, platforms, literature, data, experience and more and all that’s missing is more people to carry the message and enact the changes. The template is there, in place. Watching from the outside we will judge when all they need is more man-hours/help/service workers.

So the question of how do we grow our volunteer base becomes crucial. Central. That leads us back full circle to the wisdom of Recovery Coaching Training, which I have witnessed, grows volunteer bases. Win-win solutions.

My deadline looms and I am not truly connecting to the words I want for this but I can accept that today.
So I shall close with something I recently came upon and want to share with you. A tool that aids in my overall acceptance level.
Trolling the radio dial as I drive can lead to dismay-so in an inspired moment I switched to the AM dial and came upon AM Funny 570 – a full-time all comedy radio station. Some great bits from giants of comedy to unknowns. Give it a listen sometime and give yourself a lift.