Tag Archives: Recover Life

Tag Archives: Recover Life


From the earliest days of mankind, spirituality has served as a search for meaning and understanding. It helped our ancestors to explain natural disasters, motivate communities and overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. It shouldn’t be surprising that spirituality remains integral to our daily lives, especially for those in recovery – mindfulness, self-care and the acknowledgement of a higher power are all referenced in almost all popular approaches to addiction treatment. Today, we’ll explain the key differences between spirituality and religion, while providing some tips about how to integrate a spiritual approach into your recovery.

The Difference Between Spirituality and Religion

While these terms are often considered synonymous, key differences exist between spirituality and religion.

Religion, by definition, is an institutional system of religious attitudes, practices and beliefs that exists to explain the service and worship of a higher power, which may take the form of one (or more) gods. Most major world religions are based on the teachings and beliefs of historical or symbolic figures, such as Jesus Christ, Moses, Buddha or Muhammad. There isn’t much room to customize a religion – it often exists in a prescribed format, with concentration on rites, rituals, scriptures, observances and houses of worship.

Spirituality, in contrast, refers to the general experience of connecting to something more than yourself; it can involve seeking and exploring one’s meaning and purpose. It is more closely related to practical appreciation of spiritual teachings and personalized experience. This journey is inward in nature and focuses on awareness, rather than the performance of rituals or activities.

Characteristics of spirituality include :

  • A heightened state of awareness, perception or being
  • Informing, empowering and connecting an individual
  • A relationship with one’s self (and resources beyond the self)
  • Values and qualities of character
  • Changed, intentional lifestyle choices
  • Motivation and catalytic power to make a change

Why Spirituality Helps Us Recover

During active addiction, your purpose in life is commandeered by drugs and alcohol. Your day-to-day life becomes consumed by obtaining, using and recovering from your substances of choice. Simultaneously, friends, family, hobbies and career obligations fall by the wayside. All resources are redirected to drugs and alcohol.

Because of this, you have to begin searching for your purpose anew once you leave your life of substance use behind. Many people who leave treatment experience a disturbing revelation: “I’m sober. Now what?” Spirituality is a key tool for answering this question. It encourages introspection and personal development while also promoting an attitude of gratitude and curiosity. This active state of inward exploration is vital to the recovery process – without seeking to understand oneself and one’s motivations, lasting change is nearly impossible to achieve.

Taking a Spiritual Approach

Many individuals in recovery describe spirituality as a turning point in their journey: a perspective they uncovered after a near-death experience (such as an overdose), troubling diagnosis, traumatic event or incarceration. However, you do not have to have a major life event to begin experimenting with spirituality. We have compiled a few tips for integrating this mentality into your daily life.

  1. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is at the root of spirituality. Develop an awareness of your inner self by sitting quietly and acknowledging the thoughts that arise. Avoid judging these thoughts or banishing them. Feel the ground beneath your feet and listen to the little noises around you. By slowing down and checking in with yourself, you’ll begin to build a regular spiritual practice.
  2. Walk in nature. Spending time in the great outdoors, particularly in the context of a state park or expansive forest, reminds us that we are a part of something greater than ourselves. Banish feelings of isolation and keep your problems in perspective by connecting with nature on a regular basis.
  3. Remember to be grateful. Gratitude is another fast-track to spiritual awareness. Keeping track of your blessings helps you to focus on the positives in life.
  4. Make a contribution. Helping others is a spiritual activity because it helps us to positively impact those in our community. Whether you’re reaching out to newcomers in at a meeting or organizing a volunteer day at your local food bank, dedicating your time to others is something that will boost your spiritual growth.

Spirituality in Recovery at Cumberland Heights

At Cumberland Heights, we understand that spirituality and recovery go hand-in-hand. Our spiritual care services are diverse and include sessions with our Spiritual Directors, experiencing the labyrinth and practicing mindfulness meditation. To learn more about our spiritual programming, contact our admissions staff at (866) 899-5231.

Event Details:

A Day with the Enneagram & Ian Morgan Cron
Join us for a day with Ian Morgan Cron & The Enneagram

When: Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Training Begins at 9:00 a.m.)
Where: Cumberland Heights River Road Campus (8283 River Road Pike, Nashville)
Cost: $15.00 (Lunch Included)

At this time there are no Continuing Education Credits available for this event, updates will be provided if the status changes.

The Enneagram is a personality typing system that teaches there are nine basic personality styles in the world, one of which we gravitate toward and adopt in childhood to feel safe and navigate relationships. It is a powerful tool for individuals, corporations, and non-profits seeking to help their leaders and teams become more self-aware and productive.

REGISTER NOW

In this workshop, Wall Street Journal bestselling author, corporate consultant, and nationally sought after speaker Ian Morgan Cron (The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery) will:

  1. Introduce the Enneagram system of personality as a resource for personal and professional transformation
  2. Explore the nine types—how each sees the world, what motivates them, their respective strengths and challenges, how understanding the Enneagram can help leaders and professionals in the caring professions grow their effectiveness
  3. Explore the Enneagram’s potential application in the journey of recovery
  4. Discuss practical ways the Enneagram can dramatically improve the workplace

IAN MORGAN CRON is a bestselling author, psychotherapist, Enneagram teacher, Episcopal priest, and the host of the popular podcast, Typology. His books include the novel Chasing Francis, the spiritual memoir Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me, and The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery. Known for his transparency, humor and depth of insight into the inner workings of the human heart and mind, Ian uses the Enneagram personality-typing system as a tool to help leaders cultivate self-awareness and emotional wisdom. He is a sought-after speaker, thinker and advisor to a growing roster of clients such as the Discovery Channel, Ramsey Solutions, Michael Hyatt Company, Warner Brothers Music, OCLC, among others. He and his wife, Anne, have three children and live in Nashville, Tennessee.

Social: Instagram/Facebook/Twitter: @ianmorgancron | Instagram/Facebook/Twitter: @typologypodcast

Websites: https://ianmorgancron.com and https://typologypodcast.com

Online Course: Enneagram Made Simple – https://businessmadesimple.com/enneagram-made-simple-ian

Assessment: iEQ9 Enneagram Assessment – https://ianmorgancron.com/assessment

Original Article By: Seena Sleem, WTVF News Channel 5

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As “National Recovery Month” wraps up, people from across Nashville showed their support to those who have struggled with substance abuse. RecoveryFest Nashville was held on Saturday to celebrate the positive impact of recovery from substance abuse and giving recovery the visibility it deserves.

“We need to recover out loud and events like this that bring recovery out in the open and helps break down stigma and shame of getting help is important,” said Cumberland Heights’ own Cindy Spelta, also co-chair of RecoveryFest Nashville, “there’s too many people suffering in silence so we don’t need recovery to be in silence.”

Spelta has been recovering for 17 years. She said part of recovery is knowing you’re not alone, that there is a community behind you and resources available to you.

At this event there were dozens of vendors with information regarding help and recovery, music and guest speakers. The event was held at East Park Greenspace and was free to the public.

Tennessee is one of the hardest-hit states when it comes to the opioid crisis. There were 1,268 opioid overdose deaths in Tennessee in 2017 and more than six million painkiller prescriptions in 2018.


At Cumberland Heights, we always put the patient first, and value the importance of active participation in the recovery process. Take the first step toward healing by calling us at (866) 899-5231 today.

Join us for this informative panel on the music industry and its response to mental health and substance abuse.

Panelists Include:

Paul Williams: President and Chairman of ASCAP, American Composer, Actor

Ken Levitan: Founder and Co-President Vector Management

Judy Crane: Author, Co-Founder & CEO The GuestHouse Ocala, Spirit2Spirit Healing

The Warren Brothers: American Songwriting Duo

*Limited Attendance, reservation required*

*Parking is limited, guests are highly encouraged to utilize nearby pay-parking lots, street parking, or ride sharing services*

REGISTER HERE

The MusiCares® Sober Jam is a quarterly event offering musicians an opportunity to perfor, in a safe and sober environment. The Sober Jam begins at 6:00PM with solo performances, facilitated by emcee Phil Bogard. Each event includes an unannounced special guest performance. All attendees — both on and off-stage — are considered to be active participants in the Sober Jam. By simply showing up, listening to music, and offering an applause between songs, each guest plays a meaningful role in creating a safe environment for the performers.

This event is brought to you by Cumberland Heights Recovery Center & Nashville Recovery Center.

WHAT: MusiCares Sober Jam
WHEN: August 20, 2019 from 6:00PM – 9:00PM
WHERE: World Music Nashville – 7069 US-70S, Nashville, TN 37221

Your personal recovery journey is like a fingerprint. While many of them look and feel the same, unique experiences make our stories one of a kind. They can inspire, heal, create hope or even push someone to take that first step in their own journey.

Liz sits down with our Alumni Relations & Volunteer Coordinator to talk about what 16 years of sobriety looks like and how engaging with friends in recovery kept Jaime clean. Also in this episode: relationships that make you sick, a spiritual awakening while free-falling 30 feet, and Jaime's greatest triumph in recovery. Hint: It's a person and he only stands about 2.5 feet tall.

That’s what Cumberland Heights’ new podcast “Recovery Live” is all about. Liz Stanislawski, Marketing and Public Relations Manager and former WSMV journalist will be interviewing alumni, staff, family members, counselors – really anyone who has been touched by addiction. The podcast is co-produced by Jaime Gibbons, Alumni Relations & Volunteer Coordinator. She is the very first guest, talking about what 16 years of sobriety looks like.

Travis Meadows

Cumberland Heights also welcomed Travis Meadows on the show. The successful singer/songwriter is known for penning hits for several country music stars including Wynonna Judd, Jake Owen, Eric Church, Brothers Osborne and Hank Williams Jr. He also has several albums of his own like “Killing Uncle Buzzy” which was inspired by journal entries he wrote while he was in treatment at Cumberland Heights.

Click here to listen!

Future guests include a meth addict whose story was broadcast to millions on the A&E reality show, “Intervention”, a teen who grew up in the recovery world and ended up becoming addicted himself and a woman who as a young teen had to take care of her siblings when her mom disappeared for days.

These stories don’t sugarcoat. They are real, raw and honest. From teenagers with just a couple years of sobriety, to those who haven’t picked up a drink or drug in 30 plus years.

We are so excited to share this new project with you and hope you’ll gain as much from listening as we have putting it together.

Staying sober in college is about as foreign of an idea to some as going to a restaurant and not eating. You can watch just about any movie or tv show that takes place on a college campus and you’ll see keg stands, Jell-O shots and beer bongs galore. They even have a way of glamorizing the hangovers and next morning walks of shame. So, it really is no wonder some young adults in recovery wonder how they can possibly stay clean while still having a meaningful college experience.

College students: a culture of drinking and drug useGreg Snodgrass remembers that feeling. He is a Regional Outreach Coordinator at Cumberland Heights and spearheaded the design for Collegiate Recovery at the University of Alabama. But before all his success, he was lost.

“I lived my life in addiction for many years. I never thought that addiction would happen to me. I thought I could control it and that apparently was not the case. In my opinion drugs and alcohol were fun and that’s why I enjoyed them. However, at some point the drugs and alcohol stopped working and my life became miserable. I destroyed my college transcript and never thought I would return to college,” said Greg.

Greg Snodgrass, Regional Outreach Coordinator
Greg Snodgrass, Regional Outreach Coordinator

While in treatment in 2004, Greg was encouraged to apply to two Collegiate Recovery Schools. A Collegiate Recovery School is one with a supportive environment within the campus culture that reinforces engagement in activities free from drugs and alcohol. It is designed to provide an educational opportunity alongside recovery support to ensure students do not have to sacrifice one for the other. Despite Greg’s fears that he wasn’t smart enough to get into a program like this, he was accepted, went back to school and thrived in a way he never thought possible.

“I sat in the front row when I used to sit in the back of the class. I raised my hand, turned in my homework, went to office hours with the professor, asked for help, and never missed class unless it was a legitimate excuse,” said Greg.

Greg graduated magna cum laude. He has since make it his mission to help other college students who are struggling.

“I pictured college through the eyes of John Belushi in ‘Animal House.’ In many aspects, the party scene has not changed since the movie was first released 40 years ago. Collegiate Recovery is like a sober fraternity/sorority. It is a fellowship that enables recovering students to create an environment on campus safe and fun. Collegiate Recovery is designed to empower those in recovery to strive for success. Collegiate Recovery helps to squash the fear of ‘I am less than’ or ‘I am not smart enough.’ The program turns our fear into confidence by building a fellowship of students that help one another achieve the unimaginable in academics and life,” said Greg.

Cumberland Heights and Still Waters was recognized for their support of Collegiate Recovery

The three longest standing Collegiate Recovery Programs are Rutgers University, Texas Tech and Augsburg University. One of the first replication model Collegiate Recoveries is here in Nashville, Tennessee at Vanderbilt University. Once accepted in the program, students have access to academic advisors, tutors, study rooms, printers, computer labs, meditation rooms, seminar courses, peer mentors, housing, scholarships, waived out of state tuition opportunities, recovering students and all other resources your higher education tuition has to offer. Essentially, it’s a fellowship. This is important because Academic Institutions can be a hostile environment for those in early recovery according to Greg.

“Collegiate Recovery helps you to change that lens and experience college as a recovering student. Students soon realize they can have more fun in their recovery than they did in their addiction. You can be successful in academics, friendships, relationships, life decisions, future careers and living life on life’s terms by being a part of a recovery fellowship on campus. I am living proof that it is possible to stay sober and enjoy life in college,” said Greg.

If you are your child is interested in learning more about Collegiate Recovery, contact Greg at greg_snodgrass@cumberlandheights.org or 615-879-7125.

2019 Alumni Relations Canoe Trip on the Harpeth River

Join Alumni Relations for a 7 mile float down the Harpeth River. You can pick your paddle buddy or we can pair you with someone the day of the event. Price includes canoe rental and cookout afterwards hosted by Scott A. (His address is: 8732 Cub Creek Road Nashville, TN 37209) Please wear comfortable clothing and closed toe shoes. Don’t forget to pack water, sunscreen, snacks and a change of dry clothes.

Event Details:

Saturday June 15th – launch at 9:00AM, please arrive by 8:15AM (The float will take approximately 4 hours to complete)
$5.00 per person (2 people per canoe)
$10.00 for a kayak (limited number available)
For more information, check out the Canoe Music City Website
1203 Highway 70 South, Kingston Springs, TN 37082


Your body is dangling, your heart racing, your stomach drops and then it hits – euphoria. You just plunged 30 plus feet, literally hanging by a thread – well actually a rope, but you get the idea.

More than two dozen Cumberland Heights employees took part in The Big Swing Event April 15 and sure, it was an amusing way to kick off the week, but we did it for much more than the thrill. It was a lesson in trust, peer support and letting go.

“It’s your decision and yours alone,” said Recreation Therapist Jimmy Hudgens.

He was talking about the cable you pull when you’re ready to take the plunge. But for those familiar with AA, we’re thinking, “This sounds a lot like Step 3.” Wait a second! This whole exercise mirrors recovery” (or for others, simply letting go of control).

I was the second person in our afternoon swing group to go. The counselor who went before me did it effortlessly. She even looked relaxed, as if she were swinging back and forth on a hammock. I’m thinking to myself, “Oh, this is easy. I have nothing to be afraid of.” And then my friends on the ground started pulling me up. If you’re not familiar with The Big Swing, it’s kind of like those hoisting you up are playing tug of war – everyone is in a line stepping backwards, yanking on a rope to pull you to the top. So, I see them on the ground getting further and further away and all of a sudden, I’m looking down on acres upon acres of rolling hills as if I’m the camera lens on a drone. In my head I’m thinking “Oh gosh this is high.” It wasn’t until I heard people on the ground say “It’s going to be okay” that I realized I was speaking out loud. And then I had made it all the way to the top.

I nervously scream below, “So I just pull this thing?”

I hear a resounding “Yes!”

And I didn’t think. I just did it. I pulled it. And I screamed. I screamed really, really loudly. And I didn’t stop screaming for several seconds. And it was super scary. But it felt amazing. It was a rush like I haven’t felt before. And as you swing back and forth coming down, you just get to bask in the afterglow. All of my friends were happy for me, and then, even better, I got to be a part of their experience when they took the plunge!

Every person there had a job – to spot someone on the ladder, to hoist someone up, to stop pulling the rope when the swinger didn’t want to go any higher. We had to support one another and we had to trust each other.

Others who had done the swing before took it a step further. They put a blindfold on before they dropped. Josh K. was one of them.

“It was a totally different experience because being up there, being that high you can’t see down so you’re just trusting everything is set up right. Here we go. Blind jump. It’s wild,” said Josh.

“Walking by faith and not by sight may be easier than we expect,” said Jimmy.

April R. who organized the event took part in it as a patient at Cumberland Heights a little over three years ago.

“It’s more just fun now since I’m really not afraid of heights, but at the time it was very therapeutic, very special. It was me saying ‘I surrender.’ I just let go and it was emotional and moving,” said April.

She wasn’t alone in her experience. Jimmy says this exercise means more to the patients than we may ever know.

“I had one guy come to an alumni reunion and I recall that patient being very quiet when he was in treatment, but when he came to the reunion he said the swing was his first spiritual experience. It was about giving up control for him. It was his spiritual awakening he said. And you would never know because he never said anything until years later,” said Jimmy.

Recreational therapy is a staple here at Cumberland Heights and I’ve always appreciated it, but I never fully understood it until that day. In treatment you can do everything by the book and go through the steps as you’re told, but it’s usually moments like these when people really find their center, higher power or willingness to let go. Others may find those things in group therapy or in the art room. Everyone responds differently to certain therapies in treatment and Cumberland Heights works really hard to honor that. That’s just one of the things that makes this place so special.

The Original AA Manuscript written by Bill WAlumni Relations of Cumberland Heights invites you to participate in Back to Basics: Steps and Stories. This intensive 12 step workshop, much like the original step working format from the 1940’s, is open to all persons in recovery.

All materials will be provided for participants as well as box lunches.

Event Details:

WHAT: Back to Basics – Steps and Stories
WHEN: Saturday May 18th 9:00AM – 4:00PM
WHERE: River Road Main Campus – Ishee Chapel

All three of our guest facilitators, Wally Patton, Brit Schanks and Carver Brown,  are experts in Back to Basics and have taken hundreds of people through the 12 steps in group settings.
We will begin promptly at 9:00AM and end at 4:00PM, please make sure to arrive no later than 8:45AM to get your supplies and seats. During lunch there will be an assignment to process with your partner or small group. Please be prepared to stay for the duration of the workshop, each participant should begin and end the day with the group.

  • STEP 1 - Personal Information

    The RSVP cost for this event is $5.00 per person. Please provide your name, email, cell phone and number of tickets desired to secure your reservation.

  • STEP 2 - Credit Card and Billing Information

    We accept MasterCard VISA American Express & Discover

    There is a required $5.00 charge per ticket that is non-refundable and will go to the Cumberland Heights Foundation General Donations Fund. Please select the number of tickets needed and enter your credit card number, expiration month and year, CVN number and billing address to where your credit card statement is sent below.

  • Due to limited number of tickets available we can only allow up to 4 people per family/reservation.
  • Ticket price total: .00


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