If you can’t find it, create it

April 28, 2020

 

 

I create the spaces I want to be in. I do this because I have often felt like an outsider, or like I didn’t quite fit in.

 

Creating space, showing up for others - these are a couple of my gifts. 

 

I want to create new spaces because I want to feel a sense of community, I want to find likeminded people, and I want space to grow, question, develop, and share. The spaces I create are often related to the exploration of consciousness, through mindfulness practice, or healing and personal development, through coaching people in recovery. 

 

I worked at the City of Toronto for five years, and I started a staff mindfulness network there in 2015. Mindfulness was an important daily practice for me, and I knew there had to be lots of other staff who were either interested in the practice, or who already practiced. I was right! I held two weekly drop-in groups at lunchtime - at Metro Hall and City Hall. I led a bunch of intro to mindfulness workshops at all sorts of City offices. And, the mindfulness network continues at the City, years after I left my job there. 

 

In 2018 I led my first group coaching program for people in recovery - Integral Recovery Toronto. It was a holistic approach to supporting people in recovery.

 

In January of 2019, I created a local mindfulness sitting group - Mindfulness + Recovery. This group morphed into East End Mindfulness in September 2019, because all sorts of folks were interested in a community mindfulness group on the east side of Toronto, and I wanted to expand the intention of the group to reach the people who were showing up. 

 

I keep trying, iterating, showing up, and experimenting with what works and what doesn’t work. I have learned a lot from having lots of different experiences facilitating groups. I've done well; I've failed; I've discovered lots about what helps people to connect, and what doesn't.

 

Which brings me to the spring of 2020, and my newest and greatest project so far … Wonder Recovery. Wonder Recovery is my new group coaching program for people in addiction recovery. I am super excited about this one. 

 

To create Wonder Recovery, I have been guided by my head, heart, and gut, by my understanding of and training in Integral Theory, my mindfulness practice, my understanding of polarities and archetypes, my interest in connecting people to their purpose, my soft spot for people who are vulnerable, who have suffered, and who want to understand themselves and tell their stories. I have been guided by my allies in addiction recovery. I have been guided by my fears and aversions. 

 

Wonder Recovery. It’s about storytelling, activation, change, play, light and dark, science and poetry, and friendship. 

 

It’s about tuning in to something cosmic. 

 

It’s about hating yourself less, and liking yourself more. 

 

It’s possibly even about loving yourself. And it’s definitely about having a good time. 

 

Refresh your perspective on your recovery. Revive parts of yourself that you’ve forgotten. 

 

Wonder Recovery.

 

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Melissa Armstrong
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

©2017 by Melissa Armstrong