Kev

Namaste friends, my name is Kev and… I have a big confession to make…

When I first started coming to meditation classes at ASMY at West End, I had ulterior motives. I was not long out of a relationship with a lady who was into ’spirituality’, for want of a better term. I wasn’t totally averse to the idea of getting ‘in touch with my spiritual side’ but my initial motive was purely to win back her heart.

My lady friend and I began attending classes on Wednesday nights which I found relaxing and enjoyable. I liked the people I’d met in the classes and began to make connections with one of the male yoga instructors. We just hit it off and he seemed very wise for his age and empathetic… Alas, after attending regular classes for a couple of months, my masterful plan to win back my lady’s hand wasn’t quite working. Although I liked the classes, particularly the kirtan(chanting), I decided to engage myself in the search for the ‘Love of my Life’. Eventually I found this at the bottom of a vodka bottle…

After several failed attempts to find the ‘Woman of my Dreams’, the only relationship that I truly appeared to be fostering was my relationship with (or dependence on) booze. I hit rock bottom… One evening (in a drunken blackout) I believed that I had destroyed the relationship that I had with my two beautiful children, one of the very few positive things I had left in my life at that time. I thought I’d lost them forever and took an overdose of prescription medication with the hope of not waking up… Fortunately for my family and I, I failed at this task also…

A day or two after ‘that night’, I found myself in one of the recovery rooms of a well recognised 12 Step fellowship… The specifics from that evening are a little vague but I do remember identifying with many of the other attendee’s stories at the meeting that night. I felt relief that I wasn’t alone and a sense of hope. I began to understand just how physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually sick I had become…

During the meeting, I happened to glance over at one of the banners on the wall. On the banner were the 12 suggested steps to recovery. One of the steps suggested that ‘prayer and meditation’ were incremental to an individuals recovery. I thought ‘hmmm, meditation… I know somewhere I could go that might be able to help me with that’!

From that point, my recovery from alcoholism became twofold. I attended regular 12 step meetings and I returned to ‘Wednesday nights @ Westie’. When I did, I was relieved to find a familiar program and faces. Even some of the kirtan tunes were the same. Also my yoga teacher friend was still there and he’d remembered me … After the meditation class I recall sitting in my car and bursting into tears… I felt like I’d come home…

I felt a wave of relief wash over me… This time I wanted that sensation to stay.

After attending meditation classes for a while, I noticed that the centre also had spiritual gatherings on a Sunday. This did catch my eye previously, but I was boozing back then and felt coming along to a spiritual gathering on a Sunday afternoon would greatly impact on my Sunday session at the local pub. With this no longer a concern, I decided to come along and see what it was all about…

I still remember my first Sunday gathering. There was heaps of kirtan… Some mellow and some really uplifting, energetic chanting at the end of the evening. People were singing and dancing and having a great time sober… How could this be???

The kirtan enveloped a talk on yoga philosophy and a tasty vego meal. I listened intently to the talk. The key points seemed to resonate with me and I had plenty of questions, which some of the regulars and the lady giving the talk were more than happy to answer. I found this was always the case.

The most important thing I learnt that night was that ‘I was not my body and not my mind’. ‘Hooray’, I thought! I may have a body and a mind that suffers from addiction to alcohol, however the awareness that I am neither my mind or body, for me, became the cornerstone to my recovery. I realised that my mind, body, everything about me had been corrupted by mis-truths.

Since that evening, I’ve met so many wonderful and inspiring people through this process. I have a better understanding of myself and a more realistic view of what life is all about. I don’t require booze anymore to have a good time… In fact, it’s nearly 6 years since I put down the bottle. I still have good and bad days but the tsunami of a few years back has become ripples in a pond…

I love to sing and play music… I’d forgotten just how much. Through this process, I’ve been able to reconnect with this great passion that had been dormant. I’ve been able to dovetail my love of music with my recovery and give back a little of what was freely given me… The boozing and failed relationships seem like a lifetime ago…

I’ve found, through chanting, that I can connect with the ‘Lord in the Heart’ and that this is the key to my happiness. I’ve also found that the ‘love of my life’ doesn’t come in a skirt and stilettos, or, more importantly, a bottle.

I feel very grateful that I stumbled across the yoga process all those years back. I am forever thankful to all of the people that have been patient, kind and continue to help me on my journey…

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