Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Transformational Recovery

Tonight I would like to talk about something that I haven't shared with you all. My lovely daughter is moving to San Diego ahead of the rest of us. She is flying down this Friday morning, and will not be living with us, for the first time in her 19 years.

As I believe I had alluded to in the past, my daughter has had more than her share of challenges, substance abuse being one of them. I suppose this was unavoidable, as the kids do come from a family history of severe addiction problems. But what my daughter is moving toward is something a bit broader than substance abuse treatment. She is moving toward a program in Transformational Recovery.

A while back I was doing some of my "Moving to San Diego Research" and came upon a program called Shakti Rising. It is a program that is designed to to help transform the lives of young women, 15 to 30, with various issues in their lives. It works on a model that is developed specifically for women, and is run solely by women. They work to build up the self esteem of the young women, and help them reconnect with parts of themselves that may have fallen by the wayside while struggling with substances, body image, depression, what ever. They focus on getting the women involved in their community, and try to bring out the inner gifts and strengths of each individual young woman. Some of the things they do, are help the women find a job in the community, help them understand their addictions, teach them about gardening and healthy living, and help them find ways to contribute, and become agents of change, for their communities.

I had the pleasure of visiting this program on Monday when I was house hunting. The staff, and home, are beautiful. The place had such a good vibe. They practice yoga and meditation. I wish I was moving in. My daughter has been communicating with the director for the past month, and was invited to join them for a weekend retreat, which starts this Friday. After the weekend, any woman who wants to remain, can make that choice. My daughter has already made up her mind, so she has a one way ticket to San Diego for Friday morning. Her plan, right now, is to live in this program for the next two years. My daughter, Arianne, is really wanting to begin growing, and maturing. This program feels ideal for her. I'm really excited for her to be around so much positive female energy. Unfortunately for her, she has always lived in this hell hole of testosterone. Okay, maybe not a hell hole, but definitely not the energy conducive to a sensitive female soul.

Here is a link to a video about the program.

It is going to be a difficult adjustment not having my daughter around. After all, she is still my baby girl. During these past few months she has also become a significant support to me, sort of my right hand wo-man. The house where she will live is only a five minute drive from the house where the boys and I will live, so she won't be far. She will have her Daddy close at hand, but far enough so she can begin to spread her wings. I can't wait to see her fly.


  1. I just visited the Shakti Rising website to take a look around. It sure seems like a wonderful program. I commend your daughter for her decision to take this route as it sounds as though it will be beneficial to both her and to the community. And how terrific that you will still be close after you move to SD. Seems ideal to me. I'm sure this change will be difficult for both of you, but being only a five minute drive away, it should make the transition a lot easier.

  2. in case no one has mentioned it lately, you are a great dad.


  3. It sounds like a great program and a great opportunity. To echo Megan, you are a great Dad! San Diego sounds like it will be a positive move for all of you. I'm excited for you! It's so nice to have something good to look forward to.

  4. This sounds wonderful! I wish I were going there, too.

  5. Thanks ladies, for the nice feedback. She's all packed, and ready to go in the morning. Of course she's in tears talking to her girlfriends on the phone tonight. Although we want change, it's never that easy.

  6. I was heading out the door when I commented before - what I also wanted to say was - you really SEE your daughter, and that is not common in this world. Seeing someone truly, loving them, letting them make the mistakes they need to, encouraging their own truth - as a formerly young woman myself, having had to learn such love without parental role models, I thank you for being you. Strange, perhaps, to have your parenting admired from a pretty-much stranger, but there you have it.