What is Mindfulness in Recovery?

What is Mindfulness?

“Mindfulness is not just being present in the moment. Mindfulness is how am I present in the moment in a way that aligns with my values? Knowing what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, whether it’s healthy or not, whether it supports the person I want to be. In other words, it’s really living with intention and purpose and aware of when we get off track.”

Madeline Says Emotions are Difficult in Addiction

Often times emotions are difficult to communicate with one’s self.
It blocks us from our values because we cannot honestly cope or face what is in front of us. Madeline talks about how these emotions and how they can bubble up.

“My addiction journey has run back a couple of years. I’d say about three and a half. My dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer when I was 14 and shortly after that I started using so my dad’s illness and my illness have gone hand in hand and I was an IV heroin user. Things progressed super fast. You know, when you remove the drugs and alcohol, the solution, all of those feelings start bubbling up and it’s like the dam has been broken down and it’s just this flood of emotion. And those were emotions that I didn’t know how to cope with, because I hadn’t for such a long time.”

Don’t Obey Every Thought

“Now when I spent years chasing after that sense of relief that comes from alcohol and drugs. I am still very driven by those feelings of insecurity, of not being good enough of having to achieve, of having to overachieve. So the mindfulness approach is really giving me a freedom that I’ve never really found. It never really occurred to me that I did not have to obey every thought that I had. And when I say I was a prisoner, I meant most of the time my mind just drug me around everywhere I went. It was think, feel, react, think, feel, react.”

Living in Alignment with Your Values

In our addiction, we don’t live in alignment with the true values that we hold dear. Our sense of well-being just erodes and deteriorates. Everyone comes in with the center critique and shame and guilt and all these emotions around their addiction. A lot of the stories that they’re telling themselves are things they’ve been telling themselves since childhood, and we have to really identify what that is and just leave them on the side of the road and they will come back. However, with a mindfulness practice, we can say, “Hey, that’s my inner critic!” and we get people to name their inner critic and externalize it and really make it something that’s an external thing. And it’s not running the show anymore.

Mindfulness in Recovery: Opening Doors to Recovery

John Bruna, the co-founder of Mindfulness in Recovery®, teaches mindfulness curriculum that helps our clients discover deeper healing.

“What I do now with Mindfulness in Recovery® is try to open doors for people, to find a way of living that honors their values and helps them be the good person they want to be. So I’m all my years of recovery, I’ve never met another human being that deep down, didn’t want to be a good human being. But I haven’t met a lot just like me that didn’t know how just yet.”

Teaching You to Live a Mindful Life in Sobriety

At Renewal Lodge, we integrated mindfulness, the 12 Steps and clinical therapy. We are teaching clients how to live a mindful life in sobriety.

Find Healing At Renewal Lodge

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Dear Renewal Lodge Visitors,

My name is John Bruna, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Recovery® Institute, and more importantly, a grateful member of the recovery community. I am incredibly fortunate to have found my recovery in 1984. Of course, I did not achieve continuous recovery through willpower or my own efforts, but through the guidance and caring support of countless others that selflessly taught me how to live through the 12 Steps.

My journey of recovery brought this once homeless, shame-based, traumatized, insecure young man to a life far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I discovered self-worth, the joy of helping others, the gifts of parenting and grandparenting, and most importantly the ability to live a meaningful and purposeful life with integrity.

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is that I have the opportunity to give back and help others discover their self-worth, dignity, and the skills to fully live lives that they find truly meaningful. This is the inspiration for developing the skills of Mindfulness in Recovery® (MIR) to meet the needs of new generations struggling with alcohol and other substance use disorders. MIR is a set of evidence-based skills designed to help people fully integrate their tools of recovery in ways that are personalized, practical, and in alignment with their deepest values.

While we train counselors and therapists throughout the United States and abroad, I personally have chosen to work directly with the amazing team and clients at Renewal Lodge to develop the model MIR 12-step program for the nation. I choose Renewal Lodge because of the vision of its mission and the dedication of its team. Renewal Lodge is an extremely rare environment in which the staff embodies the very mindfulness and 12-step practices and skills they offer their clients. The results have been beyond my expectations. It is an honor to be here and I treasure my personal time with every client I meet.

With Gratitude,

John Bruna
John Bruna
Director of Mindfulness
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