Service, Service, Service. Keep Doing Service.

The 12th step states, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all areas of our lives.”  I have paraphrased this step since the actual words will vary slightly from one fellowship to another.  The meaning is very clear, however.  The 12th step asks us to serve others, help them rise above their addictions.

What is service anyway?  How does one define it?  A great place to start is with a dictionary definition.  A quick working definition is the action of helping or doing work for someone.  Some synonyms are favor, kindness, helping hand, assistance, good turn, and act of assistance.  I would say these are all good things.

In our recovery, one main goal is to get to the point of having a true spiritual awakening.  As you have likely heard in some of the promises listed in the Big Book, they may come quickly or slowly, but they will always come if we work for them.  Yes, it takes work.  It may be slow.  It may be less slow, even quick.  If we focus on the work, then we will see the fruits of our labors.

What does service have to do with the Serenity on the Sound Retreat, virtual or otherwise?  The service of people in our fellowship is what makes the retreat able to be successful.  When we have been in person, volunteers have helped with food, cleanup, meetings, and other things to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.  In the virtual retreat, we have had helpers with Zoom, moderators to keep the flow moving forward nicely, speakers, presenters, and more.  This retreat came together as the result of several volunteers asking, “What can we do to help others in recovery?”  These volunteers, over the years, have become the Puget Sound Retreat Committee.  This committee is focused on the 12th step in that they seek to always provide service to others in recovery, especially sexual addiction and codependency recovery.

In some future blogs, I will share more about some of the positive experiences that members of the PSRC have enjoyed.  In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about the service offered by the PSRC, please contact us at info@soundretreat.org or 425-272-5740.  We are here to serve you.


by Dale E – PSRC Member (SAA/COSA)

Serenity on the Sound Virtual Retreat 2021

As the webmaster for this site, soundretreat.org, I want to share some thoughts on recovery and our upcoming retreat.  I hope to update this blog regularly, about once a week up until the retreat and then a bit less after the retreat.  Please let us know what you wish to hear as well as how often.

For those of you who don’t know me, I am Dale E, one member of the Puget Sound Retreat Committee, also known as PSRC.  I am a sex addict as well as a codependent to a sex addict.  I have been in recovery since 2006 and am grateful for my own recovery.  In that time, I have gone from feeling lost and shameful to being virtually born anew so that my life once again has joy in it.  I have regained balance in my life and am moving forward. 

Hopefully you have heard that our next upcoming retreat is being held virtually on August 27-29.   Last year we were able to share recovery with our first virtual retreat.  We have taken what we learned to craft a retreat which is bigger, stronger, and more hopeful than last year’s.  We hope you will join us for the workshops, speakers, fun events, camaraderie, and recovery that you will find at the Serenity on the Sound Retreat for 2021.  Please join us all.

In order to best prepare for your retreat, we welcome any comments and ideas.  The success of the retreat comes from the people who attend the retreat.  You are the backbone and energy for us all.  So, feel free to contact us directly via email, info@soundretreat.org, or phone, 1-425-272-5740.  We check in with each of those regularly.  Ask questions, shoot us some advice or offer up some helpful hints.  We appreciate the wisdom of our fellow addicts, co-addicts, and codependents. 

Thank you for reading.  We hope to see you all again from August 27-29 and here on the site weekly.  Come and join us for 2021.


  by Dale E – PSRC Member (SAA/COSA)

Announcement

I am happy to announce that planning for the 32nd annual Serenity On The Sound Retreat has begun.  Due to the pandemic and assorted unknowns, we will hold it virtually again this year in 2021.  Moving forward we hope to hold two retreats annually with one virtual and the other in-person.

The next retreat is scheduled for August 27-29.  Planning is just getting started.  We hope to take what we learned in 2020 and have even more opportunities for you including fellowship and workshops.  We will love to hear ideas from you as to what some good workshop subjects may be.  We are always looking for topics that inspire and promote recovery.

We are also actively seeking new members for our retreat committee.  We have a lot of experience and can use some good new blood in the group.  One of the reasons we have had so much success is that the committee is not static; it is ever-changing.  The changes allow us to grow and meet the needs of our fellow addicts, co-addicts, and codependents.  If you are interested or know someone who can help please contact us directly at info@soundretreat.org or 425-272-5740.

Please stay tuned to the website, www.soundretreat.org, as well as our emails to follow.  There is quite a lot planned for our upcoming retreat.   Our next retreat committee meeting will be held from 3-5 p.m. on June 13.  We’d love to have you join us at our Zoom planning meeting.

Thank you.  We look forward to hearing from you.  See you this summer.

by Dale E – PSRC Member (SAA/COSA)

Next Virtual Retreat

Have you heard yet? There is another retreat coming for us early in 2021. After the success of this past retreat, we wish to continue and pay things forward. We also learned a lot about how we can improve our next retreat.

Please keep your eyes peeled on this page. As we all know things are constantly changing and hopefully improving. We are shooting for sometime in early February. Planning is beginning now. If you have a desire to contribute in any way, let us know. We always need help and support. Is there a better way to do service as our 12th step suggests?

I hope to continue posting at least twice a month. So check things out on this page. We also always welcome any suggestions you may have. We seriously consider your valuable contributions.

Thank you for being here and listening. You are our lifeblood.

by Dale E – PSRC Member (SAA/COSA)

Autumn Begins

As I write this post, today is the first full day of autumn. It is a time of change. We watch the leaves turn to colors that can brighten our days. We observe light gradually getting shorter and shorter. The temperature gets cooler as a general rule. Changes are truly in the air, literally and figuratively.

As I think about all the changes that are happening now, it gives me pause to meditate. This season is a reminder that things are always in flux in one way or another. The changes remind us that our addictions can get the better of us if or when we let our guard down. In our own personal recovery journeys, we have gained and continue to gain, as we work the steps, the tools that allow us to thrive during these times of change.

Another thing about autumn is that it is only one season. The seasons, like tides, ebb and flow. There is a regular cycle to the seasons. Our lives in many ways mimic the seasons. We live on a planet that is designed for cycles. So as we are in one cycle, let us move into positive cycles of life.

Maybe I am waxing poetic here. Maybe I am being a bit philosophical. I guess what my point is is that just as seasons change, we can also change. I know I feel blessed and grateful to have found new health and life in recovery. Recovery lives and so so I.

by Dale E – PSRC Member (SAA/COSA)

Updates On The Blog

We have and continue to collect surveys for the retreat. At some point the survey will close. Although the survey may close, we always welcome your thoughts and comments. The retreat has been built on the comments and thoughts from the past, which is why we have continually been able to improve. Like recovery, building a retreat is always a work in progress. It is all about progress, not perfection. So, if you have comments, you may leave them here on the contact us page form. You may also leave longer form thoughts by sending an email to serenity.on.the.sound@gmail.com. Whatever way works for you will work for us.

As we move forward, our plan is to update with a regular blog post at least twice a month. The topics may vary some; however, they will always have something to do with either the retreat or recovery in general. So please come back and check out the site.

This site will likely morph slowly as we get more familiar with which technology works best for our purposes of service. You may or may not notice differences in this site’s appearance. No matter what, our focus will always be towards recovery and what works best towards that goal.

by Dale E – PSRC Member (SAA/COSA)

THANK YOU

Our retreat for August 2020 has now come and gone. What a great event it was. This year’s retreat was put together quickly and well by a dedicated group of volunteers. Thank you to them. More importantly, it was well attended within the USA as well as internationally. How exciting! We thank you so much for being here and making this venture a true success.

You will be receiving a short survey soon, i.e. early September. Please fill it out and submit it when you see the link. We value and read all of the feedback provided. Your comments, suggestions, and ratings help your retreat committee, PSRC, to constantly tweak and improve the retreat.

Personally, I am so thankful for this past retreat. It was quite special being both our 31st annual retreat as well as our 1st virtual retreat. Hopefully we can bring the retreat back even stronger as Covid-19 restrictions slowly lift. What will our next retreat look like? Stay tuned. We look forward to the next, even better, retreat. And thank you again for being part of this special recovery event.

by Dale E – PSRC Member (SAA/COSA)

One Week To Go and REGISTRATION UPDATE

It is Friday, August 21 as I write this note. Our virtual retreat this year will start with an awesome Talent Show on Friday, August 28. It promises to be lots of fun. In year’s past, it has been amazing to see some of the performances that have been shared. I know this year will be similar. We have several people sharing as well as a wonderful host to MC this fun event.

On Saturday, August 29, you will be able to join one of several varying workshops. On both ends of the workshop schedule, we will have a speaker to share their story. This day will be a wonderful day to learn and grow in our recovery journeys.

I also have been notified that the PSRC has extended the guaranteed registration date to this Wednesday, August 26. That means any registrations received by Wednesday, August 26 will have a guaranteed spot at this year’s virtual retreat. That date has been set in order for us to be sure that the technology will be prepared to handle the number we are expecting. If you do register later than Wednesday, we will do our best to accommodate you. We just cannot guarantee your place ahead of time. Thank you for your understanding.

by Dale E – PSRC Member (SAA/COSA)

Less Than 2 Weeks To Go (Registration & Zoom)

In less than two weeks time, the retreat will be live and online. Are you excited? I know I am. I only wish words could show the real excitement. This retreat will be an adventure. It will be unique. It will be a first of its kind. All of those make this event exciting.

Have you registered yet? The retreat starts with the online talent show on Friday, August 28. We are requesting all registrations be submitted by this Friday, August 21. We have set this date so we can plan accordingly to help ensure all of the technological resources are available and ready to handle our “crowd” of recovering addicts, co-addicts, and codependents.

Speaking of technology, do you have your Zoom app ready? Zoom is the primary technology we will be using. It is a video conferencing tool that allows for good connections, especially during this time of Covid. Go to your app store and signup for your free Zoom account. There is no cost on your end. The app may be used on a smartphone, tablet, or any other personal computer.

If you do not have access to Zoom, let us know. There is also a way to connect at the retreat using a regular phone. You may attend via the app or via phone. If you are able to use and install Zoom directly on your phone or computer, that is recommended as the experience will be fuller and more vibrant.

What are you waiting for? Registrations keep rolling in. Get your registration in by this Friday, August 21 to ensure your spot at this year’s retreat. We look forward to seeing you.

by Dale E – PSRC Member (SAA/COSA)

WOW!

The PSRC met the other day to keep all things for the retreat coming along well.  It is so exciting to watch and be a part of this upcoming event.  The workshops are strong.  The speakers will share their great stories. I am pumped and psyched.  How do you feel?  Can you almost taste some of the excitement?

Without a doubt this will be an event for the ages.  Since it is our first virtual retreat, it is guaranteed to be special.  Are you ready to join us?  If not, what is holding you back?  Download the updated schedule on the main page.  Share the flyer with others in the fellowship.  Register on the registration page. Let’s make this an event to remember!