Excerpted from an article by Stacy Resnick in the Vivation Newsletter, October 1992
There are many, many people involved in the growing 12-step community, including but not limited to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Overeaters Anonymous (OA), Codependents Anonymous (CODA), Debtors Anonymous (DA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Gamblers Anonymous (GA). There seems to be an Anonymous group for every addiction, and it seems that nearly everyone has been or is addicted to something.
As Vivation professionals, we know the reasons. Addiction is described as a way to suppress and/or change feelings, an escape. Addictions are anything that we habitually, and probably compulsively, try to substitute for God in our lives. In my belief system, the only healthy was to change of accept my feelings is to feel my connection to God. Vivation is one way to do that. Integration into Ecstasy (4th element), for me, is when I feel my “conscious connection to God.”
Step 11 of the 12 steps states “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious connection with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.”
Vivation is an 11th-step process
One of the most useful and widely understood ways to describe Vivation is to “create conscious connection to God.”
To me, the breath is your most obvious and vital connection to your Higher Power, God or Spirit. The word “spirit” has as its Latin root, “spirare”, a word that means breathe. Genesis 2:07 says, “then the Lord God…breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being.”
Breath is essential to life. We can live without food and water for days, but without breath we would expire in a few minutes. Oxygen from the air reaches and nourishes our cells through breathing. The deeper and more relaxed your breath, the more oxygen you are getting and the healthier and more relaxed you will be because your body has constant access to its most vital nutrient.
When we feel our connection to God, we breathe fully and freely. We feel joyful and relaxed. When we feel separate from God, we hold our breath, we shut down at every level. We feel fearful and tense.
So, you could say that the quality of your breath is the quality of your connection to God. By consciously practicing full, circular breathing, we are opening more and more to “improving our conscious connection to God.”
Vivation is a kinesthetic (feeling-based) process for integrating our emotions. It is a meditation on the present moment. Using circular breathing, complete relaxation, detailed body awareness, integration and willingness (the 3rd and 6th Steps of the 12 Steps and the most essential Element in Vivation), Vivation allows us to accept our feelings and shift our awareness from a “negative” to a “positive” context. The result is a feeling of internal peace and serenity.
Nearly every 12-Step group either opens or closes with the Serenity Prayer:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
This prayer practically describes the 4th Element, integration. It is exactly about making peace with our feelings in the present moment.
So, for anyone looking for better ways than their addictions to resolve their negative feelings, Vivation is obviously one of those ways. Vivation makes practicing Step 11 an easy and reliable way to create lasting well being, and establish an experiential connection to your “higher power.”