The “aha” moment that showed me I found something that worked for my clients at the drug treatment center occurred when #hiking a trail up a local mountain for a simple “graduation” ceremony for one of the group members. An 18 year old male in the group underwent an epiphany that afternoon saying he felt elated at the power of the experience. He equated it with what he felt when high. This, his first natural high; he was blown away by it. He found something that did not involve drugs that he wanted that day.

I felt really hopeful that he could stay clean if he explored some of the other highs non drug users claim does it for them – mountain climbing, camping alone, running, hang gliding. He was young, open to new experiences and considering the possibilities.


Was it the accomplishment; in his case, reaching the mountain top before anyone else in the group? Was it the power of his young body empowering his ascent? Or more likely that a combination of factors came together for him – nature (earth, sky, fresh air), exercise (endorphins), support of the group and the accomplishment to propel him into a new state of being.

Part of my work at the treatment center included helping clients connect with “something greater than themselves”. If possible, get them to establish a belief or a connection with something greater than themselves that could help them stay #clean/#sober. Many had no idea how to do that. They found the guided #meditations peaceful but didn’t have a sense of anything else in it for them.

In asking about their experiences and telling them about the possibilities of what some experience in #meditation a few of the men explained they felt part of something bigger than themselves when fishing. They got the peace and hope then.

The commonality that emerged in the conversations was #nature gave them the feeling of being part of something bigger than them. Camping gave them that feeling of well-being. Hiking brought others into awareness of a great force in the world. Fishing made them peaceful.


It was because of those conversations that I took some of the clients in my group hiking up one of the local mountains. Everyone liked it for different reasons.

Through the conversations and the young man’s discovery during the hike I realized some find their #higherpower in entirely different ways than I thought. These people recognized the potency of #nature as part of their #healing path.

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