SpiritWorks Foundation

Center for Recovery of the Soul

It Really Weighs 4.5 Pounds!


I just got my copy of “The Book that Started It All”, the AA original manuscript, and much to my surprise it really does weigh 4 1/2 pounds.  I haven’t gotten into it  myself rather leaving it at the Center for others to take a look at and comment about.  So far the reviews have been very positive for the most part.  One gentleman who was at the Center yesterday commented that he really likes the way it is written because it is more “personal” and “goes deeper” in his opinion.  Despite it’s cost, he says he has an interest in buying one for his “sponsor” and his fiancee both of whom are members of 12 step fellowships.

The other primary comments are really about how large the book is more so than anything about the contents.  Part of my plan this weekend is to take a look inside at least at a couple of the chapters to begin my consideration of it.

I’ll let you know once I’ve begun the process.

Peace, Jan

Bringing Attention to Reentry


I just got off the phone from a conversation with Lori from Voices of Hope Productions.  I am excited about the work being done and hopeful to collaborate with them on projects here in Virginia.  The selection of works that has me most excited is the Reentry Series, a series of three films designed to bring attention to the issues related to the process of reentry of those who have been incarcerated in jails and prisons.  Although the films, Check out A Failed System, Nowhere to Go and Healing Justice: Transformed Lives focus on New Jersey, I believe the issues are very similar to those we have here in Virginia.
The films demonstrate the need for recovery support services and a need for advocacy and support to change the laws for those who have done their time.  SpiritWorks hopes to obtain the film series and host a screening at some point in the near future.  In the meantime I encourage you to visit the site or go to YouTube to view the videos.

I’d love to hear what you think about the films as well as the issue of reentry.

Until next time,

peace, Jan

Emerging Leadership in Recovery Support Services


With this month being National Recovery Month it seems that a lot of focus and buzz are emerging on this new field of peer based recovery support services. Setting training standards, credentialing, certification and other such issues are being talked about here in Virginia as well as at the level of the federal government.  It seems that one of the pressing issues is how to make recovery support services a billable Medicaid service.  As a professional life coach with a wellness background I am kind of amused by this desire, only because I see recovery as a wellness issue and not as some form of sickness.  We focus on strengths and are hoping to develop a strengths based model and yet because we have not way to get paid for our services it seems we are hoping that Medicaid will fund them.  While I do not have an answer, I am open to have my understanding increased and my mind changed, I  certainly desire to be at the table for the discussion and am very interested in seeing where this all will go.

So wish us luck as we grow an emerging field of Peer Based Recovery Support Specialists!  It promises to be an exciting time for the field of recovery.  I’ll keep you posted throughout my journey and would love to hear from you.

We have an opportunity unlike any before which is to develop our own criteria, standards, and needs.  Let’s get to it!

Until next time.

peace, Jan

Why All the Buzz About Self-Care?

I just finished making a brief presentation about self-care to a group of women.  We had a lively discussion about the importance of self-care and how to incorporate it into our daily lives.  We talked about how for some it is hard to tend to ourselves, discussing some of the various reasons that make it so.  We also talked that for some scheduling time for self care is an important strategy to ensure that it gets done.

As people in recovery our lives are grounded in health, spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, social and environmental. It is important that we take time to care for all dimensions of our health, starting with spiritual health.  By taking care of ourselves we are able to sustain long term recovery and be a testimony to others that long term recovery is possible.

The habits and practices that we learned and incorporated in the early stages of our recovery will keep us healthy throughout the course of our lives. We cannot get too busy to make self-care a principled practice nor can we forget that it is what got us here that is to long-term recovery, in the first place.  So, remember, the next time you want to skip that meditation, not go to your meeting, choose not to exercise, or isolate from friends and family that what you are risking is long term sustained recovery.

Thanks for listening,

Recovery Compass tool,   SpiritWorks Foundation, Williamsburg,  VA

Peace, Jan

About SpiritWorks’ Mission

Jan Brown describes why she founded SpiritWorks Foundation and explains the difference between being sober and being in recovery. Do you, like Jan, want to get back what you had loved and lost?

People in Recovery

People in Recovery at SpiritWorks Foundation, Williamsburg, VA. No one recovers from addiction alone!No one recovers from addiction alone!  Let SpiritWorks support, celebrate and nurture your return to health, freedom, Read more