By Rosemary Smith
(Please visit the Haven website for a Staying Alive Group in your area. If there is not a local group, contact The Haven for other possible connections in your area.)
As an Assistant at The Haven and a leader of a local Staying Alive Group, co-led with my husband Bill Smith in North Vancouver, I have long been curious why, with all of the people coming through The Haven’s Come Alive, Living Alive Phases, and other programs, the Staying Alive Groups are not more popular and full to brimming.
When I think of my own experience of ‘coming alive’ and my personal transformation during these programs and in my personal life, I think about how this would not have been possible without being in relationship. I think of all the people who have deeply touched my life along the way, some who may be aware of this, some who may not be, and those that continue to do so. I could not have done my journey alone … to where I am now. Not without being in relationship; with myself and others.
So why not a Staying Alive Group? What does ‘staying alive’ mean? For me it is about continuing in the commitment to live and relate fully and authentically. It is a process. It is about learning how I get in my own way. It is about showing up, being curious, learning in relationship with myself and others, in connection…and sometimes being painfully uncomfortable in the risk of ‘being seen’. “Am I enough, am I good enough; will you like me?” It is about wanting to live my life … differently.
I understand this may not for everyone. But for those who do feel the pull to live their life differently, I encourage you to consider a Staying Alive Group. When you leave the island of The Haven, the land does not end … the landscape continues in you. A Staying Alive Group is a place to land. It is a place where people come together with others who have a similar desire to continue to explore, relate, practice tools, expand on what you have learned, take risks … to sustain aliveness. I invite you to continue. Are you ready … to stay alive?