Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another chapter of Grateful Heart Monday, a time to reflect on something I have much gratitude for in my life, which for today is for a guy named Kyle, someone who’s truly a humble soul that definitely deserves some praise.

How I met Kyle began five years ago, when I moved my life to Toledo to live with my partner. It was then I immediately became active in my recovery from addiction because I know how important it is in my quest to remain clean and sober for the rest of this life. Back then I was doing a lot of speaking engagements at various meetings and my name was often passed along to others in the area, usually unbeknownst to me. One such person was Kyle, who was interested in something he heard through the grapevine that I had expertise in, that being with meditation. By way of a mutual friend, I eventually made his acquaintance at the sober living home where he resided at the time. It was there he asked me to help him in a guided meditation and soon afterwards, to take him through the twelve steps.

At the time Kyle asked me to sponsor him, I had never successfully taken anyone through the 12 Step program. I had sponsored many, but never made it past the fourth step with any of them. From the onset though, I had a good feeling that Kyle would make it through, as I could see he was a go-getter. He often went the extra mile to understand the things I asked of him to work on and constantly seemed to thirst for a better life.

Always open to suggestions and trying anything that might improve his spiritual life as well, Kyle took some early advice and ventured off to a men’s spiritual retreat for an organization (The ManKind Project) I had joined long ago, one that truly helped me on my own spiritual journey. His openness didn’t stop there though after that retreat, as he joined the men’s group I was already a part of, that was an offshoot of that organization. It was there he began to take a hard look within on what he ultimately wanted for his life. Shortly thereafter, Kyle completed the 12 Step process with me, which was such an incredible gift and something to be very grateful for, given my previous track record with sponsorship. But really, it is the transformation that Kyle would undergo after that, that has brought me so much gratitude.

You see, after his step work ended with me, Kyle soon began ridding his life of things that were unhealthy for his spiritual journey, including cigarettes and energy drinks, two things that many in recovery tend to turn to for comfort, especially early on. Then he began to get in physical shape, by eating healthier and working out regularly, dropping a great number of pounds in the process. A huge leap in his life happened next with him going back to school to get his masters in counseling at one of the local universities. When he eventually graduated, I got to see him take on his first major job in sobriety at the Salvation Army, where he began to counsel those in addiction crisis on a regular basis. As part of this amazing success story, Kyle’s journey to recovery even got published in a book series called “The Awakened Man”. Around the same time, Kyle also picked up guitar lessons and swiftly overcame his public fears by beginning to do open mic sessions at various coffee houses and restaurants, where he’d sing and jam to his favorite artist’s songs, that being Jim Croce. And presently, Kyle is pursuing yet another dream, which is to become a yoga master, as he has a strong desire to help teach others this spiritual practice, something that has helped his own life improve on many levels. There is no doubt in my mind that Kyle will complete this training and go on to help many others learn it as well, given how much he’s already accomplished for himself in such a short period of time.

The fact is, in just five years, Kyle has accomplished more than many people might ever achieve in a lifetime. He radiates a level of peace and contentment now that I continue to strive for myself. It’s such a beautiful blessing to know this journey he embarked upon began with God using me to teach him some meditation and the twelve steps. Never did I imagine though in my wildest dreams how far Kyle would be on his spiritual journey a mere five years later.

I am so proud of this man and can’t wait to see where his life takes him next. Gratitude most definitely fills my heart any time I think of Kyle now, as I’ve had the privilege to watch him begin his spiritual journey in a very tightly wrapped cocoon, one that he fought quite hard to make his way out of. Today, Kyle blesses the world as a very vibrant butterfly whose wings regularly flap through his recovery, through his music, through his counseling, through his yoga, and through so much more, and each time they do, countless blessings radiate outward to countless individuals, individuals just like me…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson