Into Action With Horses

Horse walking on the beach in the sunset

“The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will.” Buck Brannaman 20 million people are living with active addiction in the United States. Each one of them has a story and I have come to see that recovery is possible. While each story of recovery is completely individual, I believe my recovery story, including deep relationships with horses, is unique yet highly re-applicable. It is my greatest hope that you may find something in here that may add value to your recovery experience. Let’s get into action with horses. So far, I have discussed equine-assisted therapy at a high level, the role of horses in my addiction recovery. My passion for these animals over the past thirty years has only increased my deep connection with them. My work as an…

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On Mindfulness and Letting Go

letting go

The Art Of Letting Go   You’ve probably heard of the well known Twelve Step slogan, reminding us to “Let go and let God”. Well, mindfulness, an ancient form of meditation, is all about letting go. It could in fact be called “the art of letting go”. Mindfulness is about being able to let go of your worry about the future and your obsessions about past actions. It’s not about judging them. It’s more about becoming aware that you are having thoughts that keep you from living fully in the present moment. When you let go of these unhelpful thoughts, you are free to focus on what is happening for you in the present moment. As a result, you can become more authentic, and live a deeper, richer, more satisfying life. Mindfulness and letting go can be difficult at first,…

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Easy Does It – But Do It


Easy Does It Easy Does It – But Do It Finding a balance between effort and allowing can be a difficult process for people coming straight from active addiction. Active addicts are always craving instant gratification – and NOW. In recovery we learn that time takes time, and that sometimes the very best thing to do, is to do nothing. We are human beings, not human doings. ‘Easy Does It’ is a useful recovery slogan serving as a reminder to strive for this healthy balance. Learning How to ‘Easy Do It’ Coming to a recovery program like Serenity Vista can be an incredibly valuable start to your recovery. Believe it or not, at Serenity Vista Addiction Recovery Treatment Retreat in Panama, there are actual “hammock assignments“. That’s right – go and lie in the hammock, no books, no music, no…

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Stress Reduction Addiction Treatment Rehab

stress reduction addiction treatment rehab at Serenity Vista private rehab in Panama

Stress reduction addiction treatment rehab In active addiction and also in recovery, stress is normal. It’s not always bad, but when left unchecked and unexamined, it can be downright debilitating. Stress often gets a bad rap, but a certain amount of stress is healthy. In a totally tension-less or stress-free state, we’re either asleep, in deep meditation, or dead. As a powerful and healthy alternative to apathy or laziness, positive stress is a powerful force that motivates us to action and inspires change. But at other times, when pushed to extreme levels, stress and discord can be physically and mentally destructive. The effects of prolonged stress on the body are well documented, and nearly everyone – addict or otherwise – is familiar with the miserable feeling of being over-stressed at one point or another. Stress reduction addiction treatment rehab recovery is…

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Addiction Recovery Now

Best day rehab program for Addiction Recovery Now. Here and now is the time and place. Serenity Vista.

Addiction Recovery Now If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.― Lao Tzu One of the surest ways to disrupt inner peace on the road to addiction recovery now is to live outside of the present moment. Rehashing a painful past cannot repair it. Worrying about the future does not solve tomorrow’s problems. Instead, both strip recovering addicts of their peace today and prevent them from living in the present. MIXED MEMORY – RELIVING AN INCOMPLETE PAST How often have you caught yourself swept up in old memories? For addicts, these thoughts of yesterday are usually dark and regretful reflections. Their minds are typically trapped in the past, reliving painful experiences repeatedly as if they are real…

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Rethinking Alcohol & Drug Addiction Treatment Rehab

Rethinking alcohol treatment rehab for alcoholism at Serenity Vista retreat in tropical Panama

Rethinking Alcohol & Drug Addiction Treatment Rehab Are you feeling trapped by alcohol, drug, nicotine or other addiction? Are you constantly weighed down by chronic relapse and the repetitive pain caused by substance abuse or codependency? Are you a smoker, alcoholic, codependent or drug user whose wealth and health are in peril? We understand your struggle – and you’re not alone. At Serenity Vista, we have been rethinking alcohol & drug addiction treatment rehab over many years.  We’ve helped many overcome their addictions and codependency issues and see the miracle of life transformation. The prevailing belief has been that recovery means getting clean and sober. But what if we told you that recovery doesn’t stop there? Complete Life Transformation What if getting sober or starting AA  (alcoholic anonymous), NA (narcotics anonymous) or Al-Anon is just one step on an amazing life-long transformative…

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Meditation for Addiction Recovery

Polished like an opal

MEDITATION   Living peacefully in the present is just about the opposite of how a drug addict or alcoholic would describe his or her life. That’s why Serenity Vista places so much emphasis on meditation for addiction recovery. An addict’s mind in active addiction can be wild beyond imagination. In addiction, the mind is tormented by pain, irritation, distraction, paranoia, and barrage of negative images and uncontrollable impulses. When racked with guilt and out of control, the addict’s thought process is its own worst enemy. Negative thought patterns cycle like warped and scratched records. Limiting beliefs and dark internal monologues cast clouds of doubt across their every notion. When left to its own devices, the mind of addiction is a prison cell. There is an old saying. “The wild mind is a cruel master, but the calm mind is a loyal…

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Recover From Addiction with the Power of Nature

Nature & Addiction Recovery Pleasure and Pain Addicts are faced with many challenges when facing how to recover from addiction. Among them, one of the greatest difficulties is contending with a strong desire for sensory pleasure. On one level, addiction is a disease of feelings. Addicts and alcoholics smoke, drink, gamble, and engage in other compulsive behavior because it feels good. Many others seek pleasure to avoid the pain of guilt, shame, sadness, loss, anger, remorse, repression, etc. Surprisingly, this desire for pleasure isn’t exclusive to addicts. Many people in the general population, wanting to escape discomfort, will turn to junk food or television. While others turn to more healthy stress-relieving stimulus such as reading, talking with friends over coffee or tea, exercise, or solitude. The common thread is the desire to exchange negative feelings with pleasant ones. The difference with addiction…

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Reflections From Our Intern – Long Term Treatment is Best

Canine Dog Therapy at Serenity Vista Alcohol Treatment Rehab

Reflections on Serenity Vista Addiction Recovery Retreat Introducing  Jim W., Serenity Vista’s newest intern. Jim joins us from Virginia, USA, accompanied by his beautiful blue merle Australian Shepherd Dog, Dundee.  Ceiba, our resident Chocolate Labrador Retriever Dog, is thrilled to have a colleague and friend to help with the duties of canine therapy.  Both dogs are an important part of the recovery program. They teach us mindfulness, playfulness, and demonstrate Rule # 62 (Don’t take yourself too damn seriously) consistently through the day. We are happy to have Jim & Dundee at Serenity Vista here in Boquete, Panama. We have much to learn from each other. Long Term Treatment for Addiction is Best Jim writes: My original intent in coming to Serenity Vista was to complete the 500 hours of on the job training needed to complete my certification as a…

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