You Did It…
Achieving sobriety is a remarkable accomplishment that reveals the innermost parts of ourselves. Yet, knowing what to do with sobriety’s revelations – our flaws and greatness -is both a painful and joyous process. On one side we discover such joys as living a life with an attitude of gratitude, self-control and healing the wreckage of the past. On the other hand, we come to face our character flaws – our judgmentalness, fear of intimacy, vulnerability and failure (to mention a few). We can choose to ignore these revelations at our peril.
Auto Pilot is not for everyone…
Many people live large parts of their life on autopilot, but for those in recovery there is a different path. In order to maintain a life free of mind altering substances and activities, those in recovery need to maintain awareness and ownership of their thoughts and feelings.
As time in recovery progresses, these intellectual and emotional revelations continue. In fact, it is often after the first year of sobriety, when the excitement of early recovery wears off, that we realize the hard work still ahead, the challenge of those flaws and our desire to live an authentic, meaningful and happy life.
Humans must express their potential
Humans must express their potential if they are to celebrate life and be at peace with themselves and others. A musician must make music, a philanthropist must give, a poet must write. Abraham Maslow termed this self-actualization.
Often people feel stuck not knowing what their next step in life is, or what to do to how to start the “self actualization” process. As a result of feeling stuck, some people become self-destructive (marrying the proverbial secretary and buying an expensive sports car they cannot afford) or seek to numb the unresolved feelings with mind-altering substances and activities. Self-actualization turns a life crisis into a healthy life transition. Self-actualization must be a part of recovery and healing, but it is not always easy. It takes time, effort, and a willing support network. That is why Soberbound was created.
What is Soberbound?
Adventures In Recovery
Soberbound is an outdoor adventure experience that challenges men to become the man they want to be – the best version of themselves. Hiking, portaging, canoeing and other nature experiences combined with group counseling are good for the body, mind and soul. (a women’s experience is in the planning stage). The soberbound experience is not a “vacation” where you will be spending hours lying in a hammock on the edge of sleep. It is time you will learn to push your limits – a time of self discovery and growth.
Soberbound tour days are divided into two parts:
1) Group Discussions 2) Hiking and camping
1) Group Discussions
When was the last time…
…Another man called you on your B.S. because he cares about you – and you were happy he did?
…You had a heart to heart discussion about sexuality, work, masculinity, your fears, anxiety, hopes or what it’s like being a son, spouse, or father?
….You bared your deepest secrets knowing that you would be accepted and cared for regardless of what you said?
…You needed support and you knew that there would be other men there for you?
….You laughed so much it hurt?
Participants are encouraged to reflect on the day, sharing their thoughts and experiences. Soberbound is a great addition for those attending 12 step meetings or those who have found sobriety through other paths. Respectful and thoughtful cross talk and sharing are essential to the trip’s process.
David Kaufman is an experienced group facilitator guides and challenges each member to give and be be their best. Group counseling is a powerful force for growth and change. Respectful cross talk is encouraged and at the heart of growth. Participants report feeling vulnerable yet safe, receiving and giving understanding, support, and encouragement others in their growth. While group work in an intense emotional experience, people often remark how they laughed so deeply it hurt – something they had not experienced in many years. The most shared comment is how the group work was helpful beyond their expectations!
2) Hiking and Camping: Nature Touring
MATAGAMASI | WOLF LAKE | KUKOGAMI
Join us for five wonderful days on one of the most picturesque routes in the Temagami region. Explore Wolf lake and it’s trails, swim in Paradise Lagoon and paddle the turquoise waters of Chiniguchi Lake. Pictographs and wildlife make this an unforgettable trip.
You might even eat some fresh caught fish.
All our trips are fully outfitted from backpacks, canoes, tents and food and guided by experts in the field of nature tours. Your guides are fully certified in safety, teaching wilderness trekking and food preparation. Normal cellphones have no reception in the Canadian North (anther experience for many), each group is supplied with two means of instant communication and help in case of any emergencies.
Do I Need To Be An Experienced Hiker?
No, our trips are rated for the beginner to intermediate level. Moreover, you’ll learn an assortment of wilderness skills, working both together and individually to meet daily goals and move forward in your outer and inner journey. Our qualified and experienced guides will ensure your safe trip will provide you and the group the challenges, experiences and education to come away feeling accomplished, energized and awakened to a life-changing adventure.
I Am A City Boy, What Is It Like Being In Nature For Several Days?
Graham Douglas, one of our tour guides, likes to say nature touring is the fastest way to learn mindfulness. You will discover struggle as well as peace as you adjust to a whole new range of senses and experiences. In recovery from addictions our tasks have been life-changing. We now respond to the need to rediscover ourselves, and heed the calling for the next step in our life. Immersion in nature allows us to realize completely new areas of our physical, emotional and intellectual self. It allows us to say, “I didn’t even know I had it in me.” We are part of nature and when we place ourselves in its most natural conditions, we discover our most basic and powerful selves.
A muddy path may be a place to discover your inner child again or overcome your stubborn preconceived notions about how things have to be in order to achieve a goal.
Finding a way to make sure everyone can cross a log bridge allows for deeper team building moments, self-reflection, creativity, trust, risk and reward – showing you that you’re capable challenging yourself to reach the next step in your journey.
Canoeing over a calm lake with the sound of birds without any technological distractions allows one to immerse oneself in the deepest of mindfulness experiences.
What About Bugs and Bears?
This is a common question. Bears? Bears are afraid of people and keep far away. Yet, we are also careful and follow food handling protocol to not attract any wildlife. Graham Douglas, our tour guide, has never had an encounter with bears – although he instructs everyone in “Bear Protocol” (Which between you and me is mostly about making a lot of noise or in worst case bear spray). Moose at a distance – yes, bears no. In terms of bugs. You get used to them, but most people bring a bug spray that solves the problem.
What Do I Need To Bring With Me?
A good pair of hiking shoes is about the only thing you might need to invest in. Otherwise we will send you a small list of items to bring. You do not need to purchase specialized clothing or other things you will find marketed to hikers and campers.
Soberbound tours dates: Please call for information
Food: All our food is COR certified kosher. Our food is tasty, light weight and easy to prepare. We can accommodate special dietary needs as well as food allergies. When putting meal plans together, we focus on ensuring that our guests’ dietary needs are met and exceeded. We do this by:
- Providing three full meals a day
- Packing plenty of tasty snacks
- Ensuring the meals are simple to prepare. i.e. boil in bag, rehydrate etc.
Tour Details: All tours begin at 08:00 and end with the ride back to Toronto the morning of the end date of that tour. For those needing Sabbath accommodations, at no cost, it will arranged in Toronto. For more info please call 647-238-3480 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: Most trips range between $1800 (5 days) and $3600 (10 days). There are a small number of subsidized spaces for those who do not have the financial means to attend. An installment plan is available. Transportation from Toronto and back from our hiking destination is included in your fee.
Soberbound tours dates: Call For Information
All tours begin at 08:00 and end with the ride back to Toronto the morning of the end date of that tour. For those needing Sabbath accommodations, at no cost, it will arranged in Toronto. There are a small number of subsidized spaces for those without the financial means to attend. Installment plan is available.
THINGS THAT KEEP MEN HEALTHY…. Allowing yourself to experience your feelings, rather than block them out. Being open to new ideas. Being willing to ask for help. Experiencing and thinking about your thoughts & feelings and learning from them. Not focusing on what should be, accepting what is and doing what you can do to improve. Identifying the meaningless things to which you have assigned meaning and moving on. Exploring the world and taking the risk of saying yes even though you are afraid. Loving people and using things – not the other way around. Boys are proud of their trophies – men of their life. Understanding that being a man has little to do with how strong your are or sports skills. Saying sorry first and without excuses. Questioning your own intentions and motivations. Learning how to be humble. When people talk – men listen. Taking responsibility for your life without excuses. Working on earning friendships. Men look after women – boys go after them. Love knowledge and learn from everyone. Taking care of your health.
Graham Douglas, Certified Wilderness Guide & David Kaufman, Group Facilitator
About David Kaufman
David Kaufman is a warm and outgoing Narrative and Solution Focused Brief Therapist and Canadian Certified Addictions Counselor and Nationally Certified Internet Addiction Coach.
Today, David is the Director of Outreach and Education at Jewish Addiction Community Services (JACS) Toronto. He also facilitates three weekly support groups, lectures and counsels individuals and families. As a counsellor, he is known for his light-hearted, empathetic and practical approach.
David has lectured and taught about addiction, mental health topics, philosophic and theological issues in Israel, the United States and Canada. As a counsellor, support group facilitator and lecturer, he is sought after for his humour, empathetic, and very practical approach to creating healthy change.
In his position as Director of Outreach and Education at JACS, David has taught and lectured professionals, organizations, clergy, and the public about all aspects of addiction and mental health.
In 1995 he co-founded what today is called the Narrative Therapy Center in Jerusalem. In 2003 he was an honorary Staff member at the Hinks Dellcrest Institute as a member of a University of Toronto research project concerning Narrative Therapy techniques.
David is an experienced group facilitator of all types. He runs three separate weekly groups for family members who have someone they love struggling with substance abuse, as well as a Jewish Religious Women’s Support Group for those women who have a loved one struggling with addiction and mental health issues, and a two hour men’s support group.
ABOUT GRAHAM DOUGLAS
Graham is a OCT (Ontario College of Teachers) certified teacher and a Wilderness First Responder. Graham Douglas has been an avid outdoors man for most of his life. He is a keen canoeist and hiker. He has spent a considerable amount of time in northern Ontario exploring the beauties of it’s natural wonders. Temagami and the surrounding area is his favourite place to immerse himself and get away from the busyness and business of his life as a carpenter and a father of twins. He loves sharing the outdoors with his children, friends and all the clients of the Temagami Outfitting Company.
Testimonials about David Kaufman
I just must thank you and all associated with Jacs ! After doing drugs for over 42 years I had had enough and desperately wanted to stop !! ! could not do it alone I needed help and was ready to do anything !! My first meeting was the Thursday night ” here to help ” meeting for families of addicts and alcoholics I wanted to get in touch with the collateral damage that my addiction inflicted on my loved ones !! the best decision of my life I cried and cried and felt so very guilty but after attending several Thursday night meetings as well as Sunday afternoon mens meetings my recovery began !! I started to believe in myself and the more confidence I got the better my life became !
Now 3 years clean I still attend meetings at Jacs and I have gotten a new career teaching my chosen trade to 18-20 year old young adults and helping them make healthy choices on which direction they take their lives ! I am in a healthy relationship with a wonderful Lady and her two Daughters I am a functioning member in a very healthy family ! By helping this one addict get his life together I would think well over 100 people have been positively affected ! for the first time in my 60 year life I m absolutely glowing and it isn’t a drug induced glow !If I would have known that recovery is this good I would have done it a long time ago.”
May G-D Bless you all and PLEASE keep on doing what you do for the world is indeed a safer place.
I thank you for my life.”
-Randy E, Toronto, Canada
“We live in a world of challenges and many are beset with formidable life issues. What a relief to have such a positive and goal-oriented therapist in our midst. I have referred patients to Mr. Kaufman for years. He is at once empathic, firm and able to create a secure environment for his clients.’’
– Dr. Michael Kirzner, M.D., CCFP, ISAM, CSAM, Family and Addiction Medicine
“David’s clients achieve their goals and reach emotionally fulfilling, practical and satisfying solutions to their problems.”
– Rabbi Yaakov Felder, Shomrai Shabbos Chevrah Mishnayoth
“I greatly recommend David Kaufman as a resource for getting “unstuck” in your life, and help you reconnect with life’s vitality. His approach yields amazing results very quickly.”
Aryeh Pamensky, Partner, Strategic Planning and Coaching Inc. Director of Pamensky Relationship Institute
“Our marriage was turning into a mess of arguments, mistrust, coldness and petty bickering over nearly everything. We decided, as a last resort, to seek professional intervention. We both thought we were too far gone to be saved, much less advance our marriage… David’s kind, patient and sensitive manner, coupled with his sage experience, brought us together in a way we never thought possible. David helped us get to the core issues of both our married and personal lives. His non-judgmental approach allowed both of us to feel entirely comfortable, sharing with him our hopes and fears. His firm yet gentle coaching helped us overcome long-standing obstacles and challenges in a short period. Though we are extremely happy that we have found, we regret that we waited more than 20 years to seek him out. Never believe that a marriage is beyond saving.”
–Married 20 Years, Toronto, Canada