Soul Kitchen – Spiritual Retreat for People in Recovery

Hello recovery friends!

We’re happy to announce a new spiritual retreat starting this winter: December 9-11. It’s our intention to create a weekend experience that is both totally laid back, and at the same time, really intense. Sound impossible? Maybe it is, but we’re trying anyway. Come find out 🙂 In any case, we know it will be a cool new experience for all of us.

This is a spiritual retreat for men and women in recovery. It is not specifically AA, nor will we focus on any single spiritual path. There will, however, be examples used from various spiritual traditions throughout the weekend. We hope this will not make anyone uncomfortable.

The theme for our first retreat is “Ditching the Double Life,” which refers to a paragraph on page 73 of the AA Big Book.

“More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor. To the outer world he presents his stage character. This is the one he likes his fellows to see. He wants to enjoy a certain reputa­ tion, but knows in his heart he doesn’t deserve it.”

We all wear masks. Whether we want to admit that or not. At this retreat, we will take a raw, honest look at our masks and why we need them. In a laid back way, of course 🙂

The cost for the weekend, which includes room and board, is $125. We are asking for a $25 deposit to hold your spot.

Questions? Contact our retreat secretaries: Mae Y or Ryan K. Or anyone else on the retreat committee.

Theme: Ditching the Double Life

Cost: $125, with a $25 deposit
(a limited number of scholarships are available. let us know ASAP if you need one)

Retreat Committee: Alex S, Ben C, Brandon I, Cheryl I, Joe N, Lisa S, Mae Y, and Ryan K



Sunday Open Speaker Brunch

October 30th, 2016 – Sunday Open Speaker Brunch

Doors Open @ Noon – Speaker @ 12:50 pm

We’re happy to have Kelly W. from Lake in the Hills, IL share her experience, strength, and hope with us!

$3 Members / $5 Non-Members / Kids ARE ALWAYS Free! 

Elgin Alano Club – 73 S. Riverside Dr., Elgin, IL

Bring a Dish to Pass and get in for FREE! 

2016 Women’s New Beginnings Retreat

June 17 – June 19
NIU Lorado Ta3 Field Campus
1414 N. River Rd., Oregon, IL 61061

Registration Fee -$105
includes lodging, three meals on Saturday & breakfast on Sunday

Check-In begins at 6pm on Friday

This is a closed retreat for women in AA – In support of singleness of purpose, attendance at closed meetings is limited to those persons who have a desire to quit drinking.
Suggested items to pack: Bedding (sheets, blanket, pillow, sleeping bag); Towels/Washcloth; Toiletries (soap, shampoo, lotion, etc.); Shower shoes; bath mat; Rain Coat/Umbrella; Flashlight; Bug Spray; Lawn Chair; Water bottle; Coffee cup; Hand Sanitizer; Liquid Soap; Air freshener; Yoga mat; Snacks and beverages to share; Big Book; Other AA literature; Journal; Pens/Pencils; Honesty; Open-mindedness; Willingness

By registering you agree that for yourself and anyone entitled to act on your behalf, you release and discharge Women’s New Beginnings Group and Lorado Taft Field Campus, their staff and volunteers from any and all claims in any manner arising from participation in this event.

Limited, partial scholarships are available upon request.
Questions? Please Call Collette H. 847.630.7458 or Jayne M. 224.489.9009

To reserve your spot return completed registration form and payment by June 6 to Darlene G. – 1418 Ridge Rd., South Elgin, IL 60177

24th Annual Fox Valley Open

Saturday May 21st, 2016

Doors Open 7:00 pm – Open Speaker Meeting at 7:30 pm

There will be Speakers with Sobriety of:

  • 1-5 yrs: Molly R.  Dist. 61
  • 6-15 yrs: Joe S. Dist 61
  • 16+ yrs: Donna S Dist 22

Taming the Beast with 12-steps

I had a long discussion with my sponsee last night. She had expressed that after a recent relapse, she thinks she may never “get” our 12 Step program.  I once was as hopeless and remember that feeling well, so I told her this:

I have a beast inhabiting me. It is a living and breathing entity and this beast wants me dead.

Before I found a 12 Step program I did not know how much I was nurturing this beast.

When I stopped drinking without a program I only had “arrested” this beast. I hand cuffed it and put it in the back seat of my car.

Of course this beast escaped as it is so powerful and knows me so well. It lives inside me after all.

Once I entered a 12 Step program I acquired the skills, tools, and weapons to incarcerate and contain my beast. I built a prison for it to sit in. If I could wipe the beast out completely I would, but I don’t have those tools. Yet.

When my beast starts to speak I silence it by starving it not only of alcohol, but from the negative thoughts that the beast will use to manipulate me into helping it escape from its cell, overtake my life, and then finally end it.

Some days I have compassion for this beast and I find myself indulging it with my negative thoughts. When I catch myself talking to it I take my tools and my higher-power and I get back to work on maintaining its prison.

I “get” this program so well because I know how this beast operates now. I have learned how to arrest and contain it because I followed a program of action, sought out advice from many others in the fellowship who have successfully contained their beasts.

I know not everyone wants to be part of a 12 Step Program. I was that way for many years. That beast was a master at convincing me a program wasn’t for me.

So if you are on the fence about trying a program, think about what your beast wants you to do.

I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, I know from experience the beast can be can tamed. My thoughts are geared toward the people who are in active use or chronically relapsing and are considering AA or other programs.