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Sep 24, 2009

 Omni Recovery and Personal Growth Network


Mission Statement

The purpose of ORPGN is to develop a recovery and personal growth network for people at any stage of recovery of any type of recovery, or those helping others with recovery journeys.  The Network will also be open and beneficial to anyone seeking various personal growth and development journeys. 

There are two major focuses of recovery and personal growth in ORPGN.  The first focus is building a diverse and robust support network in which members can benefit from each others' diverse recovery and growth experiences.  Those, especially, with a lacking of local community resources for their particular type of journey will be welcomed and accommodated to the best of our ability..  The second focus is building self-esteem, and self-development for members through volunteer "work practice" experiences. 


The Seven Steps of the Omni Recovery/Personal Growth Journey

Step 1 - Seeing your life challenge not as just an affliction, enormous challenge or problem, but also as a gifted meaningful journey.

Step 2 - Thanking your higher power (in advance), upon awakening each morning, for the gifts your will receive from your journey the day.

Step 3 - Be willing to learn the lessons and gifts of others embarking on life journeys.

Step 4 - Sharing your recovery journey, in confidence, with a diverse group of journeyers,  conducting or supporting a diversity of recovery and other challenging journeys.

Step 5 - Building your self-esteem and self-development through volunteer "work practice" experiences.

Step 6 - Using your empowerment skills and community/Internet resources to find a more empowering work or business path.

Step 7 - Sharing with others the benefits of seeing one's recovery as a gifted journey.


  The Four Pillars of the Journey
  1. Seeking Gifts - Exploring and appreciating the valuable lessons you learned from your journey.

  2. Sharing Gifts - Sharing those gift lessons with others.

  3. Work Practice - Building self-esteem, self-worth, and self-knowledge through volunteer experiences.

  4. Practicing gratitude, forgiveness, and amends - It is easier to offer amends after practicing gratitude and forgiveness.

The Foundation of Recovery The I-Am Map

With the help of the The Optimist Phrase Book and other "I-Map" resources you  will put  together an  "I-Am Map." 
The "I-Am Map" is done in a collage-like format. 
It is an opportunity for you to replace hindering-type thinking with positive trail blazing visual thinking.

The Tools of ORPGN
Tuning into One's Why-Fi Channel
Or the Seven Steps to Increase Your Why-Fidelity

Step 1 - Start listing lessons from your recovery you would never want to give up.

Step 2 - List the things that motivate you.

Step 3 - Start to write your life's purpose (or mission) statement. (It can start out as rough draft.  Edit as many times as needed.)

Step 4 - Start to write down a picture of what you would want to do on Monday morning, for a living, if you were guaranteed it would pay all your bills and enable you to provide for yourself and your loved ones the lives you all deserve.

Step 5 - Write down the urgent thing or things you need to accomplish.

Step 6 - Realize this as an ongoing life process, and to be patient with yourself and others.

Step 7 - Help others tune into their Why-FI channels.


Guideposts to Living in the I-Am
  1. Live fully in each moment

  2. Realize that each moment contains all you need to live in that moment.

  3. Plan for the future, but live in the now.

  4. Replace "I want ... " with "I am . . ."

  5. Live in the positive "I am," e.g. do not state "I want to lose weight," but  "I am achieving healthiest self," or "I am a healthy eater," etc.

  6. Forgive yourself for any setbacks, and congratulate yourself for any small victories on the path toward your true self.

  7. Each moment live your inner-life as you were meant to be (to the best of your understanding), and with each successive moment you will become more of who you are truly meant to be. 

More Tools of the Omni Recovery and Personal Growth Network
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Posted: Sep 24, 2009 3:19pm
Jul 19, 2008

A vote for Nader in 2000 was not a vote for Bush. A vote for McKinney (The Green Party Nominee for President in 2008) is not a vote for McCain. A vote for a third party or independent party candidate sends a message to the major parties that you are dissatisfied with the two party system and want serious change. When Nader so-called spoiled Gore's bid for the White House it showed that many mainstream voters thought that the SYSTEM WAS SO SPOILED that they could no longer automatically vote for one of the establishment candidates.

Voters should have the courage to send a message to the political establishment of what their deep seated beliefs and views truly are. Democrats should not bemoan Nader's "spoiling" of the 2000 election, but instead explore the discontentment of the Nader voters to understand how they can bring disaffected voters back in the fold.

After all the radical ideas the greens had about the environment, climate change, and (in 2004) of anti-Iraq War sentiment have now been integrated into the mainstream of American politics - even being embraced by a surprising number of Republicans. A mere coincidence? I think not.

How can you spoil a system which is already spoiled?

I submit that Nader's two recent runs have jarred the American political conscience to refresh the tenor of political debate in this country - making our system a little less spoiled.

Maybe if Gore showed more of the political courage and clarity he is now showing - and had fired Carvel and his clown show - then maybe he would have "spoiled" Nader's chances at making an impressive third-party run and had gone on to grab the White House.

The Democrats also backed down from their constitutional right and duty to challenge the Florida and Texas (two Texas "inhabitants" were on the same ticket - in violation of the constitution) a needed fight worth risking the stability of the Republic in exchange for her long-term integrity.

Indeed the founding document of the nation states, "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

The two party system in this country is spoiled and each year our duty as citizens should be to make the establishment candidates EARN OUR VOTES, not to automatically grant them our consent. I say to lovers of the history behind the founding of our nation, read the Declaration of Independence each day during this election season, and the preamble to the Constitution, then ponder what it means to vote like a true American - one loyal to the spirit of the founders.

Examination of the Constitution will find no reference to the two-party system or the establishment of any political parties for that matter. Read the Preamble to the Constitution and the Declaration twice on election day, then vote your conscience - if that is for a Democrat or Republican then go for it. But if you truly want to make Nader, McKinney, Barr, or another candidate your choice then do so in the spirit and guidance of our nation's founding document. DECLARE YOUR INDEPENDENCE ON ELECTION DAY!

After all if voters, in 1860, were afraid to vote for the spoiler candidate, Abraham Lincoln would not have become the first Republican president.

Maybe we should petition the Congress to read the Declaration of Independence at the beginning of each session - that might give them some humility and humbleness and appreciation for the sacredness of the mission for which we have entrusted them.  I wonder when the last time was when Cheney read the Document?

Donald Michael Schwartz, Ypsilanti, MI

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Posted: Jul 19, 2008 8:34pm
Mar 22, 2008
My name is Donald Schwartz from Michigan. I would like to spread some spring cheer with the haiku I composed below and a picture I took a few years ago of what a Michigan spring melt can give rebirth to -- a good old Michigan vernal pond. This experience also helped me deal with writer's block.
Michigan weather creates many interesting phenomena, and on one such phenomenal day, not too long ago, created the perfect ice to send me sliding with the speed of Sammy Sosa sliding into home plate to break my foot into two places and rip my left ankle totally out of its socket. What a wonderful morning that was! And I am determined to turn this life setback into energy to move my life forward in a positive direction. I share my story with my community so we can encourage each other to smile in the face of trauma, and to raise the happiness and hopefulness level of the community however much I can. But more about that later, first let me finish telling you the tale of my own "perfect storm" of fate.

Once I overcame the shock of not being able to lift my left, of feeling pinned to the pavement with an invisible archival pin of a butterfly collector -- I looked up to the sky looking for an answer as to how I got into this situation. Up straight above me was the pattern of fish-scale shaped clouds indicating a cold front has just moved in. That was how the soft ice of earlier that morning had suddenly turned slick, clean, shinny and hard. The ice melt floating on top of the ice, froze within a couple of hours that March Tuesday, as if a Zomboni had driven all through Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. As I examined the ice patch, I noticed a nice clear runway leading to a dry patch near my resting left boot, which must have caught the heel of my boot leading to the break of my foot which was now pointing out at a 90 degree angle. Soon after, two good Samaritans, came by to check on me. One of them informed my nearby workplace of what happened, which brought out my team leader out to keep me company till the ambulance came. The other good Samaritan called the ambulance for me, and waited till the EMTs came. The remaining good Samaritan happened to be a former EMT, so she took down a history, which she gave to the arriving ambulance crew to help expedite matters. Two policemen had also stopped by before the ambulance, which was fortunate since they helped the two EMTs, having to straddle the ice, to lift me safely onto the stretcher.

At the hospital I focused on keeping happy thoughts, on saying silently to myself that something profoundly good would come of this - that maybe there was a reason for crossing paths with the people I did; maybe my life needed a much needed contemplative slowdown.. This attitude has helped me tremendously. Before the staff members were about to set my foot, I asked everyone to pause for a moment, and that the nurse grab my backpack. I then dug out some cards to distribute to everyone which had wildflower seeds embedded in them. The nurse distributed them for me as I explained that the cards could be planted whole, and watered to give bloom to wildflowers. Each card could also have a message or prayer written on it to be symbolically be "bloomed" with their care. They really appreciated this and my gesture created a party-like atmosphere while setting my leg. I felt virtually no pain as my leg was being set.

Since I've been home, I've had a chance to meet the challenges of carrying out household tasks on one leg. It is great to feel such a renewed since of self-reliance. I have even been "growing" vitamins and proteins in my apartment by setting up a seed sprouting operation in my kitchenette in my "one-legged" state. I have also "cultivated" closer relations to certain people in my life and have had a chance to further develop my meditation and empowered-creative writing practice. I have been meditating on some "re-scripting" of traumatic childhood experiences, which has help me greatly to release feelings of guilt, resentment, and shame related to my youth. By re-scripting I mean taking myself back to traumatic childhood experiences in more empowered ways. You can check out my blog for more information.
If you would like to share one of your empowering stories, please post to my blog, so we can all lift our spirits.
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Posted: Mar 22, 2008 11:12am
Feb 11, 2008

An Opportunity to Renew New Year's Resolutions

(Originally written on Martin Luther King Jr. Day)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day marks the the birthday of the inspiring civil rights leader, of course, but it is also for many of us a time when the energy towards our New Year's resolutions starts to wane. Old habits start to re-emerge and we begin to realize just how difficult it really is to keep up those pledges. So I decided to renew my personal commitments, this MLK Day, in honor of the tireless fighter for change - Martin Luther King Jr. I humbly share ten thoughts below, based on a survey of methods I studied on carrying out life resolutions. I hope they are of some help to my readers. Let's start calling them Full Year's Resolutions instead of New Year's Resolutions!
Donald M. Schwartz, Ypsilanti, Michigan, January 21, 2008

Ten Tips for Renewing Your New Full Year's Resolutions

  1. “Be the Change you want to see in the world.”
    The above quote from Gandhi was a key theme for Dr. Martin Luther King's non-violent movement.
    Reframe your resolutions in a larger humanitarian context; how can you start to "be the change you want to see in the world."
  2. Think about how fulfilling our resolutions would contribute to humanity.
    Think about the accomplishments you could achieve by living a longer healthier life for your family and community. Add humanitarian resolutions to your list (you can start out small, every gesture matters).
  3. Think about resolutions in terms of gain, instead of loss.
    Probably the biggest reason New Year's resolutions fail is because they usually are stated in the negative instead of the positive, such as, losing weight, stopping smoking, quitting cursing, etc.
    For instance instead of "quitting smoking," one could broaden focus to "breathing cleaner air," "losing weight" can become "eating healthier," and "quitting cursing" can become "learning to speak more eloquently." Think about expanding your resolutions in a broader humanitarian context, such as:
    • Working for cleaner air,
    • Having a group of quitting smokers pool money saved from not buying tobacco into a fund for a community cause,
    • Organizing a youth education program on healthier food choices,
    • Starting a creative writing program for youth on how to express anger and frustration with empowered language instead of cursing and racial slurs, etc.
  4. "Out with the Old" Exercise.
    The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. talked often about old thinking getting in the way of change.
    Take pencil to paper. Write down as quickly as you can, with out regard to grammar, all the negative thoughts getting in the way of accomplishing your resolutions - then ceremoniously shred the paper and mix in with your compost freeing yourself to do next exercise.
  5. Breaking down resolutions into smaller steps
    Start writing down the small steps you need to take to renew your resolutions, and pledge to at least do the first micro-step this week.
  6. Share your resolutions.
    Of course Dr. King declared his resolutions publicly many times, inviting others to join him in his resolve.
    Today ordinary people can declare their resolutions to the world on online social networks like You could list all the smaller and related resolutions needed to carry out the big resolution. So go on, ask your friends to visit your list to register their support. Gain focus, get inspiration, get support, regain focus...
  7. Think about the "Butterfly Effect!"
    One good deed inspires another!
  8. Focus on your feelings of well being, each time you carry out a resolution.
    Make a note on a card and carry it around to remind you.
  9. Project what your life will be like December 31, 2008
    Have a dream! Make it a reality!
    Sit down and write what your conversation would sound like with your best friend (or on the Oprah Winfrey Show) talking about your accomplishments in 2008 and how they changed your life, what challenges you had to go through; and how you bettered your family's life, and perhaps the life of your community and beyond! On January 1, 2009 upon what life foundation will you be working from?

  10. Don't beat yourself up over regressions, keep claiming each small victory and keep re-focusing on the foundation you're building for 2009.
    Keep taking good care of yourself to live another day to fight the good fight!


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Posted: Feb 11, 2008 4:44pm
Feb 11, 2008

Below is a copy of the "Optimist Creed"

I am using the famous poem as the theme for my life mission. Each month I choose a different line as a main theme for what I am trying to accomplish in that leg of my journey. I hope you join me in my quest to live out Larson's empowering words.
-- Donald Schwartz, Host, Power Of Words care2 group.

"The Optimist Creed," by Christian D. Larson

  • I promise myself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

  • To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

  • To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

  • To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

  • To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

  • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

  • To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

  • To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

  • To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

  • To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

  • To think well of myself and proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words but in great deeds.
  • To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side, so long as I am true to the best that is in me.
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Posted: Feb 11, 2008 3:59pm
Jan 12, 2008
We may be able to truly think with our hearts after all! Check out this link to find out what some heart transplant reciepients have exprerienced:

Check it out and tell us what you think.
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Posted: Jan 12, 2008 9:19am


Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.


Donald Michael Schwartz
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Ypsilanti, MI, USA
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