PART 1 – Dare to Dream Again | Dream Your Life Awake

It is recommended that the reader print the “Flash Drive Forms” and “Terms and Definitions” page prior to reviewing this online educational platform to aid one’s comprehension and understanding.

Note: This Core Stream is reviewed once every 4-5 treatment appointments.

This core stream builds on the entry core stream. With each upward stream advanced, the previous core program continues. With this core level, not only is your recovery “voice” recorded on the “Flash Drive Forms” but we invoke the “awareness is power” principle, through the defining of one’s recovery vision and the foundation it is built upon.

The objective of the level two core stream is for individuals to locate their “North Star(s)” which functions as a Recovery Vision Board in action. A North Star or its constellation acts as an anchor, conductor, driver and compass for making a recovery possible, especially when tied to one’s Recovery Activation Code. They are like nutrients fertilizing the soil of one’s life for growth. In effect, North Stars act as the overarching master recovery driver unit, building “hopefulness” and “agency” moment by moment, day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year in one’s recovery journey. When people locate their North Star(s), they have answered, “What makes my recovery sing?” and what kind of recovery glue can be applied to hold this journey together” through thick and thin and through joys and accomplishments. Further, aligning the connection between North Star(s) with The Recovery Code Signature ensures the best possible synergy to drive a recovery forward.

– It just takes one North Star with a magnitude of weight to enable The Uplifting Force to provide the lift required to live a more Person Directed Life as opposed to subsisting in and an Illness Centered Life.

Content Requirements: There are no specific content basics required, however, familiarity with content basics for the entry core stream is necessary.

Consumer Materials: A journal book; writing and colored instruments and North Star Chart


Most people who experience chronic “treatment resistance” erosion of their recovery mindset, know readily about what they don’t want in their life to experience rather than knowing what they do want. By focusing solely on avoidance of what is not wanted, the anxiety bound to this way of thinking unnecessarily builds further resistance towards making a recovery achievable. Metaphorically speaking, this is the difference between wind aided sailing against the current verses paddling against the current.

North Stars come in six flavors (see below) housed in five types of cyclical terms. The cyclical terms are seasonal cycles; weekly cycles; monthly cycles; yearly cycles or daily cycles. These cycles have duration periods that can be assigned, a) short-term, under 12 months and b) a long-term, over 12 months. All North Stars are assigned either a short-term or long-term period of duration. As well, each actionable North Star or activity possess a “Destination” with a defined outcome date or possess an “Open Ended” status with no end date.

As mentioned, North Stars, come in 6 value-based flavors, a) themes, b) talent/abilities, c) passions, d) roles, g) connections and h) productivity.  Each flavor is connected to an action or an activity representing the flavor. Consider a North Star having a flavor “value”. In this example, the role as a grandparent is held in high regard as a North Star. In regards to its term cycle, this value-based flavor can be designated as “Open Ended” and have a weekly cycle since the grandparent gets a sleepover with the grandchild on weekends. The activities connected to this value flavor can be reading bedtime stories; preparing their meals and so forth. Conversely, this North Star could also be considered for a Connection or a Passion flavor. Consider, another North Star characterized by the value of talent/ability, like learning to play the piano. This flavor can be defined as having a short-term duration and is considered a ‘Destination “ North Star with an end date and specific outcome. Let’s take a closer look,

-North Stars can wear multiple flavor designations attached to an activity and or behavior.-

In my lived experience with trauma, major depression and anxiety, I held my interest in going for neighborhood walks. I aimed for at least a two to three- time weekly walk, hence a weekly cycle. It was open-ended in duration with an outcome to complete.

Ability/ Talent Based: In this flavor domain, a person exercises their innate or acquired attributes to their fullest. For example, an individual may exercise their vocal talents in a choir or as a shower singer. Another example would be picking up a lost pastime of running which was loved. Here, a person decides to rekindle this passion by training and entering a ½ marathon. In another example, an individual has learned skills and abilities in financial management and decides to offer this talent to a community organization. An innate talent for dogs for some people can lead to dog walking for these neighborhood pets.

In my lived experience with trauma, major depression and anxiety, I valued my creativity as an ability I possessed. The activities leveraging this creative spirit were, learning about topics on nutrition and turning the ideas generated into writing projects and workshops I can share. This was an open-ended, aspiration focused on a weekly cycle. I held a natural ability to play volleyball from my high school days which was rekindled by joining a drop-in recreational volleyball program for the winter season. This was a destination north star of a short-term duration with a fixed end date.

-There is no correct or right designations placed on North Stars. Only those that are right for you in your estimation-

-Passion Based: These are North Stars that light up the heart and mind, like cooking; cycling; canoeing; traveling; parenting; sexual intimacy, volunteering and so forth.

In my lived experience with trauma, major depression and anxiety, my passion was my children. This “passion” flavor also flowed over to represented flavors like “roles” and “connection”. This passion was open-ended and long-term in duration, with a weekly cycle. In another example, I loved upon awakening to make myself a cup of tea and lie on the couch so I could view the trees and hear the birds through the living room window.

Role Based: Roles of importance can be like being a fathering; mothering; caregiver; teacher; grandparent; student; volunteer; brother; sister; mother; father; work title, negotiator, listener, mediator and so forth.

In my lived experience with trauma, major depression and anxiety, I held to the role of being the best father I could to my two boys. Also, other significant roles of mine included the role of a listener, educator, explorer and negotiator. Since I saw them twice a month on weekends, my focus was on relational engagement through hikes, bike rides, reading stories, playing board games and having dinner conversations. These were “open-ended” and long-term in duration. As well, fathering held a “connection” flavor designation.

Theme Based: These North Stars are represented by an over-arching domain like fitness, health, learning, entertainment and so forth.

In my lived experience with trauma, major depression and anxiety, being “socially engaged” was important to aspire to. I used dating as the medium of activity. I utilized dating sites for this North Star to plan my social engagements with a goal to have one date per week. This was a short-term focus to be reevaluated, month by month, with a weekly cycle attached. I saw this as a “Destination” North Star with a defined outcome. In another example, I wanted to generate and feel some form of pleasure. Numbness was mostly what I experienced at times like these. This was my aspiration. So, I chose to watch the syndicated daily TV shows like Ellen, Dr. Phil and Oprah and found them interesting. The pleasurable feelings were in pleasant anticipation of looking forward to something. This was a daily cycle, with a short-term duration acting as a destination with an end date.

My last example to share is focused on my aspiration for building back my health, a health “theme” flavor. I could also have this health focus under an “Interest” flavor. I focused on my eating behaviors throughout the day with regard to nutrition. This was for me an open end long-term designation on a daily cycle.

Productivity Based: This flavor of North Star is tied to activities or behaviors that in the person’s judgement has a value of using their time productively and feeling an intrinsic reward upon completion. This can be making the bed, washing dishes, house cleaning, renovation projects, reading, playing cards, skill learning, and so forth.

In my lived experience with trauma, major depression and anxiety, there were times all I could do to be productive in a day was to clean the bathroom but do this in stages during the day. This was a destination North Star on a weekly cycle.

Connection Based: With this North Star flavor, connectivity to significant places, people, spaces, activities, interests and events. These are north stars one searches for and connects with that can offer warmth, comfort and a feeling of being in good company that matters and is of value.

In my lived experience with trauma, major depression and anxiety, I used spaces like going to the mall to envision the experience of still being connected to the human race. Also, dating was a useful way for me to connect. I also connected with nature by going on trail walks along with reading a good fiction book. The connectivity with my children was also vital for me.  As well, going to homey spaces like a lounge café to read and have a coffee helped me feel connected to my neighborhood. I used this space to have brief chats while paying the bill and in time the staff, before I asked, was able to serve me coffee the way I like it.  These forms of connectivity were recycled on a weekly basis and were open-ended with a long-term duration until otherwise suspended or ended.

(See Appendix for “Recovery Talking Points” questions)

A chart is provided for entering one’s North Stars along with instructions.

“We are all in this together.”

-The Recovery Specialist