April 2018 Newsletter

Greetings from all of us here at Serenity Now.

I (Brooke) want to wish you a Happy Easter!

It is my favorite holiday, partly because it reminds me that whatever limits or challenges we are facing can be overcome. When I remembered that today happens to be the day that we start our 15th year in business, I wanted to thank you for your part in what, at times, seemed to be the impossible.

One of my favorite stories about overcoming what seems to be the impossible concerns the events that took place almost 50 years ago when three men escaped Alcatraz. Two of them were brothers from, believe it or not, near Tampa (Ruskin actually). They were not hardened criminals. They actually tried to rob a bank with a toy gun. Their intention was not to harm anyone. Not that I am condoning robbery, but part of me can see where they were may have been a lot like some of the rest of us when we saw our first paycheck. I know my questions were, “Who is FICA and why is she taking half of my check?”

I was totally fascinated by the lengths they were willing to go. One of them took an art class, because they had to make paper-mache heads to put under blankets when there was a headcount by the guards at the end of the night. Another gave haircuts at the barber shop and saved hair in the cuffs of his pants. They used the clippings to put hair on the fake heads. They actually used spoons to dig their way out of their cells.

My favorite part of the story was that the reason they were able to actually bring the walls down (metaphorically), was that the prison was already crumbling due to the harsh conditions. That was part of the reason the Alcatraz location was picked in the first place.

The reason that this whole story gave even more relevance to me, was when I heard Brian Grazer on Super Soul Sunday (Season 6, Ep. 11, original date 04/19/2015). He is the Oscar-winning producer of Splash, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, and Empire. He said “We are all trapped in our own way of thinking, and trapped in our own way of relating to people. We get so used to seeing the world in our own way that we come to think that the world is the way that we see it. We come to think our view is the definitive view. Redemption is possible.”

After hearing this, it was easier to realize that the bars of Alcatraz are made up of firmly held beliefs or convictions. In other words: Our convictions can convict us.

Today I seem to hear that the message of the holiday, which is to overcome challenges and obstacles, is not only possible; but probable.