2017 ISO of COSA Annual Convention
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ISO of COSA Diversity Statement
The 2016 COSA Convention, Winds of Change, was held May 27-30 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. Recordings of the sessions and speakers are now available through the COSA Store in MP3 format. Here are some reflections from some COSAs on their convention experience (some editing may have occurred due to space considerations). These statements reflect only the experiences of the individuals who shared them, not that of COSA as a whole.
"Being at my first COSA convention was an eye popping experience. I attend one very small face to face meeting a week near where I live but get most of my recovery and my awesome sponsor from the 10th Step noon telemeeting that I attend. But nothing in those meetings prepared me for the powerful experience of being amongst so many dedicated COSAs like myself who want and need recovery as I do. I repeatedly learn with the help of my higher power and by working the steps with my sponsor that I must do life for myself and not for others. This is what COSA and my first convention has given me. The greatest gift of all - ME."
"The (delegate) meeting gave people a chance to disagree respectfully, learn from each other and understand the work of the ISO of COSA. The rest of the convention felt like a retreat. All of the speakers and panelists had great insights and perspectives. I really loved the chance to connect one a personal level with so many people from different parts of the country. Their experience, strength and hope was so enriching to me. I appreciate how the schedule allowed time for those connections. One of the best parts of the convention was the Monday morning session, which was lovely. It gave me time to consolidate my experience at the convention, and to prepare to go back out into the wider world."
"(The convention) far exceeded my expectations. I was blown away by how well organized it was and the profound experiences, strength, and hope (ESH) shared at each and every workshop I attended. One of the highlight moments was meeting two of my Zoom meeting COSA sisters in person. Each workshop I attended not only validated my painful journey, but it also gave me strength and hope to stay on course because I could see how far this program had taken so many others who walked alongside me. I was fortunate to attend the convention with my recovering SA husband. We attended several wonderful sessions geared for couples. The Saturday Night Banquet speaker, Trish H., spoke to my soul as she told her story. What a great opportunity for healing together."
"The positive things - were people there with good recovery who had survived everything and were happy. Another positive thing I now realize was that we got to do an activity - Chicago tourism bus tour with other COSAs and SAA members. I found out that even if my husband stays sober forever that doesn't fix me and that doesn't fix us. I'm going to continue in COSA, in therapy, in a marriage. I may not see a light at the end of the tunnel now, but maybe I will one day."
"Chicago was my first experience at a COSA convention, and I have no regrets except that I did not attend one earlier. During the Convention, I was able to use my tools. I heard some fantastic stories and speakers-we come from all walks of like but the stories are so similar in the end."
"I decided to go to the Chicago convention because I needed the face-to-face contact with other recovering people. I was sure I would see a few people that I meet with regularly on Zoom. When I got there, I found another familiar recovering person and so many others that became friends and confidants very quickly. I enjoyed the sincerity and the depth of the ESH of each speaker, and the sharing that came from the meetings. Having this experience provided me with hope for growth in my own meetings. My room at the Hyatt was lovely and I would stay there again! Thanks to all the planners and attendees that made this a special weekend."
"This was my first COSA convention. I've been in COSA for four years so I thought I knew what to expect. What I didn't expect was the emphasis on self-care, from the first introductory session, I was instructed to take care of myself. It far exceeded my expectations. I attended workshops and was impressed with the experience, strength, and hope that I saw across COSA. It wasn’t just my home town anymore, COSA recovery, for me, now had faces in many places. I was pleasantly surprised by the support I felt in the workshops. I identified with many of the speakers and panelists. Self-Care was not what I thought my take-away from the convention would be, but I've been able to bring it home with me and work toward better self-care."
"This was my second convention experience, and my first as a delegate. It was a transformative experience for me. Having hundreds of spiritual seekers in one place lifts the energy for everyone. Knowing that every happy, empowered and wise person I met comes from a background of difficult and painful experiences is life changing. Hope is contagious and it spreads at the convention. As a delegate, I’m grateful for all the work that the ISO is doing. One of the most uplifting things I heard is where someone said during the vote: "The minority vote in the room is the most important one." I was also encouraged by the discussion of inclusivity of the third tradition, and the principle that everyone who performs service for COSA is endowed with the authority and freedom to make their contribution."
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