Travis "The Featherhawk" Snyder

This is Travis "The Featherhawk" Snyder, and today he celebrates 4 years of continuous recovery. Let's show him some love support and encouragement as he continues to lead his life in a positive direction. 

Q: Could you briefly tell us about yourself?
I’m Travis “The Featherhawk” Snyder, a grateful recovering addict from Hegins, Pennsylvania. Through the spiritual process of recovery I have discovered a new, profound and loving way of life. With open mindful awareness and by expanding on the qualities of love, compassion, forgiveness and acceptance - This new way of life has brought to me a grand sense of purpose and fulfillment that I once believed to never exist. Today, tomorrow and forever I will be using my god given abilities to create everything with the underlying purpose of serving humanity. 

Q: What was your drug of choice?

Q: What is your sobriety date?
December 22nd, 2011. 

Q: Looking back, was there a turning point during your addiction?
I first used heroin when I was 16 years old. My behaviors caused my addiction to progress to a seemingly endless cycle of negative outcomes. At 23 years old I began to inject drugs. Four years ago, at the age of 30, during the worst of my active addiction and on this date (December 22, 2011) I was arrested and locked up on drug charges. I was sick. I was laying on the concrete floor of the Schuylkill County Prison, crying in pain, feeling hopeless and helpless. I was mentally, spiritually and physically broken. Although I did not know what God was...I repeatedly asked this “God” for help. It wasn’t until a little over a month of being there that I started to really feel healthy and conscious. Although I was surrendering, my disease remained powerful. I was fighting negative thoughts, reasoning with negative behaviors and allowing my addiction to bring back my will. Thankfully, my bail stipulations kept me incarcerated until I was able to be released for treatment. While in jail, I exercised daily, I kept busy with creative projects, and eventually I began to feel again. As soon as I truly started to FEEL, I received a letter from my family reminding me that they love me and that they believe in me. This moment brought a deep feeling of gratitude that words can hardly describe. I cried. This moment also brought an even bigger realization. One that made me realize if I was going to live a healthy life in recovery - That I had some serious work to do..starting with completely surrendering my will. On April 16, 2012 I was released to a Therapeutic Community Rehab Facility in Harrisburg called Common Ground. Before entering treatment I decided to take on the figurative role of a giant baby who needed to learn how to live and to do so in a positive way. This was my 3rd time in rehab, but for the first time I completely opened my mind to all those who presented their teachings, lessons, experience, strength and hope. Being open minded led to an eye opening self-discovery….self-discovery led to gratitude, love and awareness...gratitude, love and awareness led to acceptance, forgiveness and compassion….and all this led me right to the understanding and acceptance of a higher power. Today my higher power is an all knowing all understanding, divine source of love, light and energy known as God. 

Q: What is a slogan that best expresses your current point of view in recovery?
“Attitude of Gratitude” It is my belief that gratitude is a positive loving energy that stems from our past experiences and all things in front of our own eyes. It's the realization of the here and now. It comes from the understanding that everything about our life, and ability to live like we do, is a gift of consciousness.

Q: What are some daily practices and key aspects in your life that assist you in your recovery?
Expressing gratitude, positive affirmations, practicing total awareness, meditation & selfless prayer, fitness, practicing healthy nutrition intake, practicing acceptance, practicing healthy communication and social skills,writing, reading, reflecting, creative expression, artistic expression, honesty, kindness, integrity. I seek higher consciousness by observing life with a “Big Picture” perspective. Smiling, focused positive intent, being of service to others, mindfulness and name just a few. 

Q: As a person in recovery, do you have any advice you could offer to someone looking to get clean?
You will suffer the tremendously uncomfortable consequences of your active addiction. It is my belief that when we proceed this by surrendering our will and opening our mind, we then allow for a chance to discover our true loving self. Discovering our true loving self and living from that place has the potential to create profound life altering realizations. How will you proceed?

Q: Addiction is affecting hundreds in Schuylkill County and abroad. It's very saddening. Any advice to people trying to help their loved ones to seek help?
This is the hardest area of addiction. From what I have learned, addiction is a “disease of the mind” which affects the addicts brain chemistry, health and spiritual well-being and quite often ends up having a devastating affect on the lives and well-being of the ones who love them. The disease is the same, yet every situation is different. Because we in denial and we have changed our brain chemistry to react mostly to gratification - repeatedly telling us what we need to do will hardly ever get through to us. Something that can be effective over time is always telling us how you feel as a result of the things we do. Of course you will not love what we do, but loving us is important and can be instrumental during the important first stages of recovery.

Q: Why are projects like "The Skook Recovers" important in this day and age?
I truly believe that projects like this can bring our society into a more unified loving state of consciousness. By sharing our stories and promoting love, support and encouragement, we can raise the level of compassion that is necessary for positive changes that no amount of funding will fund. Publicly sharing our stories gives all people in our community a place to draw inspiration from real life stories of courage and strength. These testimonies contain hope. Many of us know that a little bit of hope can go a long way for someone who is struggling with addiction, or who has a loved one who is struggling. It reminds people that they are not alone and there is a way out of the dark. I feel that it is important to shine a brighter more available, see-able light that can often guide the struggling out of the dark. 

Q: Could you tell us about the good things that your new life in recovery has brought to you and/or improved, including what you are grateful for? 
I have a conscious contact with God and expanded awareness. I am able to love others as I love myself. I have learned to live out God’s will by creating from a place of love and by acting upon even the slightest intuitive realizations. I am surrounded by love. I am able to give without wanting anything in return. I have embraced the amazingness of my family and friends, who also show love support and encouragement for everything I do. I am empowered by the spirit within and this spirit is partially fueled by the appreciation, acceptance and gratitude for all moments leading up to, and including now. Today I am able to not pass judgement. Today I am able to remove many expectations. Today I am able to create moments, events and inspiration so that other may come to their own trans-formative realizations. And when they do I am able to openly share with them all that I have learned from my own experiences.