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June 20, 2003 - Image 50

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-06-20

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9th Annual Downtown




from page 49


Saturday and Sunday

June 21 & 22 • lOarn Sprn

Cantorial soloist Penny Steyer performs prior to the Shabbat Yoga service.

Outdoor pried art festival
featuring the work of over 200 artists
from across the nation.

Located on Maple Road outdoors on
the acreage of the Henry Ford Medical Center

(Take 1-696 to Orchard Lake Road - go north to Maple Road - turn left)

For more information call
248-626-3636 or 954-472-3755

Howard Alan Events, Ltd.


Sponsored Dy



lite roer".**4'

Marketing, Inc.

"My friend said, 'Look, they didn't
get this,' and pulled out a bag of dope.
We sat down and got high. That was
the first dose I had of how messed up
I was," Paskel said.
Looking back, Paskel said his drug
use stemmed from insecurities and a
fear of failing to live up to the expec-
tations imposed on him growing up in
an affluent Jewish community.
He took his first drink when he was
11, and soon started smoking pot. It
wasn't long before he graduated to
harder drugs, dropped out of school
and alienated his family and friends.
"More and more, I couldn't face
people. I felt completely out of con-
trol. I was empty, so lonely and
ashamed of who I was," Paskel said.
Finally, he asked for help.
Paskel's parents, Marlene and
Clifford Paskel, signed him up for
rehab at the Life Center in Auburn
Hills, and after 30 days he emerged,
committed to staying clean.
"That was when I had my first spir-
itual awakening. I realized there was a
God, and it wasn't me," Paskel said.
So began Paskel's long road to
recovery, in which he would discover
and blend the tenets of sobriety, thera-
py, spirituality and yoga.

On The Path

After college, Paskel moved to Los
Angeles with Lisa and turned his ener-
gy to acting, landing roles in commer-
cials, soap operas and shows like
Baywatch and Beverly Hills 90210.
He attended Alcoholics and
Narcotics Anonymous, and organized
12-step meetings on the campus of
Antioch University in L.A., where he
enrolled in a master's program in clini-
cal psychology.
Still, something was lacking, until
he discovered Beit T'Shuvah, a syna-

gogue and residential treatment cen-
ter in the heart of Los Angeles.
It was during an internship there
that Paskel met Rabbi Mark
Borovitz. The nationally recognized
rabbi used the teachings of the Torah
to help people overcome addiction
— from drug and alcohol abuse, to
unhealthy dependency on external
Paskel became determined to
reach out to others, and decided to
drop acting and move back to
"I was actually told by Rabbi
Borovitz to come back here and do
something holy," he said.
Another piece of the puzzle fell
into place when he began studying
yoga with his old friend, Johnny
Kest, who eventually invited him to
be a partner in Center for Yoga.
Now, many of the patients who
visit Paskel for marriage, family and
child therapy at his Southfield office
also take his classes at Center for
Yoga. His wife, Lisa, and sister,
Caren, teach there , and his parents
and sister, Lianne, take classes.
At the Midwest Yoga Conference,
Paskel led a session called "Who Is
An Addict," helping people identify
addictive behavior and use yoga to
arrest it.
He also works with the Friendship
Circle, reaching out to teenagers who
need help with isolation, addictions
and other crises.
As Paskel marks 17 years of sobri-
ety, he celebrates everything that has
grown from his commitment to self-
awareness and realization, especially
his wife and daughters, Ella Blue, 4,
and Laila Dream, 1.
"I didn't really ever think I'd live
until 30," he said. "I am truly
blessed." 111


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