I lead an 8-week online coaching program for people in recovery from addiction.
100% of the participants who apply themselves, who complete the individual activities assigned to them, and who adopt these daily practices into their lives experience a radically positive transformation.
Therefore, my job as a coach and teacher is not just to present compelling strategies and processes for creating change, but also to inspire people to pursue these strategies and actually implement them.
1) WHAT STANDS IN THE WAY?
The #1 challenge I hear is based on a person having a poor track record.
“I have a hard time completing tasks.”
“I’m not great when it comes to consistency.”
“I’ve tried so many times, and it’s never worked before.”
All recovering addicts have a poor track record. To break out of this self-sabotaging inner dialog one must start by doing a few basic things. We need small victories.
2) EXAMPLES OF SMALL VICTORIES
In the coaching program, things need to be manageable, engaging and enjoyable. Tasks can almost always be completed in less than 60 minutes.
· Join the coaching calls each week.
· Do morning practice along with me on video.
· Read this selection from so and so book.
· Watch this instructional video. Write down what it means to you.
· Commit to 1 act of self-care this week like eating a healthy meal, taking a hike or meditating.
Once people taste the feeling of completing tasks that promote their well-being, a certain momentum can take place and that leads to repetition.
3) THE POWER OF REPETITION
Repetition is critical for transformation whether positive or negative.
Addiction takes hold of us through the repetition of self-harming behaviors.
And so it is that recovery and personal development happen when we repeat behaviors that promote connection, healing and wellness.
In a recent blog post on Medium, psychologist, Benjamin P. Hardy, wrote
“If you cultivate amazing daily habits, you can be assured a fruitful harvest.
If you plant big dreams and do the work toward them daily, over time you will experience exponential progress toward your dreams. Consistency is the key.”
This holds true for every area of your life. All relationships develop this way. All skills develop this way. Building strength, immunity, vitality and radiance takes a steady, consistent approach.
4) TAKE THE FIRST STEP (The rest will follow.)
If I could imprint one message upon the minds of my coaching program participants it would be this:
Small things done consistently in strategic places over time bring progress.
The first time I heard this phrase it inspired and empowered me to move beyond a lifelong bout with procrastination. Suddenly, I could take the first step toward the thousand-mile journey.
Whatever is going to happen in your life is going to happen today. The things that you desire to achieve can only be chipped away at.
The 12-Step aphorism, “one day at a time “ comes into play here. Previously, that saying helped me to ward off cravings to get through just this one day clean and sober.
Now, I see a deeper context to it. Achievements can only be realized by the one-day-at-a-time repetition of actions that strategically lead to a desired outcome. Knowing this is valuable, but also daunting for those impatient folks among us. (Read: Everyone).
5) CRAVING THE FUTURE
Most people live for the future moment where we will have completion.
All along the way we experience frustration because the completion hasn’t come yet. If the completion doesn’t ever come, then we are all the more frustrated.
And often, when the completion does come, it is not what we thought it would be.
This is called craving the future and it is as much an addiction as any other behavior.
Relating more consciously to this present moment is one of the keys. This requires a certain steadiness and also a release of our attempt to control the future.
6) TURN ON THE ENGINES OF STEADINESS and LETTING GO
Borrowing from the philosophical treasure trove of yoga let’s look at two Sanskrit terms – Abhyasa and Vairagya.
Abhyasa means steadiness of practice. Vairagya means to let go of attachment to outcomes.
Abhyasa and Vairagya are the two engines that drive personal evolution and growth.
It begins with a steady practice. We design our life around this practice so that it takes precedence. It is like a fount from which all creativity and progress can flow. Abhyasa opens the spigot.
Staying present, being in acceptance of the process itself and not being attached to the outcome is what Vairagya is all about. It suggests that we enjoy the journey.
Remember, it’s awesome to pursue a goal except when the pursuit of it is drudgery. Make the pursuit of what you love the accomplishment in and of itself.
7) THE SEEKING ITSELF IS GRATIFYING
The happiest people I know are those who are living for a purpose, a higher aspiration.
We human beings need to feel connected to a purpose. It is one of the ways we find fulfillment in life.
Many people who have not yet done the work to live “on purpose” make choices that represent a kind of “throwing in the towel” mentality. “I don’t know what to do so I’ll settle for whatever comes whether it is fulfilling or not.”
Eventually, the dissatisfaction of that kind of life will catch up with a person and they will be compelled to change.
If this is you, don’t wait for that day to come. Declare to the world (or at least to yourself) that you have reached a bottom and set your sights on a transformation.
If you do not yet know what your purpose is, then your purpose becomes finding your purpose and this is purpose enough for anyone.
The seeking itself is gratifying. If you are patient, humble and grateful, you will get to where you need to get to in this life.
8) THERE IS NO GRADUATION AND NO RETIREMENT
Life is a never-ending evolutionary process. We must continue to learn and grow if we are to realize our fullest potential.
When I lecture on this point some people protest, “My goodness, is there no rest? When does this end?”
“What would you prefer to do,” I ask, “return to stagnation?”
“No, but can’t we have weekends off?
“Of course not!”
“But do we constantly have to work so hard?” “It’s just that the work you are doing appears to be work still rather than joy. When you have joy doing what you do then you will keep on doing it and it will not appear as hard work any longer.”
We are talking about embracing a life that forever carries you forward so you can realize the fullest expression of you in this world.
Do you find that overwhelming? f so, don’t confuse this with the sense of overwhelm you may feel due to the stresses of a life filled with if-then thinking. Then you will be living for a future that may or may not ever arrive and you will definitely want to retire from that.
The good news is this: You will get to approach your evolution in your particular way, at your particular pace.
Along the way, there will be challenges and hardships along with love, connection and the immense joy of being alive.
It will be important to release the idea that you are trying to get to the point where you can finally graduate, relax and retire.
As I tell my coaching program participants, “Anyone who graduates this course, fails.”
Remember, there is no such thing as graduation or retirement for a person who is living creatively and spontaneously. Who would want to retire from that?
Tommy Rosen is a Yoga Teacher, Addiction Recovery Expert and Author of Recovery 2.0.
His 8-Week Online Coaching Programs have helped thousands of people to heal, transform and thrive.
To learn more and connect with Tommy, visit http://TommyRosen.com.
If you or a loved one has struggled with addiction, come join us at: https://r20.com