SHOW NOTES: Today we have Warren Broad joining us on The SHAIR Podcast, the creator of the Recovery in the Now Program. He’s a therapist a counselor and a coach. So Warren, let’s dive right in. Tell us about how your life is today, your hobbies, exercise…take us into your normal daily routine, including recovery, but more importantly, tell us about your Recovery in the Now Program.
Warren: Well in day to day life exercise is absolutely a big part of recovery for me. I am constantly working towards some kind of goal and this time my hope is that come the spring, I’m in Canada so we get a fair amount of snow where I am in the winter, so I’ll be sort of doing indoor and outdoor training and I’m hoping to complete my first marathon possibly late spring, which will probably be either May or June of next year. So one of the big things in recovery for me is that I’m always working towards a goal. Without a goal, I’m often kind of floundering so I’ve got a running program that I’m following and trying to do my best to adhere to that, which does all sorts of great things. It keeps me on a trajectory towards a goal and I’m a firm believer in the benefits of cardio and what that does for mindset in recovery.
So day to day life at this point is a combination of working with my clients. I work with clients in person and I also work with clients virtually, either we’re on Skype or over the phone and there’s a real sort of combination between my in person clientele and my long distance clientele. With the training schedule that I’m on, I have to make sure that I take days off. Being an addict I like to do things to the extreme and if I’m not careful I would run every day if I could. I would injure myself and I already have once so I have to be very careful about making sure I do take my days off. It’s a combination between my family life, my work life and my exercise.
This episode was brought to you by Sober Nation.
Here are Warren’s SHAIR Podcast interview highlights and suggestions for the Newcomer:
O: Tell us Warren, how do you maintain your spiritual condition, that conscious contact with the higher power?
Warren: Well, that’s a great question. I was so happy that this was going to be part of what we talked about because I am a firm believer in spirituality. I believe during active addiction we are all robbed of our spirituality because it’s just a lifestyle that doesn’t really allow for spirituality. Spirituality for me on a daily basis is really a combination of things. Meditation is a huge part of my life and it really is I’d say the key component to recovery for me. So I do formal and informal meditations basically on a daily basis. So sometimes that’s as short as a five or ten minutes just sort of connecting to my body and to my surroundings, but I’m also a voracious reader. So even all the way back to my short stint at formal university coming out of high school, my BA was in philosophy and religion. So I’ve always found it fascinating to read about spiritual practices and not just in one realm. In every realm possible. I love reading about how people have worked faith in history and in their lives. So I’m often kind of jumping around between reading Buddhist practices or reading Hindu practices, Christian practices, different years. I’m more focused into different things.
Talk about that first time you drank or did drugs and more importantly how that made you feel?
Warren: I was quite young. It was grade seven for me so I was about 12-13 years old and I had suffered many years of anxiety and depression right back to about age eight so when I first got high, it was the biggest relief that I had ever kind of experienced to that point. I was one of those, I wouldn’t say this happens, maybe 50% of the time, but I was addicted the first try. It was such a relief for me at that point after so many years of being challenged with depression and anxiety that this was the greatest thing I had ever found at that point and essentially by the time I had reached grade nine, I was using daily.
What was keeping you from getting clean or staying clean when you first got introduced to recovery?
Warren: Internal dialog. What I really think it was is not managing the internal dialog and not being able to really understand why I was thinking the way I was thinking and the actual therapy necessary to change that.
At what point did you have a spiritual awakening, that ‘aha’ moment in recovery when you accepted you were powerless over drugs and alcohol, but for the first time had developed that hope that you could recover?
Warren: So the ‘aha’ moment was what I mentioned with reading “The Power of Now”. “The Power of Now” there was an actual moment of total clarity that for whatever reason through that book I was able to see that somebody else got it, that there was this part of our brain that was constantly trying to sabotage us. So that was my moment of “holy cow, I believe now recovery is possible” because I’m not alone anymore in this process. The rooms did a very good job of me feeling not alone, but just more on a sort of psychological level, that book was a massive break through for me. On the powerless side of things, my take on powerlessness is that when my addiction is active I’m completely powerless. I fully understand that and I fully believe that, that you put a bag of pot in front of me and I’m not going to be the one saying no, but on the other side of it is I believe actually that my power increases almost every day in recovery and that was an important little sort of tweak for me to make in my own process, was that I am gaining strength on many levels every day that I stay clean.
O: My next question for you was gong to be what book you would recommend to a newcomer that you read in early recovery. I don’t know if it’s Eckhart Tolle or if it was another one.
Warren: It would be “The Power of Now”. The second one I would say is more of a different style of writing, but I love the way “The Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Milman. It is just a beautiful, beautiful read about an individual. His issue wasn’t with drugs, but his issue was definitely with his mind and really there’s no major difference there and his story of how he worked through his own internal process, his own shame. He has a beautiful way of writing.
What is the best suggestion you have ever received?
SUGGESTION’S FOR THE NEWCOMER!
“it works if you work it so work it ’cause you’re worth it”
Warren: The best suggestion I’ve ever received is there’s a 12 step phrase for it of, I’m going to butcher this, but it works if you work it so work it, you’re worth it. I certainly was challenged with it. I’m different. I’m the exception to the rule. These things may work for everybody else, but they don’t work for me and I really had to overcome that part of ego and that phrase in 12 step recovery of it works if you work it, so work it, you’re worth it and if I stick to a process and I’m vigilant with that process, I’m not the exception to the rule. It’s going to work because it’s worked for so many and why would I let ego actually have me believe that I’m the exception to this rule, I’m the different one. That’s so important in recovery is work the processes, work the program, work whatever you’re doing consistently. Results will come.
If you could give a newcomer only one suggestion, what would that be?
Warren: Have faith. For whatever amount of time it takes. Obviously my process during the on and off years was a long one, but the one thing that did stick in there was I had a faith that at some point I was going to get it. I might need to find more tools and we all need to find the tools that ultimately work best for us, but as long as the faith component is there, it’ll happen.
O: Absolutely. Wonderful, wonderful suggestion Warren. Now Warren, before we say goodbye, I want you to tell us a little bit about your program, what you do as a coach, what you offer your clients and other people seeking recovery.
Warren: Yeah, so as an addictions coach, what I do primarily with my clients that isn’t really an option within 12 step meetings is that we do all have individual issues. We do all have individual internal dialog that needs to be worked through. So my process with my clients is to teach them some of these things that we talked about in the interview of mindfulness techniques and meditative techniques, cognitive work, to add to their tool box. The work that I do with my clients is to get into their story. We all have a story and we need to work the story in the mind and there’s a way to re-frame that over time with working with a proper coach or therapist that can allow you some freedom out of your own story, which makes a massive difference in managing recovery.
O: really beautiful. I love it. So what is the best way for our listeners to get a hold of you Warren?
Warren: It would just be through my website: http://warrenbroad.com
Thanks again for your SHAIR Warren!
CONTACT Warren Broad – Recovery in the Now Program:
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Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step anonymous program.