Michael provides life coaching and life-changing results for men & women who are looking to create and crave something more from life, sharing tools, strategies and techniques to remove limited and self-sabotaging habits.
This episode was brought to you by Sober Nation.
Here are Michael’s SHAIR Podcast interview highlights and suggestions for the Newcomer:
Omar: I met Michael on the That Sober Guy Sunday Morning online meeting hosted by Shane Ramer. So Michael, let’s dive right in buddy. Tell us about how your life is today, your hobbies, exercise. Take us into your normal daily routine including recovery and tell us a little bit about your practice.
Michael: Okay so like you said at the beginning, I’m now a life coach, but it’s a very broad term that is. The way I describe it is I love working with creative fun people, help them to achieve more success and fulfillment in their lives and achieve their goals, dreams and aspirations in life. If it wasn’t for recovery, I wouldn’t be doing that. I wouldn’t be doing that and that’s something that I just love doing. I love helping people. I love to connect with people. I love seeing people’s eyes light up. I like to see people dream and think bigger than they’re currently thinking and then to push them through those failures and fears and that’s just funny. It’s funny because in recovery, early recovery, that’s what really infused me, seeing those people’s eyes light up and when they start getting some sort of sober time and they start having those ‘aha’ moments. So my hobbies are I love football. I think you call it soccer there.
I’ve never quite got my head around that because it’s a foot and ball, so football. Whatever works. I never used to play ice hockey, but street hockey, so the same but on roller blades. So I used to be quite into ice hockey as well. What other hobbies do I have? Spending time with my family, a lot of fun. I love reading. I love watching inspirational stuff. I just generally knowing what’s going on with other people when helping people, but daily routines as well. I quite stick to my routines at the moment, but I’m not attached to my routines though if you know what I mean. So currently at the moment the routine I have to work on my mindset and my spiritual practices. My alarm clock goes off at about at quarter past four in the morning. I’m out of bed then, the alarm clock is on the other side of the room. I get up, I go downstairs and one of the first things I do is I’ll either read a part from a book I’m currently reading. I read a chapter every day “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra. Have you heard of that?
Omar: I have. I haven’t read it, but I have heard of it.
Michael: Very good, very good. So I read a chapter a day. I spend some time in meditation, anything between 10-15-20 minutes and sometimes just five minutes depending on how things are, but I try to focus myself on different sort of techniques of meditation. I’ve been thinking sort of manifesting. I work with that. I know for some times I just like to practice and focus on my breathing and then I’ll go look at reading more scriptures and scrolls, and do my writing in my journals and start challenging some of the thought processes I have and limiting beliefs that can hold me back. So that’s sort of my routine which is tied into my recovery as well.
I’ve sorta been mix and match for that in early days in recovery, especially the meditation and the spiritual stuff was something that I dipped my toe in and out of and for other reasons, I was doing it for the wrong reasons as well, which we can speak about, but now that’s what I do. Between 4-6 days a week I do that. I’d probably say on average of a month I’d probably say it works about four and a half days. Some days I’ll have a couple days off where it’s just I get up whatever time my body wants to get up, but usually I try to discipline myself from Monday to Friday that I get up at those times and discipline myself with that. Sometimes I work on Sundays as well so I create my business around my lifestyle, my family and so I get time off during the days. That’s what I currently do. That’s my practices at the moment. I read, like successful people I been around and spoken to a lot of successful people and they say they get up at 5 o’clock so I said to myself “if they get up at 5, I’m going to get up earlier than them.” They say they’ve got like 2-3 hours on people, well I want an hour on them in the morning. At the beginning as you probably know of, it’s quite difficult at the beginning to get up and make that commitment and do it because you feel a bit tired, but after a few days, after about a week, you feel more energized.
Omar: Tell us how much clean time you have and when your anniversary date is.
Michael: So my anniversary date is coming up on the 28th of December and on the 28th of December I’ll be ten years clean and sober.
Omar: So now it’s time to tell us a little bit about the first time you drank or used drugs and more importantly, tell us what you did and how it made you feel.
Michael: So in my story, I always describe it and it’s a bit of a cliche, but I did feel a little bit disconnected from other people when I was younger and I’ve asked a lot of people about this. People in recovery, people who are alcoholics and people who are not alcoholics and some people that aren’t even alcoholic said they did feel some discomfort when they were younger. I just felt a bit at odds with other people so I don’t necessarily think that it’s something just alcoholics suffer with, but I know there’s different levels of it and different degrees, but I did feel like I just felt disconnected from other people, very much so as a youngster and I remember my first drink.
I do remember it. It was on a school walk. We used to do a school walk, a sponsored school walk and I asked my old PE teacher when we were outside the shop and we said to him “can you get me four cans of White Lightening” and he did. I took those four cans of White Lightening on the school walk and I was in absolute pieces. I was in absolute pieces, but as I was drinking those four cans of White Lightening on this walk, something happened to me and people in recovery will identify with this. I was able to look at girls and able to speak to girls and I was able to be a little bit more at ease and comfort around the people I was talking to and I just felt like this sense of awkwardness leave me. It was nice. I liked it.
Omar: How old were you?
Michael: I must have been about, a school walk as far back as I can remember when I got first really, really drunk I must have been about 14, 13-14 or something like that. I remember I drank before that. I remember drinking before that, but not really. I wasn’t drunk like I was then and I think my first drink was about 11 with my friend, but it wasn’t to the degree that it was then. That was the first time I really experienced being around a big crowd of people and getting that sense of ease and comfort as I said in recovery.
Omar: Well I tell you man I’ve heard people talk about that White Lightening and it’s no joke.
Michael: It’s no joke. I think by the end of the day I was crying. I think I wet myself and I climbed up a tree to hide from two girls that were quite interested in me, but I wet myself so I was up in a tree crying. It took me to a bit of a strange place. Alcohol always did send me to a strange place.
What was keeping you from getting clean or staying clean when you first got introduced to recovery?
Michael: The concept of God at the beginning. My own pride and ego and my limited belief systems about myself and whether I could actually follow through with it, but I tell you God was a big factor. It was a big factor because of some idea I had made up in my head about it. That’s what really stopped me in the beginning.
At what point did you have a spiritual awakening, that ‘aha’ moment in recovery when you accepted that you were powerless over drugs and alcohol, but for the first time had developed a hope that you could recover?
Michael: Step 9. When I was going back and making my amends, I just walked through that arch way. I was just on fire. I was on fire. When I made my amends and then by the end of the day I think I had made 12 amends by the end of that day, my first day. A lot of amends and that was powerful for me, very powerful.
Do you have a favorite book you would recommend to a newcomer that you read in early recovery?
Michael: Man I have so many books that I would recommend, but for early recovery, “Who Moved My Cheese.”
Michael: When I went into recovery, I couldn’t read. I self-taught myself to read. I’ve never read a book in my life. The only book I ever read was the AA book. My sponsor had to read it to me and when I was at home, I had the CDs to go through it. Then there were a lot of people talking about this book “Who Moved My Cheese” so I was like this is the most spiritual profound book I’ve ever read. It’s about fear, it’s about four mice in a maze. It’s only about a hundred pages. It’s written for children and it’s probably one of my favorite books of all times. It’s about people overcoming fear and procrastination and getting comfortable with life.
It’s a fantastic book. “Who Moved My Cheese.” I read that book and that’s what started me on my road to self development and really changing things for me. I now read every day. I self taught myself to read. I read every day now. It’s a big hobby. “Do you want to come out, Mike, for dance?” “Fuck that man. I’m staying inside and reading.” I would say it’s very simple, very easy to understand. I could give you some complex books or things like “The Four Agreements” is an amazing book, but for newcomers, it may be a little bit too much in the beginning. I would just say “Who Moved My Cheese.” Great book. I would recommend it to you O.
What is the best suggestion you have ever received??
Michael: Best suggestion I’ve ever received. The best suggestion was not to keep coming back but to stay. We always say keep coming back. Stay. Don’t keep coming back. Stay. Stay in recovery. Keep going. Go to the meetings. Find the person, best suggestion is just stay. Do the work. Don’t leave before the miracle happens.
SUGGESTION FOR THE NEWCOMER
“The best suggestion was not to keep coming back but to stay. We always say keep coming back…Don’t keep coming back…Stay. Stay in recovery.”
What is the best suggestion you have ever received?
Michael: To understand this and it goes back to what I said earlier when that guy said to me “I want what you’ve got. I want to be where you are.” It doesn’t matter where I am. You have what I’ve got. You have what I have got. You’ve just not become awake to it. You’re just not aware of it. In the film the Matrix, have you seen the Matrix?
Omar: Oh yeah.
Michael: Watch that film from an Educational point of view and the part in it where Neo says, “So what you’re telling me is when I learn this stuff I can dodge bullets” and he says, “No. When you understand this stuff, you won’t need to dodge bullets” and everyone has got that power in them. They look at people like ourselves that are a little bit down the line and they put us up on pedestals and things like you have that inside you. Everything you see that we’ve got, you’ve got that inside of you. You just need to become aware of it. You just need to wake up to the fact and you need to stick around. Don’t leave before the miracle happens.
Thanks again for your SHAIR Michael!
See you then!
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.