Life has been extremely hectic and I realised that I haven’t posted for an exceptionally long time, so I have made time this morning to sit down and catch up a little and do a little self reflection at the same time. And the idea that has kept coming to me over the last few days is the idea that “If you’re not growing, you’re dying”. It keeps coming back to me in my personal and professional life, and has made me think deeply about my own growth as well as the growth of my Recovery Coaching clients. You may believe the statement to be true or may refute it wholeheartedly, but it’s definitely worth thinking about. Because would you rather be living a life of stagnation and mediocrity, or do you want a life of purpose and fulfillment. I can honestly say that the more I do to push myself and grow, the more satisfaction I get from my life. And as a coach in the field of recovery (from addiction and substance abuse) I see incredible development in the individuals who dig deep to discover what they want and how they plan to achieve it.
So ask yourself the questions, “Who am I?” and “Where do I want my life to be in [three] months?” The truth is that a lot of us don’t really know who we are or what we want. We get so caught up in just getting by and staying on top of things that we forget to dream and aspire! Sadly we also tend to lose touch with who we are and the things that feed our souls. This is especially true for people in early recovery! Through the compulsive cycle of using or doing, people have forgotten what makes their heart sing, what values drive them and what principles guide them. It’s ever so easy to sit around and pay lip service to principles like honesty, integrity and tolerance that are identified as an essential part of the recovery journey, but it’s completely different (and often pretty challenging) to actually incorporate them into our lives and use them to aspire us towards our goals.
Understanding and determining our values is also difficult, but essential. Especially since during active addiction our one true value is often our substance of choice. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning and determines the course of our day! And that may sound uncomfortable and even irritate you, but the truth is that in active addiction we are driven by our behaviour patterns and habits. The challenge in recovery is to develop new ways of doing things, and retraining our brain to respond differently to life events that would of sent us into the arms of our addictive substance or behaviour. So the way I see it recovery is about growth! It’s about deciding where you want yourself and your life to be in the future and then developing action steps to achieve this.
Recovery capital is essential in the journey. Whether this be in the physical, emotional, mental, social or spiritual sphere it’s important to determine where you have resources to support you in your recovery and where you may need to build your capital. And everyone’s recovery capital is different! Where one person might choose to attend NA/AA meetings as part of the spiritual/emotional capital, another will identify that team sport serves and supports them in the same way. And this is illustrative of the idea that every individual needs to determine their own recovery plan, that is as unique as they are. Because my dreams and aspirations are ever so different to the next person, so to will be my recovery. So in Recovery Coaching we share tools to support individuals’ recovery, but it is up to every person to determine what they need and want moving forward in their lives. As a recovery coach my role is to challenge my clients to understand where they are, and support them in their journey to where they want to be, whether this is personally or professionally. And during this process to take personal responsibility and accountability for their actions.
So recovery is about growth for me! It’s about solutions-driven, forward-focused movement that is driven by principle and guided by spiritual principles. It’s about creating a life that is determined by purpose and feeding one’s soul with activities that bring joy and fulfillment. Every step that we take towards the life we dream of is growth…and is exciting and stimulating. I use these practices in my own life and the more I do, the richer and more incredible my life becomes. I continue to learn and develop personally and professionally as I strive to incorporate principles into my life, live by my values, excavate my dreams and build plans to achieve what my heart desires. And at the centre of all this is continuing to build my recovery capital so that I have the resources and support to move towards my aspirations. Because I honestly believe that “if you are not growing you are dying.”