Alternatives you haven’t heard of: Helping Addicts and Alcoholics

Jo Weatherford is a Tedx speaker and published author with 10 + years experience in the Mental Health Field. She spent the last decade teaching university courses on addiction & trauma counseling and has a Masters Degree in Human Development and Family Studies.

In 2021, Jo left her teaching position and her husband sold his business of 27 years. They sold their properties and everything they owned and moved to Cabo San Lucas, buying a home after only 2 days.

She felt a calling, embraced it, and never looked back.

She now offers 1:1 coaching to help others turn their pain into power and create the life of their dreams!

For more information about Recovered On Purpose, to get your free copy of From Chains To Saved, to see the merch shop or book your free call with Adam Vibe Gunton, Visit:

Read The Transcript Below

what’s up recovered on purpose family i’m super excited you’re here for this week’s episode of guest saturdays right here on the recovered on purpose show super excited about our guest today joe weatherford guys we’re gonna have an amazing conversation about mental health and just moving past our addiction in our recovery love you guys so much enjoy the show and keep living recovered on purpose

the black represents the darkness from which we came

the white represents the light in which we now live and the red represents the passion it takes to live recovered on

purpose hello hello hello and welcome everybody super excited that you are here hey guys if you uh if you have a group or you have a page make sure that you’re sharing this out to people so that this message can get out to the ones that need it guys today we have joe weatherford and joe is a tedx speaker a published author with 10 plus years experience in the mental health field she spent the last decade teaching university courses on addiction and trauma counseling and has a master’s degree in human development and family studies in 2021 joe left her teaching position and her husband sold his business of 27 years they sold their properties and everything they owned and moved to cabo san lucas buying a home after only two days she felt a calling embraced it and never looked back she now offers one-on-one coaching to help others turn their pain into power and create the life of their dreams guys i’m super excited to introduce you to joe weatherford hey joe how are you i’m so great how are you doing i’m doing excellent doing excellent and now you’re in mexico cabo san lucas mexico i’m in medellin colombia and there’s people coming in from i know there’s people from australia south africa sweden and the united states so we are global right now love it so exciting i’m such and i’m very very happy to be a part of your community right now so thank you so much for having me yes thank you for being here awesome so joe um in your in your description you know in your in your bio it talks about a you know a long career of helping people with mental health addiction and trauma right so what what got you into this field why did you choose to help people specifically here

well it’s it’s fascinating i mean because i originally started teaching in the addiction field and the saying you typically teach what you need to learn was certainly true for me um so i grew up in a family of addiction you know that whole idea of it being a family tradition certainly rang true and like so many people um we tend to go one in two ways when we grow up with addiction people will either you know go completely the opposite never touch it you know they’re scared to death and then there’s those of us that go full in and become that as well and so i was truly a full-blown alcoholic i would say at age 12. and i was so high functioning you know i graduated second in my class full-ride academic scholarships you know excelled in college like i did all the things i always looked really good on paper but that was always with me always with me and so after moving to hollywood and having a career in the entertainment world and winding up in rehab and trying to start over again um it was a very very clear path for me to to go into the addiction field and try and help got it so you you’re saying you’re full-blown alcoholic at age 12 right but you were able to do all these things high-functioning right why would you why would you call yourself an alcoholic what was it about the the drinking that makes you identify as that when you’re able to do all these things over here oh my god what a beautiful question so powerful for me it was truly my only form of coping and it wasn’t just a few drinks i would feel something unpleasant and of course is a young girl going through puberty you know middle school like chaotic family life i had a lot of unpleasant motions i was i was trying to escape from so it was the consistency it was the quantity and then it was the repercussions and the consequence and for me the biggest thing was the complete um disconnection from self from whether you want to say um god the universe love whatever words you want to use for that a complete disconnection from that and then the the hopelessness that ensued so yes i was able to function in all of these ways and you know look good and perform but i was so dead inside and the self-hatred and the shame there’s no greater punishment or consequence than that so when i think about addiction we’re really looking at compulsion right so it’s not a choice there is a compulsion and then there are dire consequences and i don’t know what more you could have than than literally you know just wanting to die on a regular basis but it was interesting because people always say addiction is a slow form of suicide and i understand what they’re saying you know you’re you’re slowly killing yourself sure but for me the the tricky thing to understand was my addiction is also what kept me alive and just to get super real you know i i absolutely would have committed suicide if i didn’t have a way to check out so it’s like yes it was killing me and it was also keeping me alive so it’s a very very very interesting you know relationship 100 100 and that’s like you know that’s like our solution at that point it’s our solution a lot of people talk about it being the problem the alcohol is the problem the drugs are the problem but we just haven’t learned any other way to cope with life right i had i had this at a similar experience i didn’t have a full-blown traumatic childhood and things like that i had you know a really successful sports career through high school like state champion football player captain of the defense at columbine high school you know all-state wrestler all that stuff but i had this hidden drug habit right and then my freshman year college i had an experience that changed me forever that’s when i completely started like actually consciously using drugs and alcohol to cope with the way that i felt cope with my everything that happened in life right so what did you where did it lead you like you you said the consequences started happening right consequences in your life started happening what were those consequences that started making you realize that you had a problem with it you know it’s interesting i i knew i had a problem right away i i could just sense um looking at my peer group like i drink differently and even in a group of you know middle school high school kids that are experimenting and going crazy i could right off the bat identify there was something very different in the way that i did it and then also the way that i acted like i was not one of those oh she’s so fun when she’s drinking it was like oh my god someone’s getting arrested like attacked something i was one of those people everybody watched joe yeah you know i mean i’m sure it was entertaining on some level um and it’s so fascinating i share this in my ted talk but it’s like you can paint a story a million different ways you know it can be exciting or my god she did this but the reality was is it was always very shameful you know that really hacked at me those moments so i mean i knew because i was always at level 10. i never drank and wasn’t so that was my first syndication um i did have run-ins with police i was so fortunate though i mean really it’s being a girl um i was smart enough to be able to talk my way out of things my family had money you know what i mean it was just like i didn’t have those consequences i think i was in juvie once for a few hours and i should have like truly been you know locked up for things but so i didn’t have those type of consequences and again i was smart enough that i could you know vs my way through school so it wasn’t failing out like a lot of the key markers i didn’t have but i knew like i knew i didn’t want to feel and i wanted that so quick i couldn’t wait to get there and i knew that that was different you know like people would go oh i get to go to a party and drink and i was like i get to go drink and some of you are there too like it was always the focus it was always the number one thing and i didn’t care what else was happening as long as as i was completely gone yeah and you you got your master’s degree did you were you drinking the whole time during your during university schooling and everything um not through all of it when i initially got out of rehab and came um i returned home from la i knew i wouldn’t survive there like i at least i had you know the awareness to get myself out of that environment but you know wherever you go there you are and so like i had stopped drinking but i hadn’t healed anything so i was truly white knuckling it i was just trying to stay sober and um for me that never worked and it just it was not possible so if i had was still having cravings i would still be using i just couldn’t do it so um i went and i started this program and i got almost all the way through it before i relapsed and then um it was just so immediate it was so quick there was oh i’ll just have a beer i i really wanted to be what i considered normal you know when i was my mid-20s i was in a new relationship i just didn’t want to be that girl anymore that didn’t participate or people needed to be cautious around i mean the woman i am now it’s like my perspective is so different i don’t worry about any of that people are like isn’t it weird that you know you still go out and you don’t drink and i’m like no it’s it’s literally never even crosses my mind but at that stage in my growth and development it was a big deal and i really truly just wanted to be normal um and then i had a horrible experience with a therapist male therapist that had really helped me while i was in rehab and then he reached out and hit on me and it just i don’t want to use that as an excuse and it’s certainly not his fault and it just my whole life blew up so here i am about to graduate with my master’s degree i’m already working in the field and then i am full-blown back in my addiction like i’ve never taken a break from it and so it was such a terrible place to be i mean the terror and and the shame that was already there but then also trying to save face you know this is now my career like my finances my identity everything is tied up and me being sober and i’m not right and it was terrifying i mean it was that level of despair i hadn’t reached before wow so you you went to a program and it ended up not you almost got through it right so what program didn’t work for you and which one is working for you to stay sober yeah you know for me aaa did not work i’m really i think it’s amazing and the people that sponsor others and show up and the fact that it’s free i mean it’s incredible so i am a huge supporter and proponent of of people trying that way it just didn’t work for me i also went to one of those you know bougie treatment centers in southern california where you’re like here’s a hundred grand and they’re like here’s an a.a program which should be right we’re gonna charge you a hundred grand yeah and a horse ride oh god yeah but you get to hang on the beach so that’s cool you know so it that didn’t work for me either but i’m also very grateful for it because it kept me alive like it didn’t pattern interrupt enough to where so i don’t want to take anything away from that experience just because it didn’t quote unquote work it did for that moment and what i needed so none of the traditional treatments worked for me when i say if i still had cravings i would still be using i i mean that even with all the tools all that i’ve done i there’s a glitch it’s like a pattern response you know craving drink no interruptions so what finally worked for me was an aversion therapy program so i went to chic shadel in seattle and unfortunately they just closed which is so heartbreaking for me because it was the only program of its kind and in aversion therapy what you do is you drink a glass epicap so anybody that has kids knows what this is so a kid eats something poisonous you give them epic and they will vomit like you’ve never seen i mean it’s like an exorcism it’s so bad and you usually have a couple tablespoons and i mean you drink a water glass of this wow and you’re in this tiny room they inject you with something that causes flu-like symptoms so your chills overheating like oh god you’re you’re so sick and then they make you the worst jungle juice cocktail you can imagine so whatever you used to drink which for me was everything they’re just bored in these glasses and you are chugging water glasses full of alcohol but you’re just vomiting like immediately and so that goes on for an hour and then they stick you in a room and you’re still so sick and they soak a rag and alcohol and put it under your nose and they just make you lay there and continue to vomit it’s like the worst time out you’ve ever experienced in your entire life oh my gosh so that was the aversion part the next day they did a treatment of prophenol which that’s the medication actually that michael jackson unfortunately used too much of and what they do is they bring you in a room you know they administer through iv prophenol um these used truth serum as well and then you would count down from 100 wake up in a different room and then listen to a counseling session with your subconscious so you don’t remember it at all but they do you know it’s interesting yeah there’s affirmations they find out what your deepest wounds are and then they ask your unconscious is the inversion working until there is a yes and so i mean it’s people interesting oh my god yeah and and again so when you look at normal treatment it the rates are dismal and i hate to say that because i don’t ever want to deter anyone from going it’s it’s absolutely you know like a valuable experience and you got to try everything until you find what works yeah but the rates of traditional minnesota model of treatment which is you go in for 28 days and you you do some group meetings and blah blah blah it doesn’t work and for me what this did is it completely rewired my brain so this was over 10 years ago i have never wanted to drink again ever it’s just never been anything and i was in with 20 people and some i’ve lost contact with and some i know went back and started drinking again but there’s eight of us out of 20 that are still sober a decade later really high anywhere that hasn’t been close right yeah that’s really high it’s amazing have you smelt alcohol and just been like oh oh my gosh is that what it does for the first i would say five years yeah i mean i couldn’t even like thankfully my husband doesn’t really drink um because i just couldn’t be around it you know even on somebody’s breath no now it’s not like that i don’t have that kind of gag reflex aversion but i just don’t want it right the best gift yeah i mean i it saved it saved my life it it’s incredible i hope i truly hope they are able to reopen i know there is a group of people that are looking for investors and um again it doesn’t work for everybody but it’s it is the best thing i’ve found and it’s certainly worked for me how does the cost compare to to treatment so there was an insurance component i don’t remember what that was and i think i paid 10 grand so 10 grand helped with it also insurance helped with it also yes wow wow yeah that sounds really really effective i’ve never thought of anything like that and you know i’ve never heard of that before either but i know that working with the subconscious mind for us because addiction has so much to do with the subconscious mind we need it as bad as we need to breathe right that’s really interesting so they need to open that back up they really do i’m just putting that out there with my entire heart that this happens because i i know how special it is yeah and you talked a little bit about treatment stats do you do you know any specific studies or anything about what the long-term uh recovery rate is for people that go to long-term treatment you know i’m hesitant to quote actual statistics just because i don’t teach that university course anymore i’m not completely um up to date on it but what i will say is when you look past one year okay so you got out of treatment one year later i mean it’s maybe three percent i mean i think when that look you go to five years later it’s it’s even worse so it’s it’s really bad but you know you think about it and i worked in residential treatment facilities before and people the people that i worked with genuinely cared i mean really had so much heart and soul for the work that they did and you know let’s say you have a woman that’s been doing meth for 18 years you bring her into treatment right like the first seven days you’re just trying to stabilize this human i mean they don’t even know where they are and then you do 28 days of intervention and counseling but she’s been using meth for 18 years think of all the trauma that has ensued not even to mention what the trauma was that caused you know her to go that direction and then she’s getting out of treatment she has no skills no money no family support nobody to help her she lives with her meth dealing boyfriend and that’s who she’s gonna go live with and then people are like oh my god she relapsed and i’m like of course she relapsed right i mean of course yeah and i the reason why i asked that is i’ve you know the only stats that i’ve been able to find uh it says 15 for a year but that’s including everything that’s including from you know eating disorders to mental health treatment and all that stuff in the same study it’s almost like they don’t want to you know show us the reality of what’s happening to us because the system is so broken for real addicts like the real addicts that are that are stuck in addiction to heroin meth crack alcohol you know these things are so entrapping and the treatment centers i mean i i love my friends in treatment i love everybody that’s doing everything i love the churches i love the fellowships i love everybody that’s working on helping addicts but it’s not working right now like there’s there’s too many of us and we’re the the death rate is rising so people need to be open to these new things that’s why when you were telling me that i’m like oh my gosh like that’s another form to help us that’s that’s what i’m all about here is like how many different ways can we help people get clean and sober you know what’s your path to recovery right yes so what are you what are you doing now um actually i want to go to when did you actually choose to be working in this field because you were still struggling in your alcoholism while you were going through school why did you choose this field and when about did you choose it

you know it was probably 12 years ago that i started actually working in the field um and i had i had sobered up you know i had gone to aversion therapy when i started working but i i really um i don’t know if it was survival survivor skill it’s so interesting i’m i’m kind of feeling into this question differently than i ever have for some reason i’m not sure and i think that speaks a lot to your ability to ask questions but i think some of it really was a survivor’s guilt i there because i was split i had spent so many years literally like 15 years in the chaos of addiction and there was a part of me that didn’t want to do it anymore they didn’t want to put myself in that energy environment and pain and chaos anymore but there was this bigger piece of me that was it was like but i can help i knew i held some codes or my experience would touch people and i’ve always loved working with people and and i love self development i love emotional intelligence i love you know all of these practices and so i wanted to share the gift that i had found with other people i wanted them to know there was hope because that was the one thing for me that i really lacked i wasn’t seeing role models that were sober and happy i was seeing role models that had just stopped drinking and i was like screw that if i’m gonna be miserable i’m gonna be drunk and high and miserable uh you know i just felt this deep desire to say not only can your life be different you can be different and it’s not just about surviving being sober it is about this life that can be so magnificent you have no idea the beauty yes i love that so much and that’s exactly what i tell everybody that listens to me you know i have video after video after video of us of me saying you know in our recovery the whole point of us being in recovery and helping others is showing them what life is like in recovery like it’s not just about quitting drugs so if life and addiction was just about quitting drugs why would have i ever stopped it was the only comfort i had it was the only life that i enjoyed at the time because i was able to escape all this stuff but us in recovery we have this new opportunity like we’re free to count on ourselves we’re free to write goals down we’re free to dream we’re free to go after it and the more stories that are getting out there right he said another thing perfectly is that we need to be the example the example of what’s possible and we need to share that with the world and stop hiding the fact that we were once addicted that we were once an alcoholic because we’re not that person anymore and there’s still people that are trapped there and uh you said something about survivor’s guilt also yeah and

that hit me really hard because i haven’t i haven’t really thought of it like those two things coupled but i get that survivor’s guilt so much because um i was found unresponsive no breath no pulse by the police i have the video the body cam footage from an overdose right and as these numbers continue to climb right continue to climb and climb and climb um it’s it’s really hard wanting to help people so bad and being somebody that survived this exact thing right yeah and um man i i think there just needs to be something new there needs to be something new there needs to be more openings to scientific research to people doing these things doing new things and us in recovery need to be loud all the time all the time so how are you what is your method of helping people that are either do you work with alcoholics that are still drinking or people in recovery um you know what my true passion is is working with people who work with addiction i will work with people who are still in their addiction um if it is is an appropriate and right fit however i don’t believe that therapy or coaching or any of that is is an effective intervention when somebody is really addicted and i’ll get into that what i do refer them to my work is more either with people who work with addiction so i do a lot of trainings with police with judges with drug courts with people that are working on the front lines that is a deep passion of mine helping them understand addiction teaching them ways of self-care you know so that they can really protect themselves how do you lovingly you know let people own their responsibility because it’s it’s not about allowing people to violate boundaries lost rules whatever but how do we compassionately you know hold people to this standard not because we’re trying to punish them but because we are seeing them as them like their their purest most high self you know like it’s it’s a totally different way of working with people and then i do work with people who are in long term recovery that are now really looking to elevate in in some form or fashion but you know i i love what you said and your passion to to share the message and yes we do need to get loud and something i always say is people don’t need to be told they need to be inspired you know and so when i sit here with you i can feel your love i can feel your passion it it changes me right there’s an energetic frequency which you hold that need being in your space i am able to experience and you know it’s not some woo-woo like hippie [ __ ] you know quantum healing like stuff i don’t understand it is truly who you are right she can change me it can illuminate a possibility that wasn’t there before yeah you know so that’s what we do whether you work in the fields or not it’s like who you are is is the most beautiful part of it and it’s like sure your story is interesting but it’s like how did it change you you know like that’s what i want to know and then i want to feel it it’s just so important when you’re talking about survivor’s guilt and new interventions i just have to bring up sebastian younger the war reporter he shares this incredible experience where you know he was out filming on the front lines like he was deeply entrenched in war filming these chaotic you know scary you think about your nervous system right and the stress that you would be under and the fight flight freeze and the chemicals the disruption that’s going on he said i knew i needed to get out and i needed help when there was a guy that had a bomb strapped to him coming towards us and my cameraman panned on to me and i didn’t care i looked bored you know what i mean like it he had been entrenched in that and trauma response for so long so when he came back he tried everything you know he was still suffering tremendously and it was mdma therapy that shifted his life and i understand the fear of using drugs to treat drug addiction and i have certainly used different plant medicines and modalities to heal i will say i never used it before i had gotten sober and i don’t know if it would have gotten me sober however it is a tool for some people when administered appropriately in the right setting setting and we are seeing amazing results from mdma therapy you know psilocybin therapy for opiate addiction ibogaine for certain people it can eradicate the withdrawal process and it can it can really help people move through and so i i’m so thankful for maps and these different organizations that are doing the scientific research and again i just want to reiterate it’s it’s set and setting it’s therapeutic you’re not using it you know to go out and party it’s it’s done so differently but when we look at a disconnection from self from god from life from hope to be able to open your heart and then recall those traumatic memories and have them witnessed and you witness them with an open heart instead of in the fear terror whatever it is that you’re typically experiencing you’re taking on these emotional imprints to have somebody lovingly witness your pain well your heart is open is transformative and it cannot be done for some people in a traditional therapeutic setting where you’re just reliving your trauma over and over again it doesn’t work so guys i had no idea we were going to go in this direction but after the 30 second break we’re about to have we’re about to have a real deep conversation on some new ways that people are recovering from addiction be right back what’s up recovered on purpose family i hope you’re enjoying this episode as much as i do when i’m making them guys if you’re getting any value from this if you’re seeing any golden nuggets that you want to share with your community make sure that you are you’re sharing it with your groups you’re sharing it with your personal page or your pages or to that one person that you’re thinking of right now and their messenger so that they get this message and guys the brand new recovered on purpose website is up and it has a whole bunch of different merchandise and resources and the free calls with me so make sure you’re checking out after the show and if you are a loved one of an addict if you have a kid that’s suffering an addiction i’m now doing free calls so we can strategize and find out how we can get them clean and keep them clean love you guys so much and enjoy the rest of the show i am really excited now we’ve been more excited than uh when we were first talking because i haven’t talked about this stuff on the show yet but i wanted i have wanted to really really badly um i’m going to tell you my experience first so 2013 i have a three gram a day heroin habit i am stuck i am crying every day i’m i’m loading up syringes trying to kill myself because i can’t stop there’s nothing i can do at this point my friends have left me like i have nobody right and i find ibogaine i find this treatment i watch watch these videos about it i’m like what the heck is this you know and my business partner and i decided to send me down to mexico and i did an ibogaine treatment and boom i’m in this bed for 24 to 36 hours i’m out of my mind everything but when i come out of it i have no withdrawals zero withdrawals and at the time i’m like 150 pounds i’m 215 now but i have this i remember this feeling that i had of just complete excitement like oh my gosh i’m not using today and i’m not in withdrawal today now the problem with where i went in 2013 is that they weren’t doing it as a treatment they weren’t doing it as a you know as a way to get somebody off of drugs because when i got off of the ibogaine they started smoking me up with weed and then i was sent home with a sheet of acid and i went back to the exact same environment went back to the exact same friends all of my everybody that was in my environment before i left had this certain idea of me and then when i went back to that exact same environment all the habits that brought me through my addiction that i built this life i went back to that i was i was shooting heroin four months later four months later so what are you what are you specifically practicing with this kind of medicine and what kind of results are you seeing for people so in in full disclosure i don’t administer or sit for people in medicine ceremonies i have a deep respect for those that do um and i believe the whether it’s you know um formal training or training with the indigenous people who were so and are continually so kind to share this medicine with us is so critical and i would not deem myself as qualified to do that but i do work with people after their experiences because the integration of it is so critical and when you ask how i work with people my gift is to be able to

see the truth and fullness of people and the way that i can speak to them as they are without their stuff that is what we’re really doing we’re moving into more truth and the beautiful thing about truth is it’s always true whether you believe it or not so i don’t know what you’ve done i don’t care you know like it really i i can see beyond the shame and hold that vision so strongly for people and i can meet them exactly where they are in their pain because i recognize it i know it it lives in me and i’m not scared of it and that is our superpower when we are able to go into the pain we remove the power of it we process it and we feel the full expansion of it and we let it alchemize us into something greater you know so what i have run so far from you know i now see is this is this opportunity but you know and i go back to the witnessing piece it’s so critical you know we talk about toxic positivity all the time and everything’s great it’s the exact opposite it’s allowing the full spectrum of life you know we be in relationship with it we’re not in resistance we don’t have these crazy expectations and then disappointments you know we we know who and what we are and it’s it’s not what happens to us it’s who we become as we step more into our truth and power and we move through it and it’s beautiful and it it opens our heart when we allow it to and so after these really transformational experiences i’m so sorry that that happened with you in that context because it’s like it’s the most powerful thing you can have for for so many of us i mean i i remember my first ayahuasca experience and i have permission to share this story there was a gentleman in the circle and he had just lost his mother to addiction so those of you that grew up with a parent who was an addict you know it’s it’s a love-hate relationship right and so she finally died from this disease and so while he was grieving he was also still so pissed you know the amount of trauma that he had endured dealing with her you know the lack of love the disappointment you know all of it right so he had brought because sometimes you bring something to place on the altar during a ceremony he brought her ashes he brought her urn and it was silver and it had a plaque on it a silver plaque and he said because you know sometimes we get caught like it’s like a trauma loop or it’s a thing that we get stuck on yeah he didn’t know what to put on her plaque to honor her in a way that also honored himself and he was like if i can just figure out what to put on my mom’s plaque then i’ll be okay that means i’m healing that means i’m learning how to move through this i’m i’m on my way right so he tells us the next morning that at one point during the ceremony he crawls over and he’s talking to his mother and he’s looking at this silver urn and he sees himself as her and he has this realization that you can never lose what you are and that the forgiveness of himself is his mother and that she will always be with him and a part of him and just this showering of forgiveness for all of it not that it doesn’t still hurt not that there’s not still anger remorse disappointment but all of a sudden she was humanized through this spiritual experience and he saw himself as her and he realized that the depth of his pain around this was the grieving of the mother he knew that she was but that he didn’t have he was able to see all of that in an instant and i’m like that’s therapy i don’t know what we’ve been doing but that is therapy and it opened his heart in a way that it never happened and once your heart is open like you experience life you experience you know like when we try to process our pain when we’re in fight or flight or our heart is closed we we do re-traumatize ourselves but if you don’t know how to open your heart and drop in and experience the pain and really grieve and release it that’s you know how it gets stuck and then it shows up in all these really destructive ways so what i was able to sit there and witness was an actual transformation for this individual and it is it is beautiful medicine um again not for everybody like thorough screening needs to be done and a lot of integration because you know well psychedelics are not addictive like physiologically addictive we can certainly get addicted to the experience that they provide and then you know whether it’s plant medicine or whatever we don’t want to get addicted to healing you know like i have this time where i open up my book cabinet and it’s just like all self-help books i’m like jesus christ you know like when do we get to live you know like we can get addicted to healing and we don’t want to chase those heightened experiences because that’s our addiction taking another form but when we do it with deep reverence and respect and intention oh my god it’s it can be it can be the thing that opens up the possibilities you know i’ve heard a lot of people talk about these different medicines and they’re like that was it you know and it’s almost like i was enlightened everything you know is different after that moment i’m never upset anymore like that is not i’ll just say that’s not been my experience but they have presented opportunities i have gotten to know myself in a way that i never would have i have felt you know love and connection which i was i was always always craving um to depths that i can’t even put into words and it’s invaluable but it wasn’t like oh now i don’t have any problems anymore it was like was this step on the path yeah yeah for for me personally um i’m i’m very careful with the plant medicine in the spiritual realm right and the reason why the reason why i talk about the i begin experience specifically is because it has this this physical element to it that helps heroin addicts and fentanyl addicts and opiate addicts get from here to here with withdrawal because that’s what we’re all so afraid of like when we’re stuck in our opiate withdrawal or our opiate addiction we are so afraid of the withdrawal process because we know how bad it hurts so if there was a medicine that actually got us through that point that’s amazing and i haven’t i’m not a huge personally i’m not a huge proponent for ayahuasca and things i know that it’s helping a lot of people and in their own ways but the spiritual implications for me like i i met jesus face to face like sober met him face to face i was five days sober no no uh no psychedelics nothing and that’s actually what ended up getting me on the path to finding recovery and i’m very careful about opening my heart to certain ceremonies certain spiritual experiences if i’m seeking something other than god other than jesus specifically and i’ve talked to i have had another show about ayahuasca specifically with someone that is a shaman in ayahuasca and things like that and he agreed with me that if somebody’s going to go into this space you have to be very intentional and very careful about who you go into it with yes because there are some practices in that realm that are that can be very dangerous because it is opening up a spiritual realm there’s no question about that anybody that’s been through addiction the reason why so many addicts in recovery love god it’s because they met the devil they know that god saved them from hell on earth right so in our recovery we want to be you know intentional about our spiritual life and then when you’re talking about mdma therapy right i have a friend who has a friend and he’s the one who told me this story and basically they were out in i think it was germany and he hadn’t seen this friend in like you know a few years because his friend was in the military and he had experienced so much like he was he did tours in iraq afghanistan everything and he was this close to killing himself and you know that’s that’s where that’s where veterans are getting right now and they decided well might as well go party you know we might as well go have some fun in germany and they took molly together they took mdma together they left that club and they went on a walk and that man shared all of the experiences that he had on his tours and the experience of when he saw i’m not going to share on air what he saw but he saw some very horrific things happen to friends that he lost and while he shared that apparently it completely healed him completely healed him i i’m a hundred percent i have i have a friend that’s actually on his way to go to ketamine treatment right now also he’s a year and a half into into recovery i personally don’t see it for myself at this point in my recovery but there’s so many different things that people have abused so that that can absolutely be used for therapy right yeah yeah and when people are coming out of this when people are coming out of uh ibogaine ayahuasca mdma psilocybin and you’re coaching them on the after process you know what how are you taking those experiences they had and solidifying them into new habits in their life it’s a beautiful question um just going off what you said i ben greenfield said something the other day about the spiritual medicine journeys that i think is super appropriate he said beware of unearned wisdom you know like a lot of times we’re trying to hijack cheat the system right and it’s like whatever downloads you’re getting whatever you’re releasing speaking of the integration it’s like yeah that’s a critical pivot point because the anchors you had what you are used to carrying you no longer have you know in a lot of ways and again just to reiterate that trauma is pain that is not appropriately witnessed so like the story of your friend which is so beautiful i love that you shared that again like he’s held these memories in and from this scared place this angry place right and then all of a sudden this chemical opens his heart releases you know oxytocin and dopamine and all the feel-good chemicals right so now my heart is open i have this compassionate witness that i can share this with i no longer have to hold it somebody has witnessed my pain with love and compassion and i have met it with that love and compassion and now it is free to go yes so okay now who is this human right that has had these imprints has developed a way of dealing with life as someone with this horrific trauma so now this trauma has shifted right but what are the new patterns that we’re going to create how are we going to see life you know a lot of it is develop redeveloping your intuition being able to understand what does a full body yes feel like what does a full body know feel like what is fear right that is the ego hijacking your intuition trying to keep you played small and stuck because you know homeostasis an organism even in dysfunction doesn’t want to change right it wants to stay as it is like change is just terrifying even if it’s the best thing for us well i think there’s got to be an element of this like titration pendulation how do we slowly come alive you know how do we witness the old self in these moments when we’re triggered you know and how do we meet that self with compassion and hold the capacity for a new way you know and the grace when we slip back into the old patterning you know and that’s that’s what kind of bums me about about those stories if i was just fixed you know because i think it hates this illusion that you’re not still going to be you right and and the reality is is knowledge doesn’t change behavior i’ve sat with thousands of people when they have this aha moment they’re like oh i get the family dynamics dad did this i’m recreating my trauma here and it doesn’t do anything i mean it’s great they know it but they don’t know it in their soul they don’t then do it differently so it’s not just about the aha moment and the intellectual understanding it is pairing that with an actual new emotional imprint and then how do we do the daily tools that aren’t sexy but really freaking help you know you wake up in the morning you do your gratitude journal i mean we have to train the monkey mind we have to you know so you wake up and you prime yourself for happiness because what so often people don’t realize is they think i’m gonna get the car or the girl or the raise and then i’ll be happy and it’s actually the exact opposite once we’re happy then we get the things but the thing is not what makes us happy and our brain is always going to leave that carrot out in front of us so we have to be careful of the i’ll be happy when nonsense because it is reiterating a lie you know so we have to be truly honest about our healing process and what we really are doing you know there has to be that element of authenticity and truth to it and when we look at recovering addiction so much of it is releasing that shame i mean you and i can share that element of survivor’s guilt to bring it back to sebastian younger the other thing he realized in his mdma session after he was brought out of this war in this conflict was he didn’t believe he deserved to be saved you know and that is such a deeply embedded belief in so many of us there is a fear to be seen as special of worthy you know and it’s interesting because i think it really does start so early in life whether we have attuned caregivers or not will obviously impact the degree to which we learn this but you think about a baby the mom’s got all this oxytocin it’s like the kid can do no wrong you know throw up crap everywhere cry i won’t sleep for a month cool i love you anyway and then at some point that wears off right and then it’s like do this do that and we start to understand this idea of conditional love i love you as long as you’re quiet i love you as long as you are athletic i love you as long as you’re pretty i love you as long as you’re skinny i love you as long as you don’t bother me right and we just start developing this self to try to survive the world and then we believe we are that self and that’s you know a catalyst for addiction in whatever form and we’re talking about drugs but it’s anything we get addicted to you know shopping eating not eating relationships drama i mean it’s just fill in the blank what takes you out of yourself and not to say that all escapes are bad i mean i am like the queen of a good netflix [ __ ] you know but my thing is okay what is the consequence and i always give myself a day like i can fall apart for a day and i mean i’m a mess yeah but i get one i do not allow myself to and again i go back to these tools these unsexy tools of like just doing the thing you know and i i went in this spiritual rabbit hole for a while and it served to me and i’m really thankful for everything that i got out of that and i’m just more a nuts and bolts type person now at this point which i love that you brought up the science and the clinical implications of these medicine journeys rather than venturing into the spiritual world again wherever you’re at i honor your journey you know i i bless you in it fully and completely for me i’m more like give me the practical stuff that’s going to help me up my point because life will happen and i will drop below it you know that’s going to happen but if i can truly elevate my set point of happiness then i am best equipped to manage life yes amen amen and uh we were talking a little bit about you know people that beware of unearned wisdom right and i think that the best way that we can see an example of someone right um is how they act what their track record is the fruit of their life right because wisdom is not knowledge they’re two completely different things wisdom is knowledge rightly applied it’s when we learn knowledge and then the wisdom is knowing how to apply it to increase it how to utilize the knowledge that we have to bring it into the world and as we as we’re being that example as we’re helping people to take that knowledge and apply it to their life that’s when that’s when we’re really helping people right when they’re having these experiences where you know in some of these ceremonies and some of these mdma treatments or ibogaine or you know ayahuasca or whatever somebody’s doing they’ll get downloads of a hundred years worth of knowledge but how do we take what they’re supposed to have right and move it into move it into their life and so what do you think are and one question real quick what’s your favorite new netflix series you know what’s really good is godless i just watched that and it’s these women in a mining town and there was a horrific mining accident and wiped out all the men so it’s like these badass women that are making it work and like i mean we go this is so crazy what’s going on in the world right now and i don’t want to take away from 2020 and beyond it certainly is and i think it’s easy to lose sight of exactly how chaotic and crazy and the things that people have to deal with throughout history um but it’s beautiful because i love the underdog story and i love um god just the resilience and i think that that’s an important piece to remember with humans is we are designed we truly are the body talk about wisdom the body itself is wise right the soul is wise the mind is wise it wants to heal you know and sometimes it doesn’t feel like that i mean you look at depression right that’s the body saying i need rest either that or it’s countering this extreme anxiety right like it’s always trying to heal itself yeah and so you know just these stories of of resilience that are so empowering i mean your story right like it’s just amazing because it reminds me no we are we are designed to get through this in a way that is meaningful and beautiful and we’re a lot stronger than we think we are we really truly are amen amen i love that i love the underdog story also love it so what do you think um what are the best practical steps to take for someone that is either early in recovery or trying to get back into you know habitual nature right and how can they find what self is right because a lot of people don’t i mean i still work on defining self you know defining what that means for me how would you say that people can find what that means to them find their purpose in their recovery in their life right now and really understand the difference between cars money clothes women that kind of like self what we want what we desire that kind of stuff versus what we’re supposed to do who we are and our contribution to the world this is a beautiful question


for me it really comes down to the quality of our connections and that is the place in which i start you know it it’s so critical that we have a solid support system around us because the people who are with us whether it is a therapist whether it is a coach whether it is our best friend our partner our family you know they mirror back to us you know who we are it’s like that that idea i’m not who i think i am i’m not who you think i am i’m who i think you think i am and it just it’s cluttered right so for me that i call it my front row five i mean i have a lot of people in my audience a lot of acquaintances a lot of people that i really admire and i enjoy but i have a solid group around me that remind me that my love is my most precious commodity and that no one needs to do anything outside of me for me to experience that it is this endless flow that comes from within and that it is always available to me and the idea that i need something outside of myself to take care of me is inaccurate and a great book to this kicked off my kind of beginning to understand this is man’s search for meaning you know so this doctor is in a concentration camp witnessing the most horrific experiences anybody could ever imagine and what he saw was the people that still acted from their love you know they they thrived their their meaning their purpose their experience their connection with others is what made the life you know meaningful and beautiful even as tragic as it was and so for me it comes down to connections and you have to have a safe place to practice because when i first got sober i didn’t know how to interact with people and if i’m deeply honest i was extremely manipulative because my whole life had been trying to get away with [ __ ] it just had i mean that was so i give myself grace to to acknowledge that but once i was able to experience like the true healing of of being genuinely compassionate and caring for somebody and a relationship that comes from like trust and partnership and a genuine concern for your experience of life it it’s everything there’s no car there’s no house there’s no amount of money like because when you think about it you’re still trying to get to that place the idea is once i have that money then i’ll be able to get that relationship and i’ll be lovable or when i get that car you know then i’ll be able to feel this and it’s like no and i’m all for it like i you know be abundant have all the things you know the more money you have the more people you can help so i am a full you know blown support of of success and you know going out and just creating an epic life for yourself whatever that looks like and it all comes down to love and and we do need to learn how to do that and again finding somebody who can hold your hand through that process because usually early in recovery we do need that guidance we need that example we need that person who can hold that space for us and and allow us to experience it when maybe we haven’t we need that person like your friend in germany that goes i’m gonna walk with you and i’m i’m going to help you understand experience fully express what it is to be considered and chosen you know what i mean it’s so important amen and you touched on something when i when i asked you how you should find self how you should find that you know who you are right the first suggestion basically that you came up with to bring to us was your front row five and i talk about that all the time the five people you spend the most time with i just i’m about to be published in a in a magazine next month for something i call for inventory where i specifically talk about how to look at your front row five and see how they are impacting your life with thoughts emotions feelings you know income career all that kind of stuff and i think that’s beautiful and us in recovery you know early on in recovery a lot of us can feel really lonely right because all of a sudden we’re going from a huge group of friends maybe that were drinking or using and constantly with you know to find in recovery and none of them are coming with us you know none of none of these friends that we’ve been with for years are coming with us right and in our early recovery sometimes we will latch on to whatever we can in a relationship right and because that starts building that self that starts you know making us feel validated making it makes us feel not so alone and i think that that can be very very dangerous if we’re not intentional in our early recovery as well as the rest of our life but what kind of people do we want to surround ourselves with and how are we going to do that right how do you how do you gauge like your your front row five what do you what do you look for in somebody what do you uh try to feel when you’re with somebody and what do you like to talk about with the people that are in your front row five oh god i just love your questions um i really do magnificent um the first thing is authenticity because i felt like such a fraud in my addiction i really really value people who are authentic and it’s difficult to put into words exactly what that feels like because it is a felt experience when somebody is genuinely in their truth in power you just feel it and it’s funny because i was just watching i love this guy harry mack he does these freestyle wraps for people you know he’s the greatest of all time he recommends but when people listen to him and their minds are blown and you just see this like expression of joy that is so full and big and honest you know and you get to feel what that feels like it’s like when somebody bites into a lemon and they make the face and you can feel it and taste it right yep it’s like i feel their excitement and and then when somebody watches them and even though their minds blown they’re like trying to be cool like yo bro those amazing instead of like oh my god this is the greatest thing ever it’s like i want the person that is the this is the greatest thing ever and it’s not just about their like huge explosion of joy i want the person who can meet me like in my deepest moment of vulnerability and pain and say yeah i love you you know i’m so sorry it’s so it’s it’s about the realness of them and then two it’s somebody said something to me once super successful wonderful human and at first i was like uh it felt kind of bad but he’s right he’s like my friends bring something to the table nobody gets into my inner circle without contributing and again my counseling brain went oh my god narcissist no he is a hundred percent right like my front row five ad extreme value to my life and me theirs and we thrive together and i think the other thing is to find people who you want to emulate like i i find people that i’m like whoa there is something that they have that i want you know there is a way of showing up in the world and i’m i want to experience that so i want to find the people that have gone where i’m going yeah you know i really do and so that’s it and then the playfulness my best friend here in cabo she activates this like child like just dance around the fire dorky playful innocence in me and i you know for me i can be very serious i can be very like hardcore perfectionist like she balances out that playful like this is not that big of a deal let’s just go have fun you know yeah it’s like finding the people too that balance you is critical and you know the people that you use with probably are not coming with you that’s not to say that that never changes um because people do change healing is always possible i would never say that it never happens but the reality is it’s like when you’re on a bus wayne dyer said this it always stuck with me you’re with like a bunch of people and they’re like your people for a while and then you get to a stop and some get off and new ones get on and then you’re with those people for a while and then you get off and get on a new bus and it’s it doesn’t need to be this like huge blow up like thing it’s just not in alignment anymore and you have to be honest with yourself about that if you are still choosing to put yourself in the old energy you are still choosing that energy and you will become it again eventually so be super radically honest with yourself when somebody says to me i’m not ready to give up that life that’s that’s where they’re at you know no shame or judgment in it but like you know exactly what’s going to happen i don’t need to be a mind reader or do 18 ayahuasca journeys to tell you exactly what’s going to happen and it’s only a matter of time because of course right of course yeah it’s just it’s i love that you um understand the importance of that because yeah i think that that’s something that can be missed we do all these like little recovery worksheets and treatment like what are your triggers and it’s like no the environment is everything yeah right your environment i mean you look at this stuff waking up is a trigger yeah i’m alive it’s tuesday something well something didn’t whatever right i mean yeah yeah you have to reconstruct your environment and so you need people who can hold space for the new youth yes 100 i love that so much and joe um if people were to uh find you you know how how would they find you and what are you what are you offering to people right now are you are you taking on clients are you doing calls with people or what are you what are you working on now um i i have one spot left probably for the next month the way that i work with people one-on-one is very um almost at a hands-on that sounds bad it’s not actually hands-on but there’s a lot of connection so when we do our session we are meeting throughout the week as well you know through text this happened you know i had a fight with my partner how can i reframe this whatever so that’s where i’m i take on a very limited amount of people because we do a lot i believe in immersions like you know we both live in foreign countries i want to learn spanish i’m not going to go to a class for an hour once a week i’m going to go to the immersion where i have to speak spanish only for three weeks so that’s the way i work with people like we go in and we we move through so much quickly and it becomes you know it it’s so much more impactful than one hour out of your entire week and then you go back again to that environment what you’re used to so i have one one-on-one spot available i do have a group coming up where it’s definitely a better price for people the focus is on love and relationships i have just a massive influx of people who are going through those transitions divorce break up you know ready to call in their new partner so we’re going to be really looking at that you know how do you be the partner that you want to attract and remembering you don’t attract what you want you attract what you are and that the universe always says yes so if my cue card is like people are unsafe and always cheat on me and leave me then you’re gonna find somebody whose cue card says i cheat on people and leave and then you’ll be like oh my god this is the best day ever your ego is gonna be like i get to be right you know so you know we do that as well um but certainly people can find me i’m really i mean i’m i’m a little bit older i’m on facebook okay i do have an instagram but i do a lot on facebook i do a lot of free content there and certainly if anybody has any questions about anything or wants resources never hesitate to reach out i will send you you know whatever way i can help i am i’m here for you and just excited i think this this journey is is such a sacred experience and i just anybody who has the courage to to do it differently i i am amazed by amen amen well joe i really appreciate you coming on and serving the audience this is a great conversation guys drop your drop your love for joe in the comments and uh check her out at her website or find her on facebook because this is actually live on facebook so they’ll be able to find you quite easily thank you so much for coming and uh stay on because we’re gonna end the broadcast then i’ll talk to you in a minute love you guys keep living

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