Tommy Rosen is the author of Recovery 2.0: Move Beyond Addiction and Upgrade Your Life. He is a yoga teacher with over two decades of experience with yoga, recovery and wellness. He is the founder and host of the Recovery 2.0: Beyond Addiction online conference series and the hashtag Move Beyond Group Coaching Program. Tommy is a pioneer in the field of yoga and recovery who has helped thousands with a holistic approach to recovery from addictions of all kinds. It was an honor to have him on our podcast, and I hope you enjoy and benefit from the conversation.
00:00 John S: This is episode 91 of AA Beyond Belief the Podcast, and I’m your host, John S.
00:27 John: Tommy Rosen is the author of Recovery 2.0: Move Beyond Addiction and Upgrade Your Life. He is a yoga teacher with over two decades of experience with yoga, recovery and wellness. He is the founder and host of the Recovery 2.0: Beyond Addiction Online Conference Series and the #MoveBeyond Group Coaching Program. Tommy is a pioneer in the field of yoga and recovery who has helped thousands with a holistic approach to recovery from addictions of all kinds. It was an honor to have him on our podcast, and I hope you enjoy and benefit from the conversation.
01:10 John: Thank you, Tommy, for being here; it’s good to have you.
01:11 Tommy Rosen: My absolute pleasure to be here. Thank you so much, John.
01:14 John: As I was saying before we got rolling here, your book came along at just the right time for me. I think I needed an upgrade to my recovery. So thank you very much for writing this.
01:25 Tommy: Oh, thank you so much, and I’m not even sure I can claim that I wrote it. Sometimes I read it, like written, huge swaths of the book, it just came through. So I’m grateful.
01:35 John: It was really nice to read, because the honesty shone through in your own personal story and there was a lot that I got out of that. You talked a little bit in your book about the nature of addiction and how you define addiction as basically just any behavior that we repeat, that has negative consequences, that we continue repeating it. And I thought that was a really good definition. You want to talk about that a little bit?
02:00 Tommy: Sure. The effort was… Well, the realization was first that connecting with people all over the world from different cultures across the United States, people who would clearly say, “I have encountered addiction in my life. I’ve felt it,” all the way to people who are like, “No, I have no addictions whatsoever and it’s just not a part of my life.” Every one of those people and everybody in between is subject to the human condition, and the human condition itself seems to include addiction on some level. So I’m trying to like… I’m seeing it as a spectrum and over here on the far end of the spectrum are people like me who ended up getting into very severe drug addiction and have encountered many other addictions in our effort to recover. And then there’s people over here who have never gotten into drugs or alcohol.
02:51 Tommy: They have a couple of glasses of wine, and it’s not a problem for them and their life is going pretty well. Things are going well for them, and yet they experience things like negative thinking. They experience things like self-doubt. Maybe they’re 20 to 30 pounds overweight, and they always kind of wanted to drop that weight, but they never really did. It didn’t mean that their life imploded. It didn’t mean that they were a food addict. It just means that they didn’t seem to have the agency, the authority, the ability to do something that inside their heart and their soul were asking them to do. And I was like, “Well, even those people are addicted to a particular way of being or a particular mindset and if they apply the principles of recovery, and I’m talking broad principles of recovery, they could experience a healing, a transformation.” So I said, “Let’s bring everybody under the same roof here,” and that’s why that definition, that’s why that’s such a broad definition of addiction.
03:50 John: That makes total sense to me, and it’s really what I experienced in 12 step recovery anyway. In reading your book, when I was reading that part of it, I was thinking to myself, “What addictions am I currently engaging in?” And there are a few, but for me I could see my problem was with diet, which is something that I would like to focus on as well. You also talked about the four aggravations and the one that you wrote about that I found useful in my recovery was resentment. You want to talk about that a little bit about what resentment is and how that fuels our addiction and why it’s so important?
04:29 Tommy: Absolutely. Yeah, what an important topic. I just want to underline the importance of that by saying, in the 12 step process or really any spiritual process, we are asked to reflect upon our life experience. That’s just a part of the process. How do you learn and grow? Well, you look at what you’ve experienced, you look at what is in front of you and what you’re feeling, and you can navigate from an awareness of what’s happening right now and what also has happened in the past. Resentment is an attachment to something that happened in the past. You feel it as something negative. It’s painful, it’s uncomfortable. It could be anger; it could be a jealousy, an envy.
05:14 Tommy: It could be a betrayal, a sense of having been betrayed or bitterness, but across the board, it’s a very, very unpleasant sensation. And why would somebody choose to hang on to that? You would never choose to hang on to something like that if you understood the way that it was hurting you. So the old adage that we’ve thrown around in 12 step programs is, “Resentment is a cup of poison that you pour for somebody else to drink, but you end up drinking it yourself.” And so resentment, this attachment to the past, something has happened and it rubbed you the wrong way, and you’ve carried it for however many days, weeks, months or years and it’s interesting that in the 12 step process, the fourth step, we are asked to do a personal inventory to look at our life, but we don’t look at our life in terms of plot points of what happened here, what happens there or this happened to me then.
06:06 Tommy: No, we’re asked to look back at our life through the lens of our resentments, and it’s genius. This is a genius, genius process. This is one of the things that I wish every human being had a chance to undergo this process. It’s so powerful and it’s not about religion, and it’s not about God, and it’s not about even spirituality. It’s just, open your eyes, look within and figure out where have you been holding on to negativity, which originated in the past, which obviously no longer serves you in the present. And so, what a powerful thing to look at those things, bring it to your awareness and then go through a process where you could actually release some of that weight.
06:46 John: Yeah, I think it was probably one of the more valuable tools that I learned in the recovery process, and it’s still something that I use to this day. I still can find myself, and I’ve been sober for 30 years and active in the program, but I can still find myself falling into resentment and kind of losing track, and it can get me in trouble sometimes. But I can always fall back on this inventory and look at these things and ask myself, “Why? Why am I feeling this way? And what do I need? What action do I need to take?” So, it saves my bacon quite a bit to have this process in place to be able to do that. Yeah. I don’t know, prior to my recovery if I was even aware of these things. I think and I wonder if there’s a lot of people out there that might not even be aware that they carry resentment with them. And it’s not until something painful happens, where you need to take a look at that.
07:38 Tommy: Well, here’s an interesting thing that came to my mind as you were just saying that. Once you’ve gone through this process and you appreciate the process, and it’s been good to you and it’s been good for you, and you see the benefit, your relationships change, I think, immensely. Not just because you are different, but all of a sudden you want other people to also have done that level of work. Because it becomes more difficult to relate to somebody who is at a different level of honesty than you are. And it doesn’t mean you’re better or they’re less. It just simply means that now the way that you look at things is trying to figure out what your side of the street is. And so, if you encounter somebody who’s not sort of on that same track, they might still be in the same habit of blaming or complaining. And you’re no longer in that habit. So you have compassion for it. You’ve been there, you understand, but at the same time it’s like, “God, I really want to relate to you on this more honest, more deeply honest place. And I’m willing to go there with you and look at it, and I’m willing to own the parts of this challenge that I have brought to the table, and I really… “So in a sense, as we get more sober, we become more tolerant in one respect, but less tolerant in another respect.
09:00 John: Right. And it is interesting, though, as you go through that process, you learn about yourself, and basically what you’re really learning is about human behavior. And you’re learning about that this is common for all human beings, react this way. I’m fortunate that I have this tool to use. And recently, actually, my experience was similar to what you described. It was a work-related situation. I was able to resolve my side of the street, see what I did. At any rate… So going into your story a little bit, something that I found interesting about your story is that, you talked about your addiction, but you started with the good times. You started with what you liked about the drug when you first got involved with it. And a lot of times we kind of leave that out.
09:44 Tommy: So, yes. So you bring up a really important question. I recognize that I have believed different things at different times. I recognize that, at points in my life, I have felt a certain kind of way, and at other points, I have felt differently. And yet, at each point in my life, it occurred to me that what I believed and what I felt was correct. So at the time, it was correct for me. There was a relevance to me smoking marijuana in my teenage years. It was a different time in a different place in a different body, in a different consciousness, with different things going on and different feelings taking place. And what I had available to me to navigate the challenges in my life was marijuana. And it worked for me. Now, that for me is true. It’s also true that, over time, that solution didn’t turn out to actually be a solution. It was a temporary fix. It was more like masking pain that needed a deeper fix. That wasn’t going to be able to do it. And it’s further true that, later on, marijuana actually ended up hurting me and being hurtful to me and distracting me from things that I really needed to pay attention to. All of those things are true. All of those things are true. And so at this point in my life, I honestly can tell you that I have no desire or thought or concern about marijuana.
11:13 John: Right, right.
11:13 Tommy: It’s just, it’s simply not, it’s not relevant to me. The other day I was taking a hike with my wife. This is a very important, relevant story here. And I came upon the home of some friends of mine, and I recognized their home. I hadn’t been there. But I saw them and I heard their music and I said, “Oh, my God, I think those are my friends.” And I went in and there they were. And they were planting marijuana. They’re just planting it all over their property because they’re in that business. And it’s legal here.
11:42 John: Right, right.
11:43 Tommy: And there I was, amongst all these marijuana plants, and it was an interesting moment for me. At 50, almost 51 years old, 26 years sober, and here I was with these people who were like… It looks good on them.
11:56 Tommy: Let’s put it that way. It looks good on them. Their life is not imploding, they’re vibrant and active and healthy people, and they happen to be involved in marijuana and that’s part of their life. But I sat there among these plants and I was like, “Wow. I’m just so grateful not to be in that world. I’m just like, I really… “My life is so clearly one of meditation, one of yoga, one of self-reflection, one of health and wellness, and all the Recovery 2.0 work and the service that I like to do, and I just don’t feel like I’m missing anything. That would not have been the case when I first got sober. When I first got sober, that would have been a real problem for me to come upon people planting marijuana. I would have been like, “Ugh, oh, my God.” I wouldn’t have been able to get it off my mind and I might have relapsed around that, that very fact. So it’s interesting how we change. So I hope that helps to answer the question. I would be lying to you if I said that marijuana never had a use in my life.
12:56 Tommy: And I don’t want to lie to you. And by the way, I don’t want to lie to teenagers either. I want them to understand that they’re… You know, at a certain point, this worked for me but at a certain point it really didn’t.
13:05 John: Yeah, that really is important because we do… I remember as a kid I got the message that I was going to be jumping out of a window or something like… [chuckle] It doesn’t happen. I was like, “Oh. This isn’t true.”
13:17 Tommy: Yes, yes. So…
13:18 John: It’s more subtle than that.
13:19 Tommy: Yes, It’s very… I think we have to be rigorously honest with ourselves as well. That if I try to paint a picture of, “Marijuana is just simply bad. It’s just a bad and terrible thing that only leads to terrible places.” I don’t believe that. But I believe that for me and that maybe for you and anyone who’s listening to this. You know, you have to ask yourself this question, “How do you want to spend your life? How do you want to spend your time?” If you eat a piece of chocolate cake and every time you eat that cake, it makes you feel bloated and tired and a little bit stressed and a little bit guilty, maybe you should reflect upon whether or not that cake should be a part of your life anymore. And that’s where it got to with me and marijuana. And thank God that I had the support of the 12 steps, and therapists, and sponsors, and teachers, and yoga, and meditation to help me develop myself into a person that could have incredible joy and connection and love in a life of freedom from any kind of substance.
14:24 John: You had a really good experience with your treatment program. I like the story because I could identify with it. Your addiction really progressed and you went out to California to spend some time with your father and you got cleaned up and were doing well, and you went back to Colorado to go to school and relapsed. You, in a conversation with your father, he was picking up on this idea that you had relapsed and he… It brought him to tears. Was that the bottom that got you to finally say, “I give up”?
14:55 Tommy: That was the moment of truth for me. I like to reframe the idea of a bottom as just being the moment when a person is ready to tell the truth. And that was the moment for me. Yeah, my father’s tears just broke my heart open and I could see for a minute through his eyes what had been happening to me and that something was going to have to happen. And so I just was so heartbroken over his being heartbroken that I was like, “Look, Dad, I will get help. I will get some help.” And that was the big turning point.
15:32 John: When I read that it was moving to me, because I had a similar experience, which I have recounted here before. In my particular case, I had been sober for a few months and I was approaching my father for the first time to let him know that I was an alcoholic, and his reaction to that was he broke down in tears and started pouring bottles of booze down the sink. And it was stunning for me to see that because at that moment, I realized how he loved me and how I hurt him, but the good news is over time we were able to repair that relationship. Yeah, a very powerful moment, I thought, in your book. Then you talk about, and I really like this, and this is what I think is so important for people like me and maybe others is, you talked about Recovery 1.0 and you talked about the 12 steps as a foundation to build on. And you talked about… You wrote about, rather, how we evolve in our recovery and this is something that I’ve experienced. Can you talk about that evolution a little bit and how maybe we have different needs at different times in our recovery?
16:40 Tommy: Yes. It’s a great, great question and important topic. Not enough is said about this idea of evolution through recovery and different stages. The reason it’s important is very simply like, wouldn’t it be useful to know when you’re three months sober and someone could come to you and say, “Look what… Our experience has been in recovery is that things change. Right now, we’re going to ask that you go to a meeting every day, and the reason we do that is because we’re helping you to create a new routine, a new habit. You build a new habit into your life that’s healthful, that brings you around people, keeps you from being secretive and alone and stuck in your head.” All that makes sense. Also it would be helpful for someone to say to you, “And you may not need that always. You may have different needs later on.”
17:27 Tommy: That’s helpful because, number one, it says to the person, “Okay, I can handle that this is a right now thing.” The idea, at the beginning, at least for me, that I was going to have to go to a meeting every day for the rest of my life, or even the suggestion of that or the suggestion that if you started to get away from meetings that you would somehow… You would just relapse, that was what was coming down the pipe. That’s a difficult prospect for anyone to handle. That is to say that it might bounce somebody out of this program, rather than keep them centered. Also, it’s just good to know that, I wish someone had told me, “You know, co-dependency and true challenge in relationships is something that everyone in addiction experiences, and at some point, you’re going to have to learn, and grow, and go through that co-dependency portal part of your recovery.” I really wish somebody had told me that. I didn’t know that was coming. It side-swiped me so painfully and so difficult, so much difficulty. Thank God I stayed sober. And thank God… I mean, I took a good ass-whupping around that stuff, but I stayed sober and was able to learn and grow through it.
18:32 Tommy: So yeah, different people need different things at different times. At the beginning, when you’re trying to change any behavior, no matter what it is, if it’s ingrained in you, it’s ingrained because you’ve done this behavior over and over. Simply to create change in your life, adopt another behavior and repeat that over and over, and let that behavior, the new behavior, be an upgrade to your old behavior. That’s called positive personal evolution. Now you’re on the path of learning, and growing, and transforming in a positive direction for yourself. For example, why do people say 90 meetings in 90 days?
19:09 Tommy: It’s the same thing. It’s like, well, you were doing drugs for 90 days, the last 90 days, or drinking for the last 90 days, now we’re going to do something else. You were staying alone in your apartment on the couch watching TV and doing drugs and alcohol for the last 90 days, now we’re going to do something else. So, we’re just switching a routine and we’re ingraining it into the body and into the brain, literally, in the neuro… Creating new neuro-pathways and new habits. And while you’re doing those new habits, you’re also meeting people, and so, you’re getting connected with people. And so, there’s a sense of a community that’s taking place, which is very supportive to recovery, and you start to develop the capacity to see a new way of living from what has been. First five years in my recovery, I dedicated myself to the 12 steps, dedicated. Meetings every day, or most every day, going out, talking to people, going to coffee at night, being around sober people all the time, reading out of the book, doing all steps, doing multiple sessions of the 12 steps, going to big book studies. Really, really invested myself in learning what those steps had to offer. And it served me in the biggest way.
20:25 Tommy: And then after those five years, it’s not like I blew off the 12 steps, certainly not. It’s just that my needs and my life changed. I started to have bigger responsibilities at work, I started to travel and to do different things, and my life grew in life force and power, and I mean that in the best way, and I might not have been able to get to a meeting every day, and maybe I was only going to four meetings a week. But I was going to the gym, and I was making my therapy appointments. So I have a new therapist by this point, and we were exploring different things in life. Relationships were being very challenging for me at that point. So, I was looking there, and so, it was shifting. Now, at 26 years sober, I have a home group meeting that I love. I have a… I still… I work with therapists, I work with yoga teachers, I work with nutritionists, I work on relationships. I still work on all my stuff because I love it. I wouldn’t choose to be anywhere else, but it’s not out of like, “If I don’t do this, I’m going to relapse or I’m going to die or I’m going… ” It’s just, this has now become my life, it’s so joyful. I understand what my purpose is. I understand what I am. I understand who I am. And I understand that this is very temporary, like, even this is going to change.
21:46 John: Right. Right. Right.
21:48 Tommy: In five years, if we have this conversation in five years from now, God willing, I’ll be 31 years sober, and you’ll ask me again and I’ll say, “Oh, God, all that stuff when I was 26, it feels completely different again.”
22:00 John: Yeah, yeah. I’m so glad to have that understanding now, because I actually had that experience, 25 years of sobriety. And then I had a big shift in my perception of the program, and it was a good thing for me. But what I was doing at the time, I was having the shift, I said, “Well, my old way, and what I did was wrong or bad, but that’s not true. I was a different person then. And what I was doing at that time was what I needed to do at that time.” I’m curious, Tommy, did you get into practicing yoga fairly early on in your recovery, and has that always been an important component of your recovery?
22:37 Tommy: I am fortunate to say that I walked into a yoga studio and began a relationship with yoga in my… In the first year of recovery.
22:50 John: Okay.
22:51 Tommy: My relationship with yoga at that point was very physical, which was necessary for me. I did not approach it with great awareness, mindfulness, with a teacher guiding me, and I flailed around a little bit for the first 10 to 12 years.
23:07 John: Oh, wow, okay.
23:09 Tommy: So, I practiced, here and there, in and out, now and then, sometimes for long bursts, like 30 days in a row, 60 days in a row. And other times it was just, sort of, whenever I could get there. I hadn’t been trained, I hadn’t taken a training. What I knew about yoga was what I had learned in classes that I went to. But, I hadn’t been to workshops and I hadn’t really been involved at that level. And then when I reached what I call the third bottom in my recovery, I reached a third bottom, which was really around relationships and money. So, co-dependency and then money, and gambling, and money-related addictions and pain there. That bottom resulted in a nearly paralysis state in my back.
23:53 John: Yeah. Yeah. I was going to say, terrible chronic pain you had.
23:56 Tommy: Unbelievable. And I lived in that pain for the better part of a year. Pretty sure that I had somehow, something had happened to me. Didn’t know… I couldn’t understand it at that time. I was about 35 years old, and I was just… I was just in pain…
24:11 John: Wow.
24:12 Tommy: All the time. Couldn’t do my athletics. Couldn’t really… I was just in pain. And that brought me to my knees. And it brought me to a level of humility and openness, and I met my teacher, my current teacher, Guru Prem, out of that experience. And he showed me how to heal the body. He showed me how to heal stress. He showed me and painted a picture of a deeper level of recovery that I had never… I had never been able to imagine, much less reach, in my life. And so, I started to do the things that he asked me to do which had a lot to do with yoga.
24:46 John: And did he… Did he recommend for you the, this is the part I found really fascinating, the digestive cleansing that actually helped remove that pain?
25:00 Tommy: So that was not his recommendation.
25:01 John: Okay.
25:01 Tommy: That was something that Kia, my wife, and I had decided to do. We had been researching and hearing quite a bit about the importance of digestive tract health. And this was, you know, 2003, 2004, the beginning of 2004. And we did this extreme cleanse. We really, really went there. And we did it for 30 days. And, from the top to the bottom, we cleaned out, and completely, utterly let go of every kind of processed food or sugar or… The only source of sugar that we really brought into our body were apples. And then, of course, you’re getting some very, very small amount of sugar from vegetables, but 100% raw, 100, like… And at the end, you weren’t eating at all; it was just juices for the last seven days. And when that was over, somewhere in there, my back pain went away.
26:00 John: That’s amazing.
26:02 Tommy: And I have never looked back. And there’s many reasons why I feel that took place. But we are now, flash forward 14 years, what we now understand about the importance of gut health and gut biome, is there is a direct connection between your thoughts and what’s going on in your gut. Your level of vitality, your level of immunity, the level of addiction in your life is directly related to what is going on in your gut. And there’ll come a time in the next 20 years, when this is so proven and so clear to people that they will look back on this time, and they will look at people in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings eating cupcakes and cakes and cookies and drinking coffees and teas packed with sugar, and they will say, “Oh, my God! They had no idea what they were doing. Oh, my God! They didn’t realize that they were making their recovery harder.”
27:02 John: Yeah, actually harder, oh, yeah, the sugar especially.
27:05 Tommy: Yeah, and that’s not a condemnation…
27:07 John: No.
27:07 Tommy: It’s just, being somebody who has really struggled with sugar in their life, I really understand that, that weakened my system, and stress weakened my system, and those forces came together and created a tension pattern in my back that was debilitating and over time became incredibly painful and almost paralyzed me. And I was able to heal from it.
27:29 John: I found that really inspiring. It’s kind of what I’m looking at in my own life right now, is diet. And I’ve done different things and exercise and so forth. The thing that I’m missing that I’m going to try to implement with your help, I think, [chuckle] is meditation as a regular practice to help keep me on track with those other things.
27:52 Tommy: Yes.
27:53 John: And you talk about there are three key things I think that you talked about in your book, about Recovery 2.0, and that would be practicing yoga, meditating and diet.
28:05 Tommy: Yes.
28:06 John: And that’s kind of what I think I’m missing from my recovery, and a lot of people out there might be missing are implementing those things. And the one thing that I find really hard about doing that is how I manage time, and I’m thinking that meditation is a good tool for that.
28:25 Tommy: Without question. I want to talk about that. I would say a shameless pitch for our membership community. We have members, thousands of people who come every day to look at the meditation videos and the yoga videos, and to connect with each other each week in our membership at r20.com. And it’s $100 bucks for a year, incredibly affordable, and there’s, I don’t know, at this point, probably 500 hours of interview, lectures and different practices that you can do just every day that will help you.
29:02 John: Yeah, I signed up for it, actually.
29:03 Tommy: I’m so glad. So, please take advantage of the meditations that are there and the yoga classes that are there. You asked about time. So, human beings struggle in this way. People who have a hard time with addiction, or whose lives have been touched by addiction; they struggle particularly when it comes to time. We spoke a little bit about it at the beginning when we talked about resentment, and we talked about how resentment is located in the past somewhere. Its root is not… And honestly, it can’t be in the future, because the future hasn’t come yet. So something you experienced before is pulling you back there, it’s pulling you back there. And so, our challenge is to relate to the one place where we can actually heal, the one place where we can actually connect, the one place where we can actually grow, the one place where we can actually live and experience life fully, and that’s the present moment. To be in resentment is to be lost in time and space.
30:01 Tommy: You’re literally lost. You don’t know it, but you are. What are you lost from? You’re lost from your own presence. You’re lost from your own awareness of this moment of yourself here, now. What is the problem? If you ask anybody, “What is the problem?” “Well, you just don’t understand like this person, like they… You know, they just, they just… My father, my mother, my cousin, my children, my colleagues at work, work, the system, the President, the political system, the rah-rah-rah. All this is wrong. It’s wrong. It’s wrong. It’s all wrong. It’s all… It’s too much for me. And so, I’m pissed off about it.” And it’s like, “Well, take a deep breath. Just take a deep breath for a minute.”
30:51 Tommy: So, in that moment, there’s just you and the breath and all that other stuff is just all that other stuff. In point of fact, it has no relevance whatsoever when it comes to you, here and now. What’s going on? The purpose of my life right now is to talk to you, John. And I’m doing it to the best of my ability. I’m bringing awareness to it. Here we are, I get it. We’re talking, we’re conversing, this is what’s going on. We’re investigating topics. We’re looking at things and we’re creating words from memory and words from presence and words from who we are. That’s what’s going on right now. I’m not hung up about this or that or the other thing. But, in the habit, the almost perpetual habit that people have of being up here in unconsciousness, in subconsciousness, worried, anxious, stressed, like I used to be, then there’s no freedom.
31:40 John: Yeah.
31:40 Tommy: We’re stuck, we’re stuck in time and space. We’re stuck in the past when we’re worried about the future. We’re worried about the future because the past is plaguing us. [laughter]
31:49 John: Yeah.
31:49 Tommy: So, if we do not develop a relationship with our own presence, then we’ll forever repeat this experience and it will be unpleasant. We will not feel that we’re living a full life. And that is a tragedy, especially if you’re sober. Like you can be here, you can be sober and miserable. We’ve all been there.
32:09 John: Well, it’s amazing how reading a book like this will inspire me to do things that I know that are helpful to me. I’ve practiced meditation in the past and have benefited from it greatly. I’ve exercised and so forth, and I just kind have gotten out of that. And so, it was kind of funny, I was going through this kind of a stagnant period of my life where I’m just… I’m doing podcasts and I’m just worn down, I’m drinking coffee all the time, and I read this wonderful book and I’m like, “Wow, yeah. I should pay attention to how I’m eating and all the stuff I’m putting in my body and have a little bit more balance in my life.” So, thank you for that.
32:48 Tommy: My pleasure. Thank you for saying so.
32:50 John: While we conclude. Can you tell us just a little bit about the Recovery 2.0 community, about your website, about the seminars, about all of that, that you do that I’m just learning about and really find interesting?
33:05 Tommy: Sure, thank you. Well, I just want to comment on what you said just a moment ago about how you feel like you fell into, you fell off of your routine and off of, you know. Because it’s exactly what the community is all about. The thing that I would say to you, as I say to everybody and that we encourage each other, the community to say to each other is, “Okay, now what?” There’s no shame in falling off a routine. In fact, the fact that you caught it, and you can even say with awareness, “Oh, I noticed that I’ve fallen off a routine that I would like to get back into,” that has to be the first step before you can actually get back into it. So, we help each other to bring routines and a steadiness into our life that nets really positive results. Not just, are people staying sober? But if they fall off their routines, people are there to help them and support them into getting back on. Sometimes people will relapse. Of course, it’s part of the human deal. It’s part of… And what we do in those cases is we surround that person with love and support. How can we help? Don’t go into a shame place. Don’t let shame take this thing over. There’s something to be learned here. It’s really okay. We understand and we love you, and let’s get you back into the routines and the mindset that’s going to help you to take little steps and move forward and be able to make some progress.
34:34 Tommy: So that’s what I would say to you, John, is, “Don’t worry, you’re right on time, you’re not late, it’s perfect.” And yeah, just one action that you can take each day, one action. And I say this to myself every morning when I wake up and I do my morning practice, “Good for you, Tommy. Just do this today. Give yourself this gift today. No one else is going to give this to you today. Yeah, give yourself the gift of a morning practice.” That’s what I say to myself. And when I complete the morning practice, the day is already victorious. It doesn’t mean it’s not going to be a day that where challenges might come, but my ability to navigate those challenges will be greatly enhanced when I’ve given myself that little gift of the morning practice.
35:18 Tommy: So, in our community, we have made these morning practices available to everybody in video form. So, you open your computer and you literally, you log in and you just choose a practice and you do the practice along with me. And practices, they vary from 15 minutes to 30, there’s some 45, and some hour long practices if you have more time that day. There’s no pressure. There’s no falling off, or like… You just do… You do it because you start to really enjoy it, and get some momentum that way. Another routine that we encourage people is to join us on Monday nights. Every Monday night we have a live presentation. It’s either myself or another teacher from a variety of disciplines presenting for one hour on Monday night, every Monday of the entire year.
36:04 John: Interesting.
36:05 Tommy: So we never miss that. That’s 5:00 PM Pacific Time, Monday. And if someone in Europe or Australia, for example, can’t make it, we record everything and we make it available immediately.
36:15 John: That’s awesome.
36:15 Tommy: So, they can watch it the next day. Just being able to stay in a flow like that is very, very powerful for… It strengthens your recovery. And we’re also having a lot of fun and learning a lot together. So that’s enjoyable. So then you’ve got that. And then you have… I’ve done 10 conferences. Our 10th one is coming up June 6th through the 10th. It’s completely free. It’s online. And all you do is register for the conference and you can watch five… Or, actually, six videos every day, for five days. All of our members get all of that content for free. Forever. It’s just available in our site. So all 10 conferences that we’ve done. That’s now, that’s 250 hours…
37:00 John: That’s interesting.
37:01 Tommy: Of interview are there in our library. And they’re incredible interviews from doctors and scientists, and recovery experts, and yoga teachers and nutrition coaches and all amazing people. So that’s another part of our membership.
37:15 John: That’s fantastic.
37:16 Tommy: But the conference that’s coming up, it is free. You don’t have to join our membership. You just… You go to r20.com/conference. And people can sign up there for free. And then we have coaching programs later in the year, which are eight week experiences that I guide people through. And this year a very exciting… This might be interesting to you. We’re doing our first food course.
37:38 John: Oh, cool. [chuckle]
37:40 Tommy: So this is going to be a four week immersion to learn how to shop, how to prepare, how to eat, how to digest, how to renew your relationship with food. So we’re very excited about that.
37:54 John: Very good. Very good. Well, thank you again so much. It was very kind and generous of you to take your time and spend it with me. I think that this is a book that our community is going to enjoy. I know that some people that listen to our podcast and go to our website already are members of the Recovery 2.0 community. So that’s pretty nice. So thank you, Tommy. I really appreciate this. I really do. Thank you so much.
38:19 Tommy: John, keep doing your great work, and I’m so glad you have your wonderful organization. And it’s such an important voice in this recovery world. So keep rocking it and thank you for having me.
38:31 John: Alright, thank you very much.
38:36 John: Well, that concludes this episode of AA Beyond Belief the Podcast. Thank you for listening, everybody. As always, if you would like to support the AA Beyond Belief website and podcast, you can do so by making a small monthly recurring contribution at our Patreon page, which you can find at patreon.com/aabeyondbelief. To learn more about Recovery 2.0 and Tommy Rosen, just Google Recovery 2.0, and you will learn all about it. Thanks again, folks.
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