Radical Recovery of Rob Decker


Fitness, faith and friends delivered Rob Decker from the depths of despair to the heights of a clean lifestyle. Written by Suzanna Cullen Hamilton Photographed by Shane O’Donnell.

Originally published in Southbay HEALTH Magazine Spring 2017, a publication of Moon Tide Media  http://www.oursouthbay.com/

 


Written by Suzanna Cullen Hamilton | Photographed by Shane O’Donnell

 

Opioid addiction claims more lives each year than firearms or automobiles. Growing up with parents who were alcoholics with opioid and drug addictions presented Rob with an almost insurmountable hurdle. Although Rob now has a thriving career as a fitness instructor—particularly to youth and people recovering from back surgery, his path was riddled with the landmines of addiction and negative messaging.

“It’s impossible to not be affected when you grow up with meth-addicted parents who abuse drugs and alcohol,” says Rob. He started using marijuana at age 16, and by his early 20s he was taking Ecstasy and cocaine. “I was on a fast path, and my father told me that I’d never make it,” he continues.

A life of constant addiction culminated one dark night that could have ended Rob’s life. After a drunken argument with his then-girlfriend that included a call to the police, Rob decided to take his own life by jumping from a building.

“In that moment, I was ready to end the nightmare,” says Rob. Although friends had recently taken him to a prayer service at a nearby church where Rob says he “felt chills on my spine and knew the Lord’s presence,” he wanted to go.

Fortunately, Rob hit part of the building, and it broke his fall. Although he shattered his back, arm and wrist and collapsed a lung, he was alive.

It took five years and $2 million in multiple surgeries to heal Rob’s fractured back and arm, and he had to learn to walk again. “During that time, I learned to understand deep physical pain; the fundamentals and patience required for recovery; and I learned that my faith would deliver me through it,” says Rob.

 

Titanium rods, screws and cages now hold Rob’s body together, while his faith holds his soul together. He’s also eliminated all drug and alcohol use.

Today Rob has a thriving business as a personal trainer at Equinox. “I want to give people hope,” says Rob. He and his wife, Alyssa, live in Torrance, and they welcomed a son, Caleb, in 2016.

When asked what he’d say to his teenaged self, Rob replies, “You can be whatever you want to be, and be the best you can be.” Caleb is going to have a great pillar in his father, and back surgery patients have an advocate in Rob.

Written by Suzanna Cullen Hamilton Photographed by Shane O’Donnell

For more articles written by Southbay, visit http://www.oursouthbay.com/


 

 

 

Belief/Affirmations: Do you believe in the power of prayer?

Article Written By Dr. Jane Cox

You might have noticed that I rather enjoy taking a bit of a controversial view on all sorts of subjects. I remember being taught from quite young that there are certain subjects that you just don’t talk about, and those generally include subjects around things like religion, or politics. Well, that was like a red rag to a bull for me. Tell me I shouldn’t do something, and immediately it engages me as something worth taking notice of. I am also often the “devil’s advocate” – I’ll keep the open mind, and always allow for the possibility that what I “believe” at any stage may change, because my current decision or belief may be based on a lack of knowledge, rather than an abundance of knowledge. And for me, ignorance is no reason to structure my life in a certain way. After all, life is about growing and learning, and I think we all have a huge amount of potential for that learning and that growth.

So one of the controversial subjects that has always interested me is the power of prayer. Some people swear by it, some people dismiss it completely. I went and became a metaphysican in my desire to understand it, amongst trying to get a handle on all other things spiritual and philosophical. I found out a lot of things about prayer, but I hope to share just a small finding in this couple of pages that we have together. And maybe it’ll encourage you to test this concept for yourself.

If you believed the nuns that taught me during my high school years, prayers are answered. To be honest, I had a big red flashing doubt sign in my brain when they came up with this concept. I tested it. I would pray for something, put my heart and soul into that prayer, and nothing seemed to happen. I would do the other thing they suggest – always start your prayer with thanks of what you have in your life, and then expand on this concept and pray for what you want as though the prayer had already been granted. Well, I liked the idea of that, but I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed with the success of the strategy.

One of my best friends at school was always worrying about her weight. She tried this prayer thing as well. She prayed to lose weight. She gave thanks for her thinness as though it had already become a reality. But nope. She kept looking much the same and, dare I say it, if there was weight doing anything it was appearing, not disappearing. So for a while I liked the concept of praying but the proof was still lacking.

Then I sat back and looked at what prayer actually was. It was effectively the sending up of energy into the Universe. And of course if there is real emotion involved in anything, it increased the amount of energy attached to that thought or desire. If we think of ourselves as electrical circuits, it makes sense that we exchange energy with the Universe. And if we guide that energy, and set our intentions, and include our emotions, it is like sending a guided missile up into the energy system of the Universe, and it certainly should be weighted in the favour of working, so why did it seem to have so little working proof?

Then I took a broader look at what was going on, and I experimented further, and I can honestly say that it is true what they say: Every prayer is answered. The trouble is that we tend to forget the first half of the statement. The fact is that EVERY THOUGHT is a prayer, and every prayer is answered. Think about it. Over seven billion souls, all sending up the energy of their thoughts. That’s a helluva lot of energy being sent out into the Universe!

So somehow we expect the Universe, that God power, to listen really carefully to all of that energy coming from each one of us. We expect that if that thought is preceded by a “Dear God”, and ends off with an “Amen”, that somehow the Universe will ignore the clutter of all those other energetic signals we send off, and just grant the request or intention sandwiched between those magic words. The more I thought about it, the more ridiculous it seemed.

I listened carefully to my friend. While for a few minutes each day she prayed for weight loss, she spent most of the other 23 hours and 55 minutes talking about how fat she felt she was. How she “only needed to think about a slice of cake and she would put on weight”. And I looked at where her thoughts centred, I listened to her self talk, and I saw where her emotions lay, and I saw how where she placed her attention was what manifested.

I saw myself do the same. I would “pray” for one thing, but believe another. I would ask for one result, and take actions and expend energy into creating the opposite result. Not intentionally, but when I was honest with myself, the pattern was clear. The negative self talk that we indulge in. The times that we diminish ourselves and run ourselves down. All of that energy, all of those thoughts, all sending out their energy into a very busy Universe, and the answering energy comes back. What we believe, we achieve. If what we internally believe is that we are failures, we create failure. If we believe we are incapable, we are. Or in my friend’s case, if we think we are overweight, we become the outward manifestation of those thoughts.

But on the flip side, when we catch our negative thoughts and beliefs, and we replace them with positive ones, we start to manifest that too. When we start to genuinely tell ourselves that we can do something, we manage it with relative ease. When we expect a positive outcome, we create a much larger possibility for that positive outcome. When our mind sends out clean and consistent energy, and we take ownership of our thoughts, we take back control over the outcome of those thoughts.

At first it may seem clunky. And quite an eye opener as to how many times we “think ourselves down”. But if every time you catch yourself thinking negatively, you intentionally replace those thoughts with positive ones, you start retraining your brain for positive results rather than negative ones. Every thought is a prayer, and every prayer is answered.

What are your thoughts? Because those thoughts are the thoughts that will become your reality.

Thank you so much for reading,

Jane xx


Dr. Jane Cox is a Human behavioural specialist, success psychology expert and ethno-psychologist. Internationally renowed motivational speaker & trainer. find out more at: https://www.drjanecox.co.uk/

7 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Relationship Part 3

 

Here is question 3 in the highlight of the #Metoo campaign

Q3. Do you have to nag your partner to get even the simplest jobs done?

 

We all know that feeling of frustration when we ask somebody to do something for us and then we end up doing it anyway.

If in your relationship it is rare this happens then you know your partner has genuinely forgotten whatever it is you asked them to do. However, if you find this to be a recurring thing and you find yourself getting irritated by it daily, then you know that really your partner can’t be bothered to take even 5 minutes out of his 24 hours to complete a simple task for you. This would then result in you nagging at them and it usually causes arguments or you adopting the “I will do everything” attitude which could end in you wearing yourself out mentally, emotionally and physically.

Relationships are supposed to be 100/100 and if yours is 90/10 then you know something has to be done to rectify it quickly before you become either a doormat to your partner or so frustrated that you end up leaving the relationship completely. (That’s if you don’t strangle him first.)

Exercise Three:

Discuss with your partner the idea about setting up a routine for all the jobs that need to be completed, like the housework, bill paying, the gardening etc..

After a while of sticking to this routine,  you and your partner will form a new routine that in time will become like second nature to you both.

Don’t let frustration come from your fear of asking to put systems in place. Sometimes our own expectances can be much higher than what the other partner can deliver. Work together to make it happen.

Stay tuned for 4 more questions and 4 more exercises,

Much Love,

Kate xx

7 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Relationship Part 2

Here is question 2 to highlight the #Metoo campaign

Q2, Do you receive good compliments from your partner?

 

We all need to be complimented on making us feel good in a relationship. Compliments boost our self-esteem. Hearing the nice compliments gives us the self-confidence we need that enables us to conquer whatever it is we desire.

If we receive bad compliments from our partner, then it can be very shattering to our self-confidence, leaving us with very low self-esteem. It can also put us at an all-time low where we don’t feel worthy of anything. It makes us feel that we could never accomplish anything we want to do.

In many relationships where one partner has insecurities of their own, they tend to drag the other partner down to make themselves feel just that little bit better. Certain comments made to us like “isn’t it about time you lose weight” or “You can’t go out dressed like that!” leave us feeling down about ourselves. The impact of these certain comments can be shattering to our feelings.

Usually, the reason why these comments are made by your partner is due to them having maybe put on a few extra pounds in the “comfy stage” of your relationship and he’s now scared that your wearing of that tight fitted dress will bring attention from other men. So his insecurities are on show by projecting them on to you….( To hell with what he thinks!, wear that tight fitted dress. In 30 years you will be wishing back the figure you have now!.)

If you are in a relationship where your partner does tend to make bad comments to you then the exercise below will prove how many times they make them.

Exercise two:

Take a little money box or piggy bank, or even a jar, (as long as it is not a see- through one). Each time your partner makes a bad comment about you, put a penny in the money box, continue to do this each time a bad comment is made and carry it on for at least 21 days.

After the 21 days open the jar and take out the pennies you have put and count them. This will now show you how many times your partner made you feel bad about yourself in the past three weeks.

(I asked a friend of mine to conduct this exercise herself,  and after 21 days she had $1.75 in her jar,  which concludes that her partner had put her down 175 times in three weeks !.)

As hard as these things are, bringing awareness to a problem means we can make change.

Stay tuned for 5 more questions and 5 more exercises,

Much Love,

Kate xx


 

Beliefs and Affirmations- The No Non-sense Approach By Stephen Garrett

Article Written By Stephen Garrett

A lot of attention has been given to positive affirmations over the years especially in this time of New Aged Spirituality. There is a tendency to lean towards the light and avoid the dark at all costs. Well, the cost is actually in avoiding the dark, as that is where our personal power lies and also where it gets all knotted up.

Buried in our dark side are ALL the limiting self-beliefs that are our true magnets – magnets that draw to us those things we want and more those thing we do not want. These dark side magnets must first be re-polarized before any affirmations will have a permanent and lasting effect. If we simply lay positive affirmations on top of these unearthed and unhealed limiting self-beliefs all the laws of attraction will avoid the new lawyer of positive affirmations and instead attract what our core beliefs demand.

Positive affirmations painted on top of negative unconscious self-beliefs is much like applying a coat of paint on top of an ageing, cracked, existing paint job. It looks great initially but over a very short time period the cracks show their true colors and all the efforts of the new paint job were for naught.

If you intend to have a fantastic new paint job last the test of time you must first do the hard work of scrapping off all the old paint and getting back to the original surface of the wood. Once down to the clear base the new paint job will hold true and look as good as new for a long period of time.

Well, if it is true for a paint job it is also true for affirmations. They will not hold to an old cracked belief system not matter how much effort you apply. The old cracked belief system will always show through and the laws of attraction will bring to you what the old paint job has always brought you. You need to scrape away all those old limiting self-beliefs and get down to the base you – your divine spiritual heart.

Once the scrapping has effectively removed those once powerful dark side, negative beliefs the way is clear for new beliefs in the form of affirmations. So do your scraping work! Ask yourself these types of questions and be brutally honest;

  • How do I keep myself small?
  • How do I really think of myself?
  • If I am being honest with myself what are some of my negative identities?
  • When someone gives me a compliment what is my first thought?
  • When I make a mistake how do I really talk to myself?

These sorts of questions get at the negative self-beliefs lying beneath the surface in the shadows of your emotional mind/body. They must be brought into the light of day so you can de-identify from them and free yourself in order that you are able to receive the new paint job in the form of positive affirmations.

Without doing this preparation work; without scraping away the old paint; without getting down to the original clear wood surface you are simply wasting your time doing positive affirmations.

Much Love,

Stephen


Over the past decade I have spoken to groups as large as 1,200 people and more intimate groups from 15 to 200 folks. I have spoken in person at conferences such as IdeaCity, Double D’s Death and Dying Conference, the Ageing and Spirituality Conference in Los Angeles, the Bereavement Ontario Networks 25th Annual Conference, along with numerous radio and television shows.

I currently work with such organizations as hospices, professional continuing education organizations, colleges, communities, and churches creating tailor-made workshops to suit each group’s unique needs and learning styles. Learn more at www.stephengarrett.ca/