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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/

Affirmations, do they really work? – By Kim B. Smith

Article Written By Kim B. Smith

 

I am a healthy person; I am strong and focused; I am loved; I am a shining ray of beauty…

I am energetic and productive to arrive through my day!

These are just a few samples of positive affirmations, something a lot of people do not believe in. Our belief system here is what we “buy” into, what we are told to by others.

First, I would like to talk more about affirmations. To be affirmed, affirming and more.

Here is the definition:

1, The action or process of affirming something or being affirme

“He nodded in affirmation.

2,  Emotional support and encouragement.

These affirmations are powerful – they work. For me personally, they help me calm my nerves and anxiety. I take three deep breaths before stating my affirmations. However, I have clients that insist that they don’t work or that it is just too simple! Really? Why does everything have to be so neck breaking hard for us to receive love and desired results? Crazy, huh?

Affirmations need to be visible. I find placing mine in my journal helps. I write them on Post-its, and I keep them in my car, on my mirror and around my monitor of my computer. Places where I can see them and be reminded.

I let myself get creative and use sharpies and different color Post-its. At one point I used to teach a leadership class to high schoolers, we did the eliminating of negative beliefs, we taught them how to take their negative beliefs and turn them into positive, supportive ones by using the Post-it method. One of the students shared with the class that she decided to place her Post-its on her bedroom ceiling so she could see them first thing in the morning and last at night! Brilliant! We saw a shift in this young lady’s personality.

These affirmations change our beliefs about ourselves, AND THEY WORK.

Yes, affirmations work, I know this because we live in a total affirmed world. A very negative world that affirms with fear and negativity.

How many times have you been given a compliment and affirm with a negative comment? How many times do you negatively put yourself down? “I am fat, I am a loser, I am a failure.” We have all done this at one point in our lives. And we buy into this, don’t we? Aren’t these affirmations changing our beliefs?

Affirmations work, positive or negative. Humans have been walking around for years affirming things.

“I am ____________.” You chose, power-filled and positive or knock-down, fear-based, and negative. But I will tell you, they work. Affirmations have worked since the beginning of time, it’s just that we as a race have been trained to use them negatively. So changing all of this up, feels strange, abnormal, and very different. Indeed, and it will until a new routine is started for yourself.

Practice is the way to change, and practice doesn’t get you to perfection. Practice supports us and allows us to be Human.

Begin today with three positive affirmations, place them around you on your mirror, monitor and such. You got this!

Peace, Kim xx


Kim Boudreau Smith is a multi-talented CEO and business leader with a legacy of empowering thousands of women. From a corporate background in sales and marketing and over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, Kim has gone on to become an #1 International Best-Selling Author with the book being one of the best-selling on Amazon for 2015! Kim also has become a multiple International Best-Selling Author Business Consultant and Speaker. Kim combines her expertise with a passion to motivate and inspire other women to become “top producers in their lives”. As CEO of Kim Boudreau Smith Inc.& Founder of Bold Radio Station her international speaking and consulting work has enabled thousands of women to benefit from her inspirational and empowering work. Find out more at www.kimbsmith.com

 

Beliefs & Affirmations – Written By Hayley Young

Written By Hayley Young

 

When you truly believe in yourself, anything is possible! Affirmations is one of my favorite topics, and I can speak from personal experience when I say they work, they actually work!

Beliefs are what we think of ourselves. They create our lives and our futures, they are the cause of everything we think, say and do. Many of our beliefs are formed unconsciously as children and through personal experiences, but at any time our mind can be reprogrammed by our thoughts and affirmations.

To change our core beliefs about ourselves we need to be ready to start our journey of self-improvement and becoming the best version of ourselves. My journey first started several years ago when my friend shared a documentary with me, you may of her of it, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I was immediately hooked, and instantly life felt different, more positive and happier. By the time I went to bed, my affirmations were written, and I have stuck by them since that night. They have changed over time as I have had my achievements, but I truly believe in them.

Daily affirmations reprogram your brain with your new beliefs and views of yourself. You see yourself differently; think more positively, and confidence and self-esteem develop. You might not realize it at the time, but when you look back, you will see the personal journey you have taken. In the future, you won’t recognize the person you used to be, in the best possible way.

Decide who and where you want to be in life in the future. You need to be clear about what you want and set goals around what you’d like to achieve. Then you can write your affirmations. You can also make a note of any negative thoughts you have about yourself and write the counterpart down in an affirmation. Put them in places you will see every day (fridge, mirror, phone screensaver, laptop background, etc) and say them in from of the mirror every morning and every evening.

Affirmation Tips:

Write your affirmation in the present tense.

Start with ‘I’ or ‘My’.

Make sure they are positive.

Add an emotion such as ‘I feel so excited that…’.

Feel like it has already happened.

I hope this helps you on your own journey, thank you for reading.

Much Love,

Hayley xx


I am 5ft 5/6ish, dark blonde hair (often dye it red), blue eyes, happy-go-lucky, easy going, always happy and up for a laugh. Love travelling. Life is to short to be miserable!! you can connect with me right here: https://www.facebook.com/hayley.young.9237

REAL LIFE STORY – Blindsided by Donna Davis

REAL LIFE STORY – Written by Donna Davis

He seemed so very charming. Or was it easy for me to be so distracted because my heart was recently broken in a recent break-up. Misery makes it easy for predators to ease right in. I never saw it coming.

He always had time for me. He smiled a lot and was adventurous. He seemed to know exactly what to say and when. We had fun together and things seemed great. I didn’t know he had a temper and a short fuse.

It started the night that he was teaching me how to drive. I hadn’t had the opportunity before so it seemed wonderful to have the chance to learn.  I started out doing well and then at one point drove off the curb, by accident of course, and watched him turn into a monster. He started yelling and cursing and then hit me. What?!  What’s happening?  I’m sorry it was a mistake! The car is fine. We’re fine. What’s the big deal? He later apologized and I thought it wouldn’t happen again. Unfortunately it did. Over and over again for a ten years. No rhyme or reason. Half the time I couldn’t even figure out what the trigger was. It seemed that I was living in hell.

Prior to being with him I never really knew how painful and destructive anger was. I had never experienced it. If he was angry I would get hit. If he was angry I would get punched. If he was angry I would get raped. If he was angry I would have to listen to hours of yelling and threats while I was cornered in the bathroom.  I didn’t dare question him or answer back and had no idea of how to stand up to him. Year after year it went on and on.  I would subconsciously walk on eggshells afraid of relaxing because he could “blow” at any time. We would have patches of okay existence and even some seemingly happy times and then out of nowhere I would get backhanded in the chest or punched in the head. My belief about anger became:  if someone was angry-especially a man- I was going to get hurt!  It would take me years to have this conscious awareness and several more years before I confronted the fact that this was a lie.

That experience taught me many lessons. It allowed me to see how strong I had become, even after years of feeling so weak and helpless.  I found out what forgiveness was. The surprise-and gift-of that was learning and understanding that forgiveness sets me free. It doesn’t justify what happened or excuse his role in the abuse. It allows me to move on and find peace and live life fully.

The dark memories do come to visit from time to time. I’ve learned how to deal with them.  I acknowledge that they happened and I rejoice that I’ve found a way out. It seems like so long ago now since I was able to put it all behind me.  Each day is a victory, another chance to make better choices for myself and make sure NOONE ever does those things to me again.

I sit here today listening to the Kesha song; “Praying” and smile at the thought that somewhere, somehow, perhaps he has found forgiveness for himself, and maybe has a more peaceful life. That is a wish I can send his way.

I get silent and say a prayer of thanks and ask God what to do next: I hear “Your celebration of life IS your release, IS your reward and IS your freedom.”  I dance in those thoughts with a happy heart, a smile, and a sincere hope that many who find themselves in a similar situation can one day be free as well.  There is a way out.  NEVER give up!

Thank you for reading!

Much Love

Donna xx


About Donna Davis:

As The Menopause Fairy I now help other women fine tune their lives as they discover their “A-HA MOMENTS” and discover happiness and pursue their true purpose. Over the years I have had the honor and privilege of helping women all over the world get clear on their dreams and goals while helping and supporting them as they found their balanced hormonal health and peace. Find out more at: http://themenopausefairy.com/

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/