Meet and Read The Authentic Meaning of Inner Happiness and Serenity From A Real Living Zen Master ~ Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi.

Hello, Recovery Friends & Welcome Everyone To A “Special Guest Blog Post.”

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Meet Zen Master ~ Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi. He is one of the few living Zen Masters of our time. I am so pleased and honored to have him with us and wanted to share some of an amazing post he has written filled with love, light, and wisdom. His new book released along with Co-author, Clifford Stevens.

I have read it and I am using it as a guide to learn and practice his unique methods, wisdom, and guide to strengthen my own recovery path and to develop a real deeper inner peace.

We sometimes wonder while maintaining our recovery, how do we get through roadblocks and those “feel stuck” moments while doing so?

READ HIS BOOK titled “Find The Seeker!: The pathless path to fulfillment and happiness.”

 

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Find The Seeker! on shelf
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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Find the Seeker! with the subtitle “The pathless path to fulfillment and happiness”, based on the tried and tested wisdom of a living Master and enlightened ones throughout the ages, accompanies us on a life-changing inner pilgrimage.

Find the Seeker! is a powerful, straight-talking wake-up call to people of all faiths and confessions, holding up a mirror to our worldly existence, suffering and the intricate workings of the ego. Immensely uplifting and rewarding, the book serves as a travelling companion and guide, enticing readers with a vision of what we really are -which can only be directly experienced – by helping us unfold our true nature and reboot our spiritual search so that we can abide in the one Self. In this way, seekers become finders, and we can enjoy the bliss and lightness of Being that is inherently ours.

Find the Seeker! has garnered extensive praise from spiritual teachers: 

“A unique, extraordinary and extremely valuable work.” – Ihaleakala Lew Pen
“Disarming and worth experiencing.” -John Tarrant
“Refreshing as a clear stream.” -Robert Meikyo Rosenbaum
“The book…touches your heart.” -Hue Feng

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CONNECT TO THE ONESELF WITHIN ~ GUEST POST ~ BY ZEN MASTER GENRO XUAN LOU, LAOSHI

“This is the very first blog post ever of Genro Xuan Lou, Laoshi, one of the few living Zen Masters and co-author of the recently published highly-acclaimed spiritual self-help book Find the Seeker (www.findtheseeeker.com; Amazon Book link: http://bit.ly/find-seeker).

Turned off by the tools and techniques providing supposedly more “expertise” and the unhealthy propagation that “everything is possible”, a growing number of serious seekers are turning to the “non-body of thought” which people call Zen.

This is a path for all people regardless of their faiths and confessions, for those looking for answers to existential questions, who want to find out who they really are, lead happier and more fulfilling lives, and experience serenity in the face of everything life throws at us.

If we continue delving deeper and deeper into our intellects and minds, we will see that less and less comes out. If we know less and less about more and more things, we will remain on the periphery of life – instead of exploring the boundless resources of our spirit with the possibilities of meditation. Genuinely devoting oneself to meditation is a path which enables our full potential to be unfolded.

The issue is not practicing a “barren” form of Zen in which one simply sits on a meditation cushion “staring at the wall, mindlessly like cattle.” The issue is also not wanting to achieve enlightenment. This is already present and has been from time immemorial.

Wake up from your slumber


What we actually want is to wake up from our slumber, which we find ourselves in thanks to our conditioned, dualistic and judgmental thinking.

How would it be if you could immerse yourself in a world of tranquillity from no-thinking, and your brain could relax and recover like the body when it is resting? This would not only be good for improving your intellectual performance and productivity.

It is about going to where logic no longer determines and defines everything by itself. Above all, you can see that spontaneity and creative processes are aroused when the inner dialogue in you is stopped. The unthinkable in you can only develop if you do not get in the way – and if you learn to put an end to the gossipy and nagging thoughts and delve into (your) pure Being.

For this reason, the ancient masters say “First heal your mind! And then do what you want!” However, we are not talking about anarchy or selfish individualism but the clear awareness of what is.

Be still and abide in the Self


“You have to search without searching”,
Zen Masters say.  “This means to be still, and to abide in and let yourself be guided by the all-encompassing, omnipresent Beingness of the one Self!”

This reality is everywhere where you go, everywhere you stand, and also where you are now. It is true joy. But how can we find this genuine joy and bliss? By fully and without reservation (re-) connecting to the original state of your mind, to the true Self – here and now. However, if you approach it with a tense and overly serious attitude like that of the pallbearers at a funeral, you are doing the wrong thing. The fact that you are attached to and carry all kinds of futile, burdensome things with you means you continually create lots of attachments. The challenge is to become alert and mindful and free yourself from all this conditioning and attachments.

Suffering does not come from the outside. Suffering always comes from within as our reactions to what happens or what we perceive. The impermanence of everything pleasant which you experience in this world can only stop causing suffering in you if you are stop being attached to these things.

Authentic realization not intellectualizing


However, letting go is not an action, not a question of doing, but in letting it happen in the spirit of the Taoistic Wu-Wei (doing by non-doing) and the conviction, as Jesus said, “Thy will be done!”

This becoming self-less enables a truly happy state of Being, a fulfilling togetherness and a truly new concept for ecology, economy and being human.

Zen is an authentic experience. The autonomous compulsion to think means we live in a state of separation in a world full of problems and conflicts. It is like the dog in the room of mirrors. He only sees his own projections as he who reacts full of aggression and fear.

We identify so much with the mind that you do not even realize that has enslaved you. Because you identify with the mind, you derive your feeling of self-esteem from it and fear you will not exist if you stop thinking. What Zen is about is breaking through this self-produced vicious circle through achieving mental and spiritual clarity.

Zen is not about thinking or intellectual speculation based on differentiating, distinguishing and duality, but is “pure experience” and is thus a question of inner awareness.


Return to your center

Zen is not a religion among many others but to the largest possible extent the basis of religions.  …

Now I would like to ask all my readers, recovery warriors, and visitors to “read the rest of the Story” from my special guest’s enlightening blog. Author’s Genro and Clifford also have a “Weekly Wisdom” series they share on their blog each week. So I highly suggest you sign up for their newsletter and Highly Suggest you read their new book as well!
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Find The Seeker! in stack

 

Available in paperback on Amazon  – Amazon Kindle  –  Barnes and Noble, and many fine online book retailers … AND, Author, Clifford Stevens was just with Host, Catherine Carrigan of The Natural Healing Show! So click below and take a listen to his interview and show.

Catherine Carrigan

Catherine Host of The Natural Healing Show on UK Health Radio

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I Am Happy To Welcome Author & Writer Lisa Boucher To My Recovery Blog For A Thanksgiving Special Interview.

I Am Happy To Welcome Author & Writer Lisa Boucher To My Recovery Blog For A Thanksgiving Special Interview.

Happy Thanksgiving and Welcome to “Recovery Starts Here” Special Author/Writer Interview. My name Catherine Lyon, Author and Advocate.  I know I am a little overzealous as I just bought Lisa’s new book titled; “Raising The Bottom: Making Mindful Choices in a Drinking Culture” released just this past June 2017.

By the title, you may know some of what her book is about. But from all the 5-star Amazon reviews, there much more. And there is nothing like giving some practical and sound advice about alcohol and stopping alcoholism before it starts or happens.

Today though, we are going to learn more about who Lisa is and the “writer side” of her. So I hope you enjoy this “Special Interview” with Lisa Boucher.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we?

 

Share a little of what you do?
I am the author of 5 books and an RN. My first 4 books were novels, and my current book,
Raising the Bottom: Making Mindful Choices in a Drinking Culture” is nonfiction.

I’ve worked in all sorts of departments at the hospital: ER, telemetry, medical, neuro, and psych. To be honest, my true love is the writing biz but that doesn’t pay that well at the moment, so a girls’ gotta have a day job!


Where were you born and raised? Youngstown, OH


Tell us more about you? (Like your education, family, hobbies.)
I have a nursing degree and a BA in English. Have always been crazy about animals. I used to have a quarter horse, Sham, who I loved almost as much as I do my twin sons. I love to cook, I’m part Italian, so food is a big deal in our family. I also garden, and like Cat, love to feed and watch the birds.


Do you have any latest news?
I do! Raising the Bottom recently won the 2017 Best Book Award in the category of Women’s Health, and it was a finalist in addiction/recovery category. I also am looking forward to 
Shape Magazine, yes, the Shape Magazine, to run a piece that I contributed to that and will be on their online magazine.

I was also interviewed by a writer at Epoch Times, so I look forward to reading what he put together. I wish I had a specific date, but from what my publicists told me, it should run late November or early December. It may even be out by the time Cat publishes this!



Anything we should know besides you as an Author & Writer?
I’ve been sober 28 years. I am certainly no prohibitionist, but I am troubled by the “women & wine” culture that seems to be a bit over the top. Let’s not forget the kids of these women. There’s nothing funny about a drunk mom. Ask any child who has one.




Do you like writing?
I love it. It’s a process and can be crazy and maddening and frustrating sometimes, but it’s who I am. I am a writer.




When and why did you begin writing?
Honestly, I heard a voice–an audible voice in my kitchen one day. I had just graduated from nursing school, back in 1994. I was home alone one day and musing about my life, my purpose. Was nursing it? A voice came through as loud and clear as if my husband was standing in the room, but he nor my small twins were home. The voice said–”Now I want you to write a book.” I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even have a computer at the time.


What inspired you to write your first book? God.

 

How did you come up with the title?
I can’t remember, it was a long time ago.  I guess it just came to me like my titles usually do. I have a writer’ly quirk that I can’t seem to write a thing until I do have the title.



Do you have a specific writing style?
No. With the novels, I just let it go and then do lots of cutting and pasting! With RTB, I did try to at least plan out the chapters.




How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The story is about my alcoholic mother; our family; my getting sober early in my disease. I then interviewed 10 other women and they shared their story. I focused on women people would never suspect they had a problem. High bottom women whose bottom was mostly internal: doctors, nurses, mother and grandmothers, young women.

I also did a chapter for the kids, “What Your Kids Say about You and Your Drinking. I feel they never get to have a voice, so I wanted to give them one. I also did a chapter, “Doctors, Nurses and Health Care.” There is so much that goes on behind the scenes at the hospitals and people have no clue. Healthcare has changed so much, and not for the better. The hospitals & some doctors, they want customers, not cures.


To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I didn’t have to travel since I was local, but I did write some of it in Bimini. Bimini is a tiny island in the Bahamas and not much goes on there. It’s a perfect place to write. Ernest Hemingway wrote some of “Islands in the Stream” there.


Who designed the cover?
She Writes Press had a design/illustrator do it.




Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Well, it’s not a novel, but I think every person knows someone who drinks too much. It’s a book for all, whether or not you drink–you know someone who does. Forewarned is Forearmed!


Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite?
I have so many books in my reading pile. I’m reading Erik Larson, and my favorite right now is David Foster Wallace. He was brilliant but sadly, committed suicide at the age of 46. He was an amazingly gifted writer. Such a tragedy.



Outside of family members, name one person that supported your commitment to becoming a published author?
Well, not many. I really didn’t talk about it all that much. It seems that if you mention you’re writing a book, everyone chimes in and says me too! I wonder how many of those people will actually finish a book. It was such a tough long road, and still is, so I didn’t talk too much about writing with people other than my family. Of course, people knew I wrote, I just didn’t look to them for support.

 


If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I’m pleased with the way it turned out. Of course, if I sat and thought hard about it I would come up with something, but why make myself crazy? It’s too late to change anything so it is what it is and I think it’s pretty darn good. I did the best I could, and I know my writer’s voice came through strong & clear in “Raising the Bottom.”




Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Oh, my goodness yes! With each book, my writing got better and better. I grew as a writer.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
No, I can’t act. Can’t see that at all!



Any advice for other writers?
Keep plugging away. I think if it’s for you to write, you’ll write. I tried to walk away from it so many times, but it seems I kept getting pulled back. If you can walk away from writing and be happy and never miss the agony of it all, you’re probably not a writer. But, if you keep writing even when the journey looks so dark, you’re a writer. We can’t not write. Period.


Will you write another book?
If God wills it, I believe I will. I have some ideas already, but I’m not ready to start another book yet.




What are you reading now?
Just finished *your) Cat’s book: “
Addicted to Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.”  (what a journey she had, but survived and came out stronger on the other side!).

I’m also reading Anatomy of an Epidemic” by Robert Whitaker.
He’s an investigative reporter and writes about the destructive nature of big Pharma: What he learned mirrors my experiences of what I’ve seen going on in the hospitals for 24 years. The pills doctors prescribe are ruining lives. It’s so sad to see lives destroyed by all the drugs they put people on. I’ve watched lives spiral down to the depths of despair, all because of the RX’s.


Do you remember the first book you read?
Anything Nancy Drew! I Think was the first series type books I can remember.

 

Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Jesus, & Michelangelo. Can you think of two more interesting people?

CAT: LOL… I have to agree about meeting Jesus to ask, What’s It All About? And the other person….hhhhmmmmm, ELVIS! To let him know how bad The Drug Epidemic has gotten…And some to blame is like his Doctor, Over Prescribing Pain Meds and Anxiety Meds too!

 

Favorite Music and Color?
hmmm, that’s a hard one. I like Norah Jones and soothing instrumental music. In my car–I’m a country girl and love the old county music of Wille, Waylon, Kris Kristofferson, Cash, Tammy Wynette. Yeah, the old stuff!
Colors: Turquoise or Black.

 

What do you want to be written on your headstone as part of your Legacy?
Something about healing. I’ve worked with women for 28 years, and I know I’ve been blessed to have been a part of their healing. I also want to leave a legacy of having a bit of grit. The world can be a hard place, but we can be all right if we take God with us.  

 

“One of Lisa’s Favorite Place? ~ Palermo, Sicily – Italy!”

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Do you have a blog or website? Where can readers connect with you on Social Media? Sure do! WebsiteRaising The Bottom.


I’m on Twitter & Instagram: @LBoucherAuthor  – My Book Available on Amazon online.
  – FB page: Lisa Speaks of Raising The Bottom



I Thank you, Kim, for allowing me to share YOU with my readers and blog visitors. We all will enjoy learning all about you as a writer. WHAT an Honor it is to have you with us!

WISHING YOU and all my blog readers, friends, and visitors a very HAPPY, Healthy, and Sober THANKSGIVING! May God Bless You…



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Author and Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 

 

New Author and Recovery Visionary Book Spotlight. Meet Dr. Jane Galloway, and her book ~”The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality.”

New Author and Recovery Visionary Book Spotlight. Meet Dr. Jane Galloway, and her book ~”The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality.”

“The Gateways are… A Gateway, a bridge, an opening into living the Spiritual Life that the Steps promise!  What you get from this are Tools, Inspiration, and time to release the Shame and move into the FREEDOM.”   ~Dr. Jane Galloway, Author

When I first heard of Author, Jane Galloway, and her new book, I read the passage above within the book’s description and I immediately thought about how broken, dark and empty I was when I first came into recovery. It was like stepping out of the darkness and into the light of spiritual freedom. Now, half way through reading Jane’s book, that is what you learn and so much more in this book. Here is more about her book…

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About The Book:


Is there more to recovery than just staying sober and clean? Dr. Jane Galloway offers an emphatic “yes” to this question in her groundbreaking 12 Step companion guide, The Gateways: The Wisdom of 12-Step Spirituality. Galloway presents the 12 Steps squarely in the context of 21st-century spirituality with breadth, skill, and sensitivity that helps readers of any faith (or of none) experience a profound spiritual awakening.

Too many recovery programs fixate on the sickness of addiction and, as a result, trap people in a pathology-centered mindset. Jane Galloway’s strength-based approach suggests “Rather than obsessing on what is ‘wrong’ with a person, learning what is ‘right’ with them may hold the key to understanding.” Incorporating ancient developmental systems like Chinese meridians and the Kabbalah Tree of Life, as well as more recent psychological systems like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Erik Erikson’s Eight Ages of Man, Gateways presents 12-Step Spirituality as a Wisdom Path. Galloway’s 12 corresponding Gateway Essences unlock the power of the Steps through spiritual practices and rituals that make up a customized, holistic Mind, Body, Spirit tool kit.

As a 30+ year member of Alcoholics Anonymous, ordained pastor and Doctor of Ministry and accomplished stage and screen actor, community organizer, the Rev. Dr. Jane Galloway brings a woman’s voice to the chorus of men who have previously spoken on 12-Step spirituality. Her work is inspired by and devoted to AA’s founding spiritual vision as it appears in “The Big Book “To us, the realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek.”

The Gateways opens wider vistas to the deeper wisdom within us all. Her book published September 2016 by Sacred Stories Publishing, is a beautiful companion guide for a lifetime of mind, body and spirit strength-based healing while using the “reflections on the principles of 12-step spirituality.” Her book is available on Amazon.comBarnes & Noble, and Sacredstoriespublishing.com in both E-book and Paperback.

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About The Author:

Jane is a multifaceted, dynamic woman who has over 30+ years of experience with working, living, teaching and practicing the 12-Steps. A Claremont School of Theology Doctor of Ministry, Jane has extensive experience serving as a minister, community leader, keynote speaker, and strong advocate of the Arts. In addition to her accomplished career as a stage and screen actor, Jane has emerged as a thought leader of the 12-Step spiritual revolution, with the publishing of “The Gateways.” Just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of all she does for so many who are looking to recover in wellness, not illness, in heart, soul, mind, body and spirit.

Working and living on both coasts, Jane is the Founder of T.R.I.B.E a model dedicated to building community and raising consciousness through ‘radical expression of Art,’ Psychology, Spirituality, Education, Community, Urban Design, Social Justice and Critical Thinking. She is a compassionate, yet dynamic voice for equality and reconciliation in her community and beyond, with a passion for creating bridges between cultures.

Jane is also a painter, designer, and gardener and loves the Southern California climate for growing lavender, flowering cactus, fruit trees and more. A lot of her inspiration comes from working in nature and seeing how things grow in the right soil….a wonderful metaphor for life. Her heart and passions include empowering women, advocating for recovery from childhood trauma, and getting “The Arts” to children.
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Now let us meet Dr. Jane Galloway ~ Founder and Leader of a Spiritual Community in Los Angeles, and T.R.I.B.E.

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What is TRIBE?

It Is: Transformation/Realization/Inspiration/Belonging/Expression.
From California to the urban center and launched in New York City, it has expanded as an umbrella for social practice art beyond one city.

Jane is a visionary leader dedicated to building community and raising consciousness through radical expressions of Art, Psychology, Spirituality, Education, Community, Urban Design, Social Justice and Critical Thinking. She is a compassionate, yet dynamic voice for equality and reconciliation in her community and beyond. Her passion is creating bridges between cultures, and also connecting people to their own deepest calling.

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“All of the years on my path have come together in this new and unique endeavor of integrating art, the spiritual path, emotional health, creativity, and purpose. We are birthing this T.R.I.B.E. in Harlem, where deeply culture- transforming ventures have found fertile ground for more than a century. We are not gentrifiers, but rather grateful appreciators of the presence of the wisdom of the ancestors, who are present here.”

Jane states she has come to believe that artists are uniquely positioned to speak the world into a new reality. “We are all capable of being Artists by Intention, whatever our profession, creating the conditions for people to TRANSFORM- First themselves and then the world.”

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Gatherings can include performance, visual art, and film combined with depth teachings from wisdom texts, psychology, art theory, and literature. These elements, along with meditation and dynamic conversation with the participating artists, combine to create the conditions for dramatic and ongoing awakening and renewed purpose.

Jane is a life-long artist; painter, writer, singer, designer, actor, director, producer. During a thirty year award winning career as an actor, she starred on and off Broadway, in regional and European theater, film and television, founded an Arts Education Nonprofit, h’ARTworks, in Southern CA, has also worked as a Drama Therapist, and college professor. She has also received professional awards and civic commendations for her work as a minister, community leader, and arts activist.

In the darkest days of the AIDS Epidemic, Jane followed a calling to pursue Higher Education and Ministry, to try to be a part of the solution in a more direct way. She was awarded both Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Ministry from Claremont School of Theology in CA and became an ordained Minister through the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She studied under the brilliant New Thought philosopher Eric Butterworth in NYC for ten years.

In her ministry, Dr. Galloway utilizes depth teachings from world religions, indigenous wisdom, and New Thought teachings, combined with art and cross-cultural conversation to inspire a universal realization of Oneness.

You can connect with Author, Dr. Jame Galloway on social media and visit her website today:

Jane’s Website
T.R.I.B.E.
On Facebook
Twitter
GoodReads Author

 



My In Recovery Magazine First Official Column!

Hello and Welcome All Recovery Friends and Visitors,

Well, I feel like part of the In Recovery Magazine FAMILY! If you haven’t seen any of my social media posts lately, I shared that I had been invited to be a permanent columnist for In Recovery Magazine! They have a new “The Author’s Café” column where I write about recovery books, films, and apps. I have the pleasure of interviewing many talented authors, writers, and filmmakers. It couples with our fantastic IRM, “The Book Stand” where creators can list their new book, film, app and even recovery blogs in the stand and enjoy incredible advertising exposure to our readership and subscribers worldwide. The info is listed here  List Your Book in IRM The Book Stand on my blog if you are interested!

I am very proud to share my first piece with all my recovery friends, and as a top premier magazine for articles, columns, and news, I invite you to be part of our recovery readership and subscribe our recovery community here: Subscribe to IRM today and you won’t miss my next column. Many of you know I am a recovering addicted gambler, so I wanted to come out of the literary gates of raising awareness of my addiction.

So I felt it very appropriate to have for my first column and guest author someone who knows all about this disease, and has been around the GA (Gamblers Anonymous) rooms for many years. You may need to increase the size for better readability as we had a chat about a topic you will well remember. I hope you enjoy it!

So I share my first in print “The Author’s Cafe” column with all of you Courtesy of In Recovery Magazine  …

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“The Author’s Cafe Welcomes: Author & Gambling Recovery Expert Arnie Wexler”


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I Am Honored To Welcome Author, Tony Kelly As Guest Speaker To Share His Story.

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This week I welcome UK Recovery Author, Tony Kelly who is also Founder/Director of Red Card Gambling Support Project, LTD  [Non-profit] in the UK, who is our Guest Gambling Addiction Speaker.

Tony and I met by way of LinkedIn and it seems we have become fast friends and seems like we have known each other for many years. So I am honored to share his story and look forward to a long-lasting friendship!

We all know gambling addiction does not discriminate on who it chooses to claim as its next victim. As Tony is an Ex-Pro Soccer star that had a very bright career and future. That was until gambling addiction sidelined him from the soccer field.I am half through reading his book and I can say it an IS AN Amazing Story …

This is Tony’s Story  .  .  .

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(A young man with a bright future)

 

Article Share By Tony Kelly on The Fix …

I am an ex-gambling addict and professional footballer who made it out of my addictions.
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The year 1984 is when it all started for me, the year that I placed my first ever coupon football bet. Looking back I should have taken heed of that old cliché, “Your first bet is your worst bet.”

Not for one moment, as with all gambling addicts, did I ever think that bet would lead into a long and torturous journey of gambling addiction. Why would I? After all, it was all meant to be a bit of fun and banter with my football (soccer) pals. Very quickly it didn’t seem like such fun after I found myself dipping into my wages from work.

“This is what addiction feels like. You slowly start to lose control of your actions and emotions thereby deflecting your anger onto others. ”
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“We are all susceptible to gambling addiction, we just don’t realize it. It can happen to anybody.”   ~Tony Kelly ~ Red Card Project

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Professionally and psychologically, we have no concept of the makeup of our genes, character, or vulnerability to addiction. Therefore we are all taking a risk once we start to indulge in this evil disease as there are proven medical/physiological reasons for why some of us become addicted while some of us do not. Professional practitioners are able to find the root of an individual’s reason for becoming an addict, in most cases, which is why it is so important that we seek professional advice or help when we feel we have a problem.

Moving on from the therapy side of gambling addiction and fast forward two years. As with all gamblers, “chasing” is a term we can all relate to, so by now I was a regular gambler and more importantly a regular loser! I was at my local Mecca, bookmakers in Dulwich South East London, and was firmly on the slippery road to ruin. You see, chasing your losses is a very dangerous formula—it only succeeds in pushing you deeper and deeper into debt, as I found out, with devastating consequences.

After moving to North London from Dulwich, I was soon increasing my outlays, (Bets) which again is a sign of desperation, with my wages increased through my new job at Eastern Electricity and my football wages with St Albans City FC. It was easy to take risks and continue my search for the big win, the win which I hoped would solve all my problems.

It was St Alban’s City which would be the club that would propel me into the big time after a £40,000 transfer to Stoke City, and provide me with more than enough ammunition to continue my, by now, severe gambling addiction.

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I can’t stress enough that the emotions you go through as an addict; the feeling of seeing your horse pipped on the line by a 50/1 outsider. It’s painful and at times so hard to take, which is where the anger and frustration come’s into play and you take it out on loved ones, which only adds to your problems. These feelings I keep firmly in my memory bank as a reminder that I will not be going down this road again in the future. I remember losing a bet by Teletext!

Teletext I hear you say, well teletex still exists today but as there were no mobiles or much-televised racing in the late 80s, it was a way of finding out various sports results. As I scrolled down the screen with my remote, squinting my eyes in the hope that the name of my horse would show up in bright capital yellow letters, BANG! Like a hammer blow, my horse shows up in second place, and there goes my treble, together with yet another remote control thrown across the room!

With that, you sink into a mini-depressive state, lost in your own little world wondering where the next win is going to come from. This is what addiction feels like. You slowly start to lose control of your actions and emotions thereby deflecting your anger onto others.

So having got my dream life into the world of professional football in January 1990, I had visions of finally getting out of debt as I knew the money I would be earning would be enough to eventually solve my financial worries. How wrong I was! Sadly my journey after signing for Stoke City would be one that would take me on a huge roller coaster that would take me years to recover from.

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Now, a fully-fledged professional footballer living the high life with all the trimmings, money, fame, girls, I was living the dream with money burning a hole in my pockets! So where did it go wrong? Well, with the bonus of excessive funds at my disposal, and with my obsession of chasing the big win, it became apparent that all I was interested in was continued gambling to get debt-free as quickly as possible. Unfortunately with bigger layouts came bigger losses,

Yes, that vicious circle we all find ourselves in from time to time. Although I cleared some debt it was not enough. You think the big one will come soon and you start playing the percentage game, surely this week or next week. At this point, tt is so important for gambler’s to acknowledge they have a problem and to accept it and just get help. Denial is a major factor in any addict’s life, especially a gambling addict. It takes mental strength and courage to accept you are an addict, so I urge all gambler’s to seek help before it is too late and you end up losing everything.

In today’s society, gambling is no longer just a social event, or something you may experiment with for fun or financial gain, it has now become a serious mental health issue with thousands of people in the UK and around the world. Known to people in the medical profession as the hidden addiction, gambling addiction in most cases has no real visual signs so we need to be educated on how to spot individuals who are suffering and really raise the awareness. This illness is on par with alcohol/drug addiction and should be treated as such.

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There is no doubt my addiction caused me serious health issues such as headaches, panic attacks, anxiety attacks, and depression. Therefore, gambling addiction needs to be addressed within the National Health Service, and other organizations, so that we are all aware of the consequences surrounding it.So here I was continuing to chase my losses hoping for the big one. That obviously never came. I was spiraling into debt deeper and deeper and all logical and rational thinking had long left me!

After only five years as a professional, I lost thousands, property, wages, cars, and incidentals. My regret is not asking for help at the height of my addiction in the mid-90s. All gambler’s have that mental block that enables us to stay in complete denial, the shame and embarrassment is too much to take and so we turn away the very people who care, our families and friends. By the time I hung up my boots in 2000 I had lost everything except for a flat I bought in Enfield. I was constantly chased by numerous creditors and bailiffs alike, making my life a misery.
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In 2009, I took on a major decision in my life, which I feel was probably the best decision I have ever made. Sometimes in life. you have to take a step backward to go forward and in my situation, it seemed like a good option so I decided to declare myself bankrupt and start again. My debt was nowhere near manageable and stressful. Not only was it a huge relief and burden off my shoulders but it gave me hope. Coupled with my counseling sessions I could finally see a way forward. And that’s all I wanted. I wanted a life without gambling.

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I had the high life and the money so it was now all about moving on, learning from my mistakes and trying to do something positive with my experiences, and in life. My bankruptcy file was in the thousands, and I keep this file to this day as a reminder of the poor choices I made with my addiction. I intend to continue my work in helping thousands of people who are out there suffering from gambling addiction and who need help and support. So no more sleepless nights or wondering when the next bailiff may come knocking, but more importantly I can now look forward to a stress-free life and enjoy putting something back.

My journey has been a long and painful one filled with ups and downs along the way, but it’s a journey that also shows that out of adversity can come triumph. The lies, the deceit the heartaches I caused loved ones is now a thing of the past and I stress that it’s a selfish act to inflict your pain on others and disrupt their lives, reinforcing the need to ask for help as soon as you feel you may have a gambling problem—it could save your life.

I sincerely hope my story serves as an inspiration and has a positive effect on those who read it, and that it educates individuals as well as organizations throughout the UK In terms of tackling gambling addiction in a major way.

 

I am one of the lucky ones. I came out the other side. Many don’t!

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You can purchase Tony’s book titled; Red Card: The Soccer Star Who Lost It All To Gambling  on Red Card on Amazon UK  and  Amazon.com US both are in paperback and e-book.


Visit Tony on his Website to learn through his “Red Card Project” he is helping many recover from gambling addiction: Red Card Project Gambling Addiction Support …

Connect with Tony Kelly on Social Media on:
Red Card on Facebook
Follow Tony on Twitter

More About The Author:

Tony Kelly and his identical twin brother Mel were born in Coventry on Valentine’s Day 1966. At junior school. he played in his school’s football team but his deep love affair with football (soccer) really took hold when he watched (on TV) Brazil playing in the 1974 World Cup.

As a teenager, Tony was no stranger to trouble. Frequenting the tough clubs of Coventry, indulging in petty theft and driving cars underage, he was no saint. He hoped that a career in football could save him from the prison-life that many of his friends were facing. His undoubted ability on the field, led to him joining Bristol City’s youth team and he made his debut as a pro footballer in 1982 at the tender age of 16. From there he went on to play for St Albans (as a semi-pro); Stoke City, Bury, Leyton Orient and Harlow Town. He hung up his football boots for the last time in 1999, aged 35 …

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Product Details
(Click to book to Amazon)

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RED CARD: THE SOCCER STAR WHO LOST IT ALL TO GAMBLING:

“The issues I had to deal with – especially gambling and racism – feature prominently in this story, as they are issues which are still prevalent today … Temptation and a big ego were demons I failed to conquer, so I hope my story educates youngsters in a positive way and ultimately ensures that they do not follow my path of self-destruction”  ~Tony Kelly.

Courtesy Article Share To The Fix

 



My Gambling Recovery “Thought” Of The Day!

Hello and Welcome To My Recovery World Friends!

 

I wanted to Inspire All Today with a Friday Recovery Thought of The Day!!

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“I can tell you friends this is very true! Doing the recovery work needed to GRAB your life back from Gambling Addiction? My own LIFE is better TODAY than it was before I became an ADDICT! Our HP will give it if you Want It”  ….

Here is a referred guide and workbook to help you work your 12-Steps and Get What I Have BABY! LOL … Your Worth It! XOXO

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( A fantastic book and guide: http://www.amazon.com/If-You-Want-What-Have-ebook/dp/B019XF6LH8/ )
One book reviewer said:


“If you plan to experience fine dining anywhere in the world, you use Zagat to find the 5-star ratings. This workbook is the perfect tool for everyone just getting started in recovery, wanting to stay active in their program or even well-seasoned sponsors and Recovery Coaches. I have personally been working and familiar with the 12 steps for over 30 years and as a Program Director of a residential, adult program have been blessed to implement Dr. Kevin Coughlin’s manual into our curriculum. With definitions, explanations, assignments, graphs and insight, a complicated person will be at ease to work with this layout. Dr. Coughlin is truly an expert and his knowledge and years of wisdom show in the pages of “If You Want What We Have”.

By Author, Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin …

“Featured Press Release & Article By Author, Scott Stevens The Alcohol Expert”

“Featured Press Release & Article By Author, Scott Stevens The Alcohol Expert”

Hello, and Welcome Recovery Friends!

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“What do you do when you or a loved one has an alcohol problem? You get these fantastic books by The Alcohol Expert! Congrats to Author, Scott Stevens for a media press release of his award-winning books on alcoholism, stigma and much more.”

APRIL is Alcohol Awareness Month and Scott will be helping many I am sure with his new book release!
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Scott Stevens
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Alcohol Awareness Month prelude: Six signs of the alcopocalypse …
(Burlington, WI – March 4, 2016)
As a prelude to April’s observance of Alcohol Awareness Month, health journalist and recovery author, Scott Stevens, has posted the “Six signs the next 10 yrs. for alcohol biz will be like the last 20 for tobacco.” The article acknowledges no prohibition is on the horizon, and alcohol manufacturers will remain profitable just as Big Tobacco remains solvent, but a sea change will make the next decade look different when it comes to the choice to drink.

“America is driven by freedom to make choices,” says Stevens, “Even when they’re unanimously unhealthy, and alcohol won’t stop being the drug of choice for the stressed or the celebrating. However, the writing on the wall says, ‘What causes problems, is one,’ and the writing is ominous for the nearly free-flow of alcohol.”

Here are the six signs detailed in the March 4, 4,000-word article on addictedminds.com and alcohologist.com: 

1. Healthcare costs continue to rise, forcing a focus on cost-drivers.

2. Productivity weakens, forcing a focus on cost-drivers.

3. More long-term health consequences from moderate drinking coming to light… while more ‘benefits’ of drinking are being debunked.

4. More attention is being paid to impacts of alcohol advertising on youth.

5. Drinking and driving abatement has stalled.

6. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders have eclipsed autism in many of cases and in long-term costs per case.

The author of three alcoholism recovery books also is launching a month-long video series of 26 two-minute episodes of The A-Files airing throughout Alcohol Awareness Month on social media and various websites. The episodes are alphabetical, A-Z, each covering one health topic associated with moderate alcohol use, not just the disease of alcoholism. Established in 1987, Alcohol Awareness Month is observed each April to increase awareness and understanding of alcohol, alcoholism, and recovery.

Of the “six signs” article, Stevens says, “When the tables turned on tobacco, public education increased and dipped down into the earliest grades, advertising was severely restricted and the industry bristled under public regulation rather than the old-boy-network of self-policing to which it have become accustomed. Predictably, as these six trends come into greater public focus, the alcohol industry will face the same scrutiny and restrictions as the manufacture, marketing, and sales of tobacco have. And predictably, people will still drink.
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The Alcohology app, The A-Files and this article, hopefully, add to the dialogue about why we drink a toxin and known carcinogen.”

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About The Author and Alcohologist:

Scott Stevens is the award-winning author of What the Early Worm Gets, Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud, and Adding Fire to the Fuel. He’s among the Founding Influencers of the world’s largest medical portal, HealthTap, and serves as a representative of concierge treatment pioneer, Tailored Transitions, and the Public Relations Officer for treatment marketer, Addicted Minds & Associates.

For more information, visit  www.alcohologist.com or  Addicted Minds & Associates  … You can Email Author, Scott Stevens for Interviews and Article Requests at LyonMedia@aol.com

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Presented By “Recovery Starts Here” of Author, Catherine Lyon.