Compassionate Recovery with Darren Littlejohn | The Way Out Podcast Episode 312


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We had Darren Littlejohn on episode 176 two and half years ago to talk about his first book, The 12 Step Buddhist and he’s back to talk about his latest work Compassionate Recovery: Mindful Healing for Trauma and Addictions. The importance and need for the work contained in the aforementioned book by my friend Darren cannot be understated. To paraphrase Darren and to attempt to encapsulate his latest work, compassion and mindfulness is in so many ways the direction, it is the journey, it is the result, it is the manifestation, it is the fruition of much of what we’re trying to achieve in Recovery. Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACES, trauma, and addiction cause emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual dysregulation that are very often well outside our window of tolerance. When this occurs, we resort to counterproductive thoughts and behaviors, that turn into patterns, that cause a negative feedback loop of deepening counterproductive behaviors. Addiction then, is on a spectrum and recovery too, is on a spectrum. Because addiction is progressive, so too must be our recovery. We must do the work, by identifying the wounds and applying the medicine so we can heal lest we experience unmanageable restlessness irritability and discontentedness or said another way dysregulation that can threaten emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual wellness and if left to continue to spiral downward can result in the ultimate consequence. The work and the medicine, in this case is self-compassion combined with mindfulness. Accept ourselves, connect with ourselves, be there for ourselves now and all times before this moment. When triggers come up, that threaten to be unmanageable the work is deploying tools and strategies to be there for ourselves with compassion and mindfulness. We can pause and choose to conjure self-compassion and mindfulness. Doing this work changes how we experience and respond to all situations in life in an increasingly manageable way that spirals up and raises our baseline and increasingly enables and strengthens our connection to ourselves, our spirituality and ultimately our connection to others which in a very visceral way is recovery personified.

Reach out to Darren Littlejohn:

Learn more about Darren’s new book, Compassionate Recovery: Mindful Healing for Trauma and Addictions:

ACE Test:

Nadine Burke Harris - How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime Ted Talk

Recommended Recovery Literature (Quit-Lit):

Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict by Tsultrim Allione:

Facing Love Addiction: Giving Yourself the Power to Change the Way You Love by Pia Mellody:

Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw:

Darren’s Best Recovery Advice: Abandon yourself to God as you understand God

Song that symbolizes Recovery: Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin

Don’t forget to check out “The Way Out Playlist” available only on Spotify. Curated by all our wonderful guests on the podcast!

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