Alright, what is up everyone? It is Saturday, July 15th of 2023. We’re here back with another family education and support group with your host Parham. I know I did a little test to make sure that the audio and all that kind of stuff was working out this time. So sorry for the technical difficulties of the week before, the weeks before. I’m just a one-man show so I don’t have anyone to fix me with that but long story short, welcome back. I’m really excited for another session with y’all and whether you watch this live right now and participate with everyone else, or you’re watching this later on, on recording, you’re always welcome here. And feel free to share this link or this page with whoever you want, whoever you think is going to benefit from this. The more, the merrier.
So let me just tell you a few things about myself as we wait for people to show up. What’s up Jess? You sent me an email? Can you please send me another email or I’ll go look for it. I won’t be lazy, I’ll go look for it, but sorry about that. Just send me another one. I’ll respond back to you today. Okay and Kenny, what’s up everyone from Pacific Sands? So let’s just get into this.
A quick few things about myself as we wait for people to trickle in. So my name is Parham. I do this each and every single Saturday for the most part. I miss a few for basketball in the summer and all that kind of stuff but for the most part I’m here. I have a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I’m a licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor, a high school basketball coach, waiting to get called on by Saddleback Community College to get another class in and I’m also in recovery myself – so June 13, 2008 is the year that I kind of changed my life around. So it’s been a 15-year journey and one of the intentions of these talks is to be able to bring my personal background, my professional background, my passions all in one and be able to deliver a product that helps people in various stages of their recovery, their healing and their transformation process. So these talks every week are pretty much formulated around personal development, understanding the addiction recovery process, understanding mental health, talking about boundaries and codependency, and talking about communication, and talking about self-care, and like I say a little bit of everything in between.
Whoever’s coming on right now, what’s up? Mom, Dad, good to see you guys as well! You know, proud supporters! And the intention of these talks – so every talk I ever do is always dedicated to the possibility of human transformation. So what that means is simple. All of us, including myself, have the ability to transform who we are and how we live our life in any given moment that we choose to. As simple as that. If there was a bad day you had yesterday, just a bad day, you have the ability to transform that and have a good day today. If you had a bad week last week and it just wasn’t up to par, well you know what, there’s a new week ahead and you have the ability to transform that. If you had a bad month transform this upcoming month, and if you had a bad year or a bad decade, I mean, what’s stopping you to transform it? So pretty much what we’re going to do here is, I want to talk about what transformation actually is. I talk about it every week so I created a talk that’s brand new, fresh, haven’t done it before, and it’s going to talk about the six stages of transformation. And as you guys can see, when people post comments I can put them on the board so if you have any questions if you have any things that you want to say feel free to say them, and I can put them on and we can have an interactive dialogue on the conversation. Or if you want to pause me and say “yo, you talk too much, let me ask a question, feel free to.” I don’t take offense to it and if anything, it’s welcomed and encouraged.
Let me just say Good Morning to Vinnie – this gentleman’s been helping me a little bit on our YouTube page. We got Roxanne – cousin, cool person over there. CJ and the Flaherty’s. What’s good, Katalin? Always pleasure to see you. By the way, just those last four names that I put up, or those last five six names that I put up, what a diverse group we have from all over the place. I really love that diversity aspect of this group.
So today we’re going to talk about the six stages of transformation.
- I’m gonna put the first stage out and that’s the first stage right there – it’s called Realize. So I’m going to read what I have and then I’m going to really discuss it and break it down. These talks go anywhere between 35 – 45 minutes, something like that, sometimes up to an hour, depending on how much I ramble. But the first one we have is stage 1 and that’s called Realize. Realize is the aha moment, a new realization about yourself and your relationship to life. A new and improved vision of who you are and what you expect out of life begins to develop so here’s what it means. You got to have a moment in your life that you take a look at your current circumstances, you take a look at your addiction, your mental illness, you take a look at your mental health, you take a look at your finances, you took a look at your physical body, your relationships and you say, “uh-uh this is not what I want for my life. This is not what I will settle for. I want more. I need more. I deserve more,” whatever that is for you. At first you have to realize that it’s not it. So when you look at the different areas of your life you can’t tell me that you’re content and happy with all of them because if you’re a human being watching this, which I think you are, I don’t think you’re an AI machine, you’re a human being watching this. There has to be areas in your life that when you close your eyes and imagine them they’re not the way you imagine them to be, and you need that moment in that stage 1 of transformation. You got to realize what you have is not what you want, and that creates the foundation to go and create, to go and develop, to go and explore, to go and expand, a new experience. Like I said, if you had a bad day yesterday the only way you can transform today is to sit down and say, “that’s not the way I want to live my life.”
I just did this talk with our program participants and I said, “hey, if you didn’t do anything yesterday you gotta ask yourself why. Why am I not doing all I can right now to make my today better than my tomorrow?” So that’s the first one: you got to realize, and that’s different for everybody. That’s different for everybody, and I pray and hope that you experience one of the two following things. I hope that you get inspired enough by talks like this and different things that are available in life to say, “you know what, I want to make some changes.” Or number two, I hope you get desperate enough to make those changes. We only change through inspiration and desperation, my friends, nothing else. Inspiration is a hell of a lot easier and it feels a lot better and there’s a lot more laughter and smiling to it. The path of desperation is gonna hurt a little bit but sometimes that pain creates the motivation and enthusiasm to be able to change. So feel free, if you got any questions on this stuff ask them now.
- The next one that I have right here is number two and it says stage 2 is Release. So stage one was realize that what you have is not what you want. Stage 2 is Release. And what that means is this. I’ll read for you what I have. It says, Release stage is when you begin releasing the external components of your life that no longer serve you, leaving behind the emotional baggage mostly caused by former relationships, disappointments or upsets. So when you’re trying to transform you can’t hold on to everything you had before and expect to embrace a new experience. Look at this – if my hands are full with all my past baggage and all my past relationships and all my past traumas and pains and all that crap, if it’s full and life has all these new things available for me, can I go and carry everything from the past into the future? Well at some point what do I got to do? I gotta let go in order to embrace what is available to me. You cannot transform without releasing what you’re holding on to. And it’s not easy. You can’t just go and say, “I’m going to let go of all my past traumas.” You got to work through that stuff to release it. You got to earn it – that stuff’s like shackles and chains that’s been binding you and preventing you from exceeding freedom. You think you can just let go of that stuff? No, you got to earn it, you got to work hard at it, but once you do you’ll be able to experience what transformation does. Because you can experience a new space that you can fill with the good stuff. See, I can’t hold on to my old ways and become a new person. I gotta let go of that. And you hear me week over week, week over week, I say your new life is going to cost you your old life. Are you willing to pay the price? Your transformation is going to cost you your old version of life. Are you willing to pay that price? Some people are, some people aren’t. Why is that the case? I do not know and I don’t think I’ll ever find out.
- So the next one that we got going on is stage number 3 and it is called the Rebound. Okay, so let me tell you what the rebound means. When you’re trying to transform your life there’s six stages. Stage 1, you got to realize that what you have is not what you want. Stage 2, what was it you gotta release? Release the patterns of thinking, the emotional baggage, the past experiences that you’re holding on to, because those same things are preventing you from experiencing anything new. The 3rd one is to rebound and here’s what rebound means. Rebound is the phase in which you nurture your mind and body and spirit by allowing time to process any recent life changes, so that you can ease into the integration of the next level of transformation. I want you to know this, that all human beings at all times are going through some life changes, recent life changes, at all times. There is a diagnosis the therapists like me give, and that’s called Adjustment Disorder. And you can give it pretty much to anybody over anything and here’s the reason why. Because we’re constantly adjusting to new life changes. And what happens when you’re adjusting to your life changes? You’re gonna get dysregulated, you’re gonna get stressed out, you’re gonna get tired, you’re going to get scared, you’re gonna feel down. Sometimes those life changes are because of our own doing. It’s things that we do, and sometimes life just puts something on a platter and says, “deal with it,” but the way you rebound through that is it takes time.
Number two is how do you nurture your mind, body and spirit? Because my friends, if you’re trying to transform your life and you’re not nurturing yourself it’s not gonna work. Transformation is not for free and for fun. Transformation is earned. Transformation is something that we grind at and work towards, whether that’s a recovery, whether it’s with mental health, whether it’s with relationships, whether it’s with finances, transformation just doesn’t happen. Or else everybody would experience it. But the kick is this – it’s available to everyone. And how come people don’t do it? Because they don’t nurture themselves they go and they do and do and do and do and do, not nurturing the person to achieve the best outcomes. It’s a really significant thing if you think about it, and sometimes it just takes time. I know people say, “well dude, I don’t have time, my time is limited.” Well, if I’m telling you it’s going to take time and despite it having a limited time it’s still going to take that, just because your time is limited doesn’t mean you can’t let time build. Time is a powerful thing because over the course of time if we change our patterns, if we change our habits, if we nurture our mind and body and spirit, we will experience transformation.
I have yet, in all my years of life, ever seen somebody put a seed in the dirt and it turns into a tree right away. If you don’t take my word for it go give it a try. Go grab an apple seed and put in the dirt let me know when you can eat that apple. But that appleseed transforms into an apple, it transforms to a tree that has apples, but what does it mean? It needs soil, it needs air, it needs nutrients, it needs sunlight, and it needs time. You cannot transform without time passing by. If we could, everyone would do it. But here’s the thing. As time goes by people don’t feel like they got to where they wanted to get to. People feel like their results aren’t that good. If your results aren’t that good what are you gonna do? Give up? This seed’s not going to turn into an apple. While they go to the grocery store and grab apples and eat them, disconnected from knowing how that happened and why they don’t do that to themselves in their own lives, because we are a part of nature, whatever happens in the nature world happens in the human world. You just got to believe that.
- So the next one we got stage four (there’s only six of these might be a shorter talk). Number 4 is to Reinvent. So let’s read what Reinvent means. By the way, any comments about what I’ve said so far are greatly appreciated, because at this point I feel like I’m rambling a little bit. And that’s okay, I like to hear myself talk. So number four is Reinvent. Reinvent is another self-focused phase where you’re making new choices that are in alignment with the self-realized vision, the first phase. So when you’re in the Reinvent phase you gotta go look at the Realize section, that the life I have is not the life I want, and now you have to say, “Okay, what is the life I want? What is the relationship I want? What is the mental health I want? What is the job I want? What is the bank statement that I want? You got to get crystal clear with that vision. Without that vision you will not be able to transform. Without a vision of self that is different than the current version we will not be able to get there. You need a destination, you need a goal, you need a direction, and when you have that developed, established, sharpened then we reinvent, we change parts of ourselves, we invent new parts of ourselves, we create new parts of ourselves to allow us to get there. And what is it? It creates habits. We got a sense of purpose, we got a sense of direction.
Anybody that has positive habits, positive thought processes, and a positive commitment to get to the destination will get to the destination. Human beings are so freaking resourceful, man. When they want something they go get it. We learned this in the addiction world. If there’s a human being using substances there is nothing that will get in the way of them using their substances, because the value they find in that substance is so high that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get it. But unfortunately we don’t put that same value in transformation. So when you get to the component of Reinvent what it does is it creates an empty space that begs to be filled with new choices, behaviors, and habits that are purposeful and productive. You can’t create a new space without reinventing.
Let’s see what Katalin said. Thank you for writing something, somebody. “Funny, these points have ‘re-’ in front, because we were there at the same point, then it collapsed, now I have to redo it.” Yeah I know, but you know what, everything that collapses can oftentimes be built not only better and stronger than the previous version, but with all of the lessons needed to make it not collapse again. Every great empire I know. I understand what you said, I knew you meant points. But you know the re- thing is powerful Katalin. I want you to know that. Every great empire in the world has collapsed at some point. That’s just a part of nature. Again, you know in human beings we might not be a great empire. Oh, we got more people here. Sharon in the house! Top fan from Florida. There’s a lot of top fans here right now, Sharon, but you know what, you could be the Florida one. Thank you for participating. Again, I appreciate you.
- So the next one that we have here (there’s only two more to go) and the next one that I have – we’re talking about the six stages of transformation and this one is called Resurrect. Resurrect kind of sounds intense but here’s what the definition of this is, in this context. Resurrect is when you begin to rise above the obstacles that have held you back in the past so anyone that’s watching this, that’s trying to get clean off drugs and alcohol right now, there is a point of your transformation that you must resurrect, which means overcome the obstacles that prevented you to make progress in the past in order to get to the other side. If anybody’s watching this that has struggled with mental health, there comes a time in your transformation that you have to resurrect, which means overcoming the obstacles and barriers that prevented you from doing at the time before. This time around, relationship’s the same, your physical body is the same, your job is the same, you gotta resurrect and you begin to see differently and feel a calling to pay it forward. Anybody that’s ever accomplished something they never thought they could. You know what they love to do with it? They’ll have to give it away and share it. They love to tell the next person how they did it. I watch this all the time. I do family support groups and there’s a mom in there or a dad in there saying, “hey, my son/ my daughter is struggling. He’s overdosing, he’s going in and out of detoxes,” and then all of a sudden another family member that’s been there, done that shares their experience, their strength, their hope, and they say, “I remember those days. This is what I did.” Now whether their loved one found and sought and maintained their recovery doesn’t matter. They give them their experience that helps them navigate through the most difficult challenges of their life and we gotta pay it forward. I mean, if you’re watching me talk like this and you’re not paying this kind of stuff forward to other people and having conversations about transformation then you’re not really going to get in that transformation space.
Let’s see what these points are. “What pumped me up about recovery is we get to do something new. It’s incredible painful at first but so much hope, joy, strength, if we open our eyes to it. Lean in, share it.” I’m glad it gets you pumped CJ, because you are in the transformation space right now. I don’t know who and what you were like years ago but I do know who and what you are for the past four or five months and that version of you, every time she shows up, whether it’s places like this, or in-person, or your own stuff that you’re doing, is committed to saying, “I don’t want to live the way I used to live before. I want something different for myself, for my health, for my mind, for my body, my relationship, my spirit,” whatever it is you’re on the path of transformation. And one day you’re going to look back and be like, “Wow, I went from there to there,” and it’s going to seem like you didn’t do anything but it’s a grind, it’s a hustle, it’s daily effort, and you’re on the path. And I’m glad you’re getting pumped by this because I get pumped by this kind of stuff too. And then on the same Resurrect, it also says that your desire to make a difference in the world begins to grow as you find ways to enlighten others with your insights. You are living in a higher state of awareness and enlightenment. You don’t – let’s just call it what it is – whether you’re in active addiction, like you’re struggling with addiction yourself or you have had loved ones, spouses, children, grandparents, parents, struggle with addiction or mental illness or trauma, it’s safe to say that we’re not living in a higher vibration. We are in something called survival mode, which is almost the same as animals. And I’m not saying this in a disrespectful way. All we want to do is preserve our survival to get through it. There is nobody that’s in survival mode that’s living on a higher vibration and making changes so you could choose to live in survival mode and constantly be in fight or flight, and anxiety, and depression, all that kind of stuff. Or you can resurrect, you could transform in Resurrect.
Let’s see what Jess said. “I will respond to your email. This talk gives me so much reassurance on knowing I’m making progress in my growth. I may only be on stage three or so but it shows that I’m at least making progress.” You know, just the fact that you wrote that comment, you’re making progress. A person that writes something like that tells me at some point in her life wasn’t okay with her circumstances, when she looked around didn’t like the way her life had turned out, and said, “uh-uh, I don’t want this, this is not the way the story is going to go.” And as soon as you realize you don’t want what you have, you have the option to create anything you want. And yes, it’s gonna be a progress if anybody just was able to transform overnight, then I’d probably call their bluff and say it’s not real. But the fact that you are even aware of what stage you’re on on this thing, you know that’s a powerful thing. So keep on keeping on.
- Then we get to stage 6, the last stage, and it’s called Respond. Now, this is my favorite one because it goes beyond the limitations of personal transformation and it goes to the greater, the bigger picture of societal community and human transformation. So what it says here is this. Respond is the stage when you begin asking what can I do, how can I contribute to making a positive impact in my life, and ultimately the world. For starters, set a firm intention to become a better leader, a stronger communicator, an exemplary role model for others, especially our younger generations. So once you transform what’s the end purpose of it? Is it just to become like this completely altered positive different version of yourself, and to keep it all to yourself? To walk around and being, “I’m transformed, my life is good?” If that’s the case I promise you’ll burn out of that and you’ll get over it in five minutes. Because once you transform you got to look around and see what can I do for this world? And I’m not talking like, “hey, how are you gonna go end the the homeless crisis or poverty in Africa?” None of that stuff. How are you going to help the next person that you see struggling? How are you gonna reach out and talk to somebody that might need to hear just someone to listen to them? How are you going to make your world a better place? And if you live on those things and it says make sure that you’re giving it to the younger generation. I mean that’s one reason I coach. I’ve been coaching for 14 years and trust me, I don’t have the schedule or time or availability to do so. I do it because I know that my contribution to the younger generation is going to be valuable in the holistic picture. I coach in Aliso Viejo California. The kids that we coach are wonderful humans, wonderful athletes, wonderful basketball players. They’re not the elite level that we’re talking about that glitz and glamor in division one and NBA – it’s not that, but they’re just good people. And if I can go transform myself and give a little bit of that transformation to someone else maybe they’ll transform because there’s other people who are in circumstances right now that really need transformation from.
So in summary, the six stages of transformation that we talked about – number one to Realize that the life you have is not the life you want. Only you can decide that for you, and if it is then just live the way you’re living. Number two is to Release anything you’re holding on to from the past that’s preventing you from transforming you. Gotta let it go at some point, and you might not be able to do it on your own, and you might need some professional help, and you might need some support, and you might need all the above, and that’s okay, but once you get all that it’s gonna take some time. You’re the only one that’s gonna let go of that. The next one that we have is Rebound. Oh man, this one’s good. You must allow time to process your recent life changes. You’re all going through something. Don’t expect yourself to go from where you are to where you want to be overnight. Nourish your mind, nourish your body, nourish your spirit. The next one we have is Reinvent, and this comes from the first one which is Realize, so when you realize the life you have is not the life you want now you get to reinvent it. You create a space for possibility for who and what you want to be, and how you want to live your life. And the next one we got there is Resurrect. That is when you begin to rise above the obstacles that used to hold you down, rise above them. And the very last one is Respond, and this takes transformation from the personal self to the greater world. And we all know I love Mahatma Gandhi and he says, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” So many people sit back waiting for the world to change, waiting for others to change, waiting for their situation to change, waiting for their circumstance to change, and guess what? They wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait until they’re six feet under. Why not go be the change you want to see in the world? So many people talk about the society is so divisive, and these people are right, and these people are wrong. Or society has no more passion or love or compassion. Who cares? Why don’t you be someone who doesn’t care about the divide? Why don’t you be someone who brings the love, and brings the compassion, and beliefs, brings a generosity? Why do we got to wait for other people to live a life that all of a sudden we want to be engaged in? Let’s all do it ourselves.
So while you’re still here, tell me what your takeaways are from today’s talk and I will let you out of here. Alright, I’ll wait a few minutes to hear some takeaways and we’ll end it with that and I will be back next week. The week after that I’m not but I will be back next week and we’ll go from there. And again, if you’re local in the Orange County area you’re more than welcome to attend our free weekly family education support group that’s hosted by myself at Buckeye Recovery Network each and every single Tuesday from 6:30 to 8 P.M. I facilitate it myself. I can’t put it on Zoom because people are there talking about their loved ones, and they’re using names and all that kind of stuff like that. And it’s a therapy room so I can’t put it on Zoom, but if you’re ever in the area feel free to come. It’s always free of charge. You won’t even hear me trying to sell nothing to nobody because the support we’ve had there has been wonderful. It’s very diverse. There’s all different backgrounds and all different ethnicities and cultures and ages and demographics in there and it’s just a wonderful space. So outside of that I love and appreciate all of you. I look forward to another family education support group with you and until then, take care everyone!
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