Gruler Nation Podcast

Episode #74: Mindfulness, Yoga, Meditation & Frenchies!! With Donny Starkins

November 22, 2019 Robert F. Gruler Jr., Esq.
Gruler Nation Podcast
Episode #74: Mindfulness, Yoga, Meditation & Frenchies!! With Donny Starkins
Chapters
Gruler Nation Podcast
Episode #74: Mindfulness, Yoga, Meditation & Frenchies!! With Donny Starkins
Nov 22, 2019
Robert F. Gruler Jr., Esq.

Donny Starkins began his yoga journey in 2005 by searching for pain relief after seven operations on his left knee and an addiction to pain killers. Fast forward to today, Donny has many years of sobriety and has become one of the dynamic leaders in his industry. He is a professional speaker, teacher and coach leading classes, workshops and seminars all across the world.  

 

Donny is an ambassador for lululemon and works directly on their Mindful Performance Team as both a yoga/meditation teacher and personal development coach. In addition, he works with many corporations on topics such as wellness, leadership and corporate mindfulness. Donny also leads yoga and meditation to the Phoenix Suns and many other professional athletes across the country. 
 

To learn more about Donny and his online program, The Shift to Sobriety, be sure and check out his website www.donystarkins.com or send him an email to find out more at info@donnystakins.com. Also, don't forget to follow him on all social media platforms @donny_starkins  

 

Please Like, Subscribe, and Comment below! 

  

#yoga #painrelief #addiction #sobriety #leader #speaker #teacher #coach #lululemon #ambassador #personaldevelopment #wellness #leadership #mindfulness #arizona #success #podcast #InspirationwithGrulerNation #inspire #gruler #inspiration #GrulerNation #GrulerNationPodcast #gnp #arizonapodcast #scottsdale #yesphx #phx  

 

The Gruler Nation Podcast is a show that focuses on conversations with interesting "Level 10" people passionate about changing the world with their work, relationships and ideas. The show is hosted by Robert Gruler, an attorney and founding partner of the R&R Law Group, a criminal defense law firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona focused on helping good people charged with crimes move forward with their lives.   

 

Interested in being on the show or have a guest recommendation? Email Robert directly at robert@rrlawaz.com or visit www.robgruler.com for more information.  

 

Show Notes Transcript

Donny Starkins began his yoga journey in 2005 by searching for pain relief after seven operations on his left knee and an addiction to pain killers. Fast forward to today, Donny has many years of sobriety and has become one of the dynamic leaders in his industry. He is a professional speaker, teacher and coach leading classes, workshops and seminars all across the world.  

 

Donny is an ambassador for lululemon and works directly on their Mindful Performance Team as both a yoga/meditation teacher and personal development coach. In addition, he works with many corporations on topics such as wellness, leadership and corporate mindfulness. Donny also leads yoga and meditation to the Phoenix Suns and many other professional athletes across the country. 
 

To learn more about Donny and his online program, The Shift to Sobriety, be sure and check out his website www.donystarkins.com or send him an email to find out more at info@donnystakins.com. Also, don't forget to follow him on all social media platforms @donny_starkins  

 

Please Like, Subscribe, and Comment below! 

  

#yoga #painrelief #addiction #sobriety #leader #speaker #teacher #coach #lululemon #ambassador #personaldevelopment #wellness #leadership #mindfulness #arizona #success #podcast #InspirationwithGrulerNation #inspire #gruler #inspiration #GrulerNation #GrulerNationPodcast #gnp #arizonapodcast #scottsdale #yesphx #phx  

 

The Gruler Nation Podcast is a show that focuses on conversations with interesting "Level 10" people passionate about changing the world with their work, relationships and ideas. The show is hosted by Robert Gruler, an attorney and founding partner of the R&R Law Group, a criminal defense law firm based in Scottsdale, Arizona focused on helping good people charged with crimes move forward with their lives.   

 

Interested in being on the show or have a guest recommendation? Email Robert directly at robert@rrlawaz.com or visit www.robgruler.com for more information.  

 

Support the show (https://www.ericshouse.org/donate/)

Speaker 1:

This is episode 74 of the ruler nation podcast. My name is Robert ruler, joined today by Donny stockings. Donnie is the guy who's doing a lot of amazing things. You've got a lot of different stuff going on. You are into mindfulness, yoga, meditation, personal development, sobriety. You've got a new program that you're launching, which we're going to dive into. You do a ton of stuff. You lead yoga and meditation for the Phoenix suns. Many other professional athletes. You're a professional speaker, teacher or coach or a lead performance teams. I mean, you do it all. I will tell you this though, when you came in today, the of all that stuff that you do, the number one thing that faith was most excited about was that you're an ambassador for Lulu lemon. That was a big hit. She was very excited about that just because she loves that gear.

Speaker 1:

But anyways, Donnie, thanks for coming on the show. Appreciate you having you here. Thanks. Thanks for having me. So what I want to dive into, first of all, this kind of the origin story, you know, I know you're doing a lot of stuff. You're an inspirational guy, you help people through some turbulent times in their lives and, and you do a lot of this with sort of this, this mindfulness and this, this sense of purpose. And I want to know a little bit more about how this all evolved because this is something that that is it, it takes that, I think it takes that kind of evolution for a lot of people to get there. You can't just wake up, go to a class in college and graduate with a, a, you know, an inspiration degree in inspiration or a degree in helping people find their purpose. It takes a little bit more of a development over a long period of time. So can you just guide us through some of that, you know, kind of kind of w you know, where are you from? Where were you, I know your journey started in 2005 and kind of what happened with that and bring us through that into today.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I think my, my purpose today all stems from the loss of my purpose. So if I were to backtrack even more, I, I grew up here in Phoenix, Arizona. Grew up my whole life playing baseball, playing athletics, played college baseball all the way until my senior year at Arizona state where I had, what was my fifth surgery on my left knee. This was 15 games into my senior year at Arizona state. Yeah. The surgery that I had was a big one. It was a cadaver transplant of my meniscus. Um, I was the first person in Arizona to ever have this surgery done. But the doctor assured me that if all went well, it would be like having a new knee and I would be back playing in no time. But the day that I woke up from that surgery, I knew I would never play baseball again.

Speaker 2:

Just from the massive signs and scars of, of trauma and the unbearable pain I knew. Yeah. Baseball was over. And so from that day and for many years after my world was turned upside down from a life of self destructive, living from a life of addiction, primarily an addiction to prescription pills. Yeah, I did a lot of other drugs too, but also what, what had its grip on me more than anything where the pain pills or the, um, the Xanax and the volume if I couldn't get pain pills. But this went on for many years after, until my life had gotten so bad that I finally checked myself into rehab. Um, and again, this is a very cliff notes version of, of my story, but I had to finally surrender. I tried so many different ways, um, other than finally just letting go and checking into rehab, um, tried to just go to meetings and just go to therapy so I wouldn't have to stop my life for 30 days and, and finally get clean.

Speaker 2:

But when my life got so bad that I was finally able to listen and take direction, I remember in, in treatment that very first day ham where I, I basically was lying in a bed before, like the first night was, I was, it was probably lunch time on the first day. And I remember just asking God and I don't even know what my relationship with God is or was. Then. And it's still an evolving thing. But I just said, God, please tell me what I need to do to get it right this time. I'll do anything. So I waited around that day and was trying to hear something. And each night at 7:00 PM, um, a group of men would come in and bring in a meeting. The first meeting was a PA meeting, a pills anonymous meeting. And when the guys started [inaudible], the guy started talking, they started saying things like, you need to go to meetings and get a sponsor and work the steps with the that sponsor and be of service and be willing and take direction.

Speaker 2:

And I heard it for the first time, even though I'd been going to meetings plenty prior to that, but I was never ready. I was never present. I was never listening. But I finally got to the point where I, I heard it. I knew after day one what it was going to take for me to get and stay sober once I left there. And, and that was it. And so the, the past of my addiction really buried me in guilt and shame for many years just from going from this baseball player star. That was my identity to a drug addict that, that messed with me for a long time. But after diving in and treatment and getting a lot of therapy and doing the work, what I realized, cause I was blaming the doctors, I was blaming poor me, the doctors screwed me over and I was taking 80 Percocet a week for a month. Right. Well, right after I had that surgery where you were, you, were you taking that before the surgery? No. Where you were using or abusing any substance? I mean drinking, no, I was playing division one baseball, there was drug tests, you know, in the off season. In the summers I would smoke pot and drink with the, with the guys and we would drink, you know, during the week when we weren't playing games. But um, I wasn't using like an addict or drinking like an alcoholic. Sure.

Speaker 3:

Yep. So placing a lot of blame on the doctors and poor me and I was the victim. But really at the core, after diving into the work, what what it was is I didn't want to feel the emotional pain of the loss of my identity. The one thing, my baseball, the love of my life, the thing I, the only thing I ever knew and then one day it was gone. I didn't want to feel that. So I numbed it by taking pills and, and, and partying. And so really at the core I had lost my purpose. Yeah. That was the key. I mean, I, I didn't, I didn't have another plan and so when I didn't want to feel that, I just numbed it and then I was lost in that life of addiction and partying for so many years after. Yeah. It's a wild story. I mean, it's something that a lot of people I think don't recognize or don't realize there.

Speaker 3:

Somebody told it to me once, they said, you know, you are one surgery away or you're one doctor's visit away from becoming an addict if you're not because of exactly what you went through. You go in, you have this surgery, you get prescribed what would ordinarily be kind of a regular dosage of some pain pills, and then the boom, that's the trigger. You get hooked at that moment and then it just keeps compounding and compounding and compounding. So you're one, you're one basically bad doctor's visit away from becoming an addict. Whereas many people will think, well, if you're addicted to pills, that's your own damn fault. You know, that's your problem. You should have had more self control. You shouldn't have, you know, you should have stopped using them or something like that. Whereas you know, people don't realize, no, you, you did everything right.

Speaker 3:

You did everything according to what the doctor's orders and you were just following what they asked you to do. Yeah, yeah. I was doing the best I could with what I had or, or maybe I wasn't. But the bottom line was it sent me down that road and in until I was willing and ready to take personal responsibility for my actions. And then also the action steps to find the freedom to never have to use and never have to drink again. You know, cause they say our, our freedom and our sobriety is all contingent on our spiritual condition. And for me that is, that just means the work today. That means meditation, mindfulness practices, being of service, um, being in my purpose and continuing to dive into personal development. Did it take you some time to find that, that, that path, because some people make it seem like it's something that just clicks, right? When you, when you talk about having that kind of, that epiphany moment, that inspiration where you, you say your prayer to God and then you, you get a response and suddenly it clicks. It comes in division. You realize what you need to do and how you need to change. For a lot of people that they never get that. And I'm just curious about your journey. Was it, I mean, was it multiple kind of ins

Speaker 1:

with rehab? Was it multiple meetings on your own? What brought you to the point you think in your life where you hit that bottom, you know, we call it rock bottom where you kind of said, okay, this is enough. Or was it, was it you just being spiritually aligned in a way that your, your, your mind was open to the possibility that there's a different way to live?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I believe that everybody's bottom is different, right? It can be spiritual, it can be a circumstance, something major happens, a DUI or something involving the law or just something terrible that happens within your family. So it could be many things for me. So that, that that day lane and treatment that first day and me surrendering and saying, please, I'll do anything that got me three and a half years sober. And then I stopped doing the work. The work again then was being of service, go into meetings, staying connected to the men and in the program. And so I was playing in a sober softball league about two months before I had stopped doing the work. And so I hurt my knee. I ended up having a surgery on my right knee. So I've had seven on my left knee. This was the very first one on my right knee, minor surgery, like scope arthroscopic walking on crutches for maybe a day or a half a day.

Speaker 2:

Um, but I woke up from the surgery and I love the way that I felt and six days later I was back in the doctor's office lying about the level of pain I was having and I was taking pills again. And so that started like another six to eight month slip. Um, and things didn't get crazy bad in that six to eight months. Um, that, that, that slip in, that relapse messed with me for awhile because have building up three and a half years of sobriety and then losing it all messed with me. But today, six and a half years later with another six and a half years sober. It's the best thing that ever happened to me cause it was a reminder that the work never stops. It'll never stop for me. And if I want to be free, I got to continue to be willing.

Speaker 2:

I always say that willingness equals freedom. And so if I catch myself doing things, you know, half-ass or I'm just going through the motions or someone's on the calling and I'm watching a football game and I they need, I know they're probably needing some help and I won't. I want to be selfish and just watch the football game. I need to remind myself, Donnie, how free do you want to be? That little pattern interrupt that question when I asked myself and it brings me back to my bottom because I want to remember, I don't stay in it, but I do want to remember how it was to remind me that I never want to go there again. So that little question is just my glue, my little check where I check myself and I, and I would just want to be free because the alternative is so far from freedom. How did you,

Speaker 1:

I'm to the point where you were comfortable sharing the side of yourself so you know the addiction and living in that space and living with that. Like you said, it brings on a person, a lot of shame, a lot of guilt. The rest of society kind of looks down upon those people. There's still a big contingent of the population that says, this is a, this is kind of a moral failing. This is a a self-will problem. You should be able to control it better. You should be able to have a handle on these things and if you don't, then you're morally bad. You're, you're a bad person. So there's a huge part of the population is still thinks that way. Yet here you are talking openly about this, right? You're, you're here on a podcast or you're sharing the story with us and you've sh you've shared it with thousands if not millions of people throughout the world. What, what got you to that point? What kind of gave you the strength to say, all right, you know what, this is who I am now. I'm going to go share the message with others.

Speaker 2:

I was in a, an Aspen, Colorado in a yoga, it was a yoga festival and there was a teacher there named Sean corn. And in the class, she's just starts really from the moment she started the class, she was just speaking fire to my heart, like the words she was saying, I'm like, is this check in recovery? Everything she's saying is amazing. Um, and one of the questions she, she asked the people was, how dare we not when she said those words to me, for me it was, how dare I have. So the first time she said it, so I had been just backtrack. I had been teaching yoga here in Phoenix. I was in the corporate world and slowly progressed out of it and made, yup. Teaching yoga, teaching mindfulness, my full time occupation and as I was beginning and building my yoga following, I didn't want everybody to know this.

Speaker 2:

This side of me, my secret, the people closest to me, the man in my life knew about my, my recovery and addiction, but not everybody knew. So she asked those question or that question, how dare we not and the first time she said it, it was for me, how dare I not teach something more than just the physical practice of yoga. I teach out here in Phoenix and Scottsdale and there's a lot of people driving really pretty cars looking really good on the outside, but I know they're dying on the inside. I need to be teaching to the heart and to the soul because the physical practice of yoga is actually just a small piece of it. Yeah. So I wanted to meet her. I met her after the class. She told me about this five day leadership training. She does called off the mat into the world.

Speaker 2:

That's her nonprofit, her organization. So I go to the, not the, the five day leadership in, in Minnesota. And she says those words again, how dare we not. And this time for me it was not, it was how dare I not share my story? How dare I not share the freedom and the possibility in the hope that I've achieved from this life of recovery. So we were tasked to go back into our community and create a service project. And what I created was a Mo a year long, um, something called Sunday yoga service. And we did, uh, an event like at some of the different resorts across, um, Phoenix and Scottsdale. And at that first event I shared my story. And from

Speaker 3:

that day, everything completely changed. So what I was so worried about, I mean that I found my voice, I found my purpose. People could actually relate to me. I started getting emails about how somebody lost their husband a month prior to that first event. And my message is helping them heal. And you know, the messages just came, kept coming and it was like, Oh my God, I found my voice. I found my purpose. The how dare we not was the what, the question that activated it for me and and from that day a completely changed the whole trajectory of my, my life and my career. There's something authentic about that. When you stop living according to what you think is right and you start living kind of who you are truly inside, there's this transformation that happens and the universe kind of aligns in a way. Now this is a part of your message and you teach all of the other things that you were, you probably would have already been teaching on your own, right?

Speaker 3:

Had you not had this addiction component, you may have gotten into mindfulness or yoga, but now that you've incorporated this story, now people can really connect with you because those people who otherwise wouldn't have somebody to talk to, not everybody finds recovery by going to rehab, by going in treatment. You know, they find it. They come in the back door, right? As we, as we say, they find it through a different mechanism. And you know, who knows how many people just because you've shared that story while they're doing your yoga class, they may connect them. Yeah, maybe I am using this too much or drinking that too much and, and their whole life has changed. I wanted to ask you what, you know, so you, you have a lot of these different components. You've got sobriety, mindfulness, yoga, meditation, personal development. I mean lightening, uh, defining your life purpose.

Speaker 3:

How are you integrating all of that into your, into your daily life? Because for some people, I think that may seem like a lot, right? Some people don't do any of that stuff. They don't exercise, they don't do anything to get in touch with their mindfulness. They don't do any meditation, you know, they're not doing yoga. So how does, how does one person sort of, you know, we've got limited time here. I know you can't walk me through everything, but kind of give us a day in the life of Donnie, how do you kind of incorporate these different principles into what you do? Yeah. So first I believe that those are all personal development. Yeah. Sobriety, mindfulness, meditation, yoga. It all ties under the umbrella of personal development. Developing each day to be the best version of myself. Chipping away at the things that get in the way of that, whether that's limiting beliefs or habits, um, just or old patterns or just buying into what society says that I need to do in order to be happy. The meditation practice will quiet my mind, not stop the thoughts, the thoughts never stopped people in the find out. I teach meditation. The first thing they'll say is, I can't quiet my mind. I can't meditate. I can't stop my thoughts. That's not what it's about. Yeah. Give your mind one thing to focus on. Let your mind and your body settled down. So is really

Speaker 2:

about being a better person. Yoga, same thing. Mostly when men find out, I teach yoga, they'll say, I can't do yoga. I can't even touch my toes. And I say, yeah, you can just bend your knees. You can touch your toes. Right? Yoga is about being a better person. It's about going on your mat. And actually moving energy, stuck energy. I love the 12 steps, but the one piece I believe in my own personal opinion that's missing is mindful movement, moving stuck energy. The 12 steps gives you unbelievable freedom. But if you believe in the mind, body connection or that our issues are in our tissues, that stuff, our trauma and our shame and our guilt, it's in your body. So the way we move it is by moving mindfully and breathing mindfully. The move, the mindful movement can actually be a form of meditation and it's all about moving energy.

Speaker 2:

Stuck energy literally will become dis ease in the body. So we free up all that stuff by moving and breathing. We get into meditation to quiet the mind so the body can relax. So my, my, my first hour of my morning, it's so sacred. It is. It is. I have to wake up and before I do anything while I'll grab my coffee, but I will not look at my phone until I've done my meditation. Whether that's five minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, that has to be the first thing I do. I cannot be in reactivity. First thing. I did that for awhile and it was just my, I was just messy when I would do it. So meditation now I get my coffee and then I do my meditation and then I have to do some type of movement in the first hour. And it's, it's not to get in this great shape, it's to have a good day.

Speaker 2:

Cause I've, I've done the alternative and I just don't like the person that I am and I get stressed and get tension in my neck and my shoulders. So if I make that first hour and have my non negotiables, I have laid the foundation for my day so I can be a better version of myself and be less reactive and less agitated and more responsive and present. So the first hour, yeah, that's, that's the key for me. Yeah. And you coach other people through some of this process. Yeah. So I have a coaching program called the shift and that's transformation. Transformational coaching for the mind, body, soul. So we're implementing mindfulness, personal development, health and wellness. What's your, what's your putting into your bodies? What looking at like what are creating the stressors in your life? And to be honest, the nice thing about implementing mindfulness and meditation into it, that all of our stress comes from our thoughts and all of stress is, is wanting the moment to be something that it's not.

Speaker 2:

So it basically comes from the past in the future it's really hard to be fully like fully stressed out when you're immersed in in the moment. And so implementing these and having them weave into each other. So the coaching program that I have ties all of these together. So the one on one coaching is amazing and a lot of it is again chipping away at the things that are getting in the way of us showing up, living a purpose driven life. I believe that our purpose is within us. It's always been there and it needs to be discovered in order to discover something, you actually have to take the cover off of it. And it's often covered up by limiting beliefs, old stories, or we're living somebody else's purpose. A lot of times it's our parents or it's a teacher or it's what society said that you need to have this job or this degree in order to be happy.

Speaker 2:

So you get a lot of people, or I get a lot of clients that are caught in this success strap trap where they have a lot of money and they have a lot of the material stuff, but they're miserable and it, and I believe it's because they're not living their purpose. There's a lot of wisdom in what you just said. Where, where do you get your inspiration from? Or where does this stuff you're kind of pulling from a number of different resources and kind of, you know, creating this, this vision for what you're calling the shift. How did this all come about? I mean, was this something that you've, you're pulling pieces from a different personal development strategies that you've learned over the years? Is it some personal experience? How did you develop this? Yeah, no, that's a great question, Andy. Right? No original thought. So this is all inspiration pulled from many different directions and probably has my own spin on it.

Speaker 2:

Um, teachers, yoga teachers, certain yoga teachers here in the Valley or national Sean Korn who I mentioned, local teachers here. Um, that's a piece of it. Lulu lemon, you mentioned that. So I've been a Lululemon ambassador for the last five years and Lulu lemon used to outsource all of their personal development to landmark and in the last few years they wanted to take a more mindful approach to personal development. So Lulu lemon created their own personal internal personal development program and one of the big retreats or experiences they create for their employees in their ambassadors is something called purpose and practice. The first time I went about three years ago, they were rolling out the pilot program and the teacher leading it, Danielle Nagel, who is the director of mindfulness at Lulu lemon, they have their own division, um, called mindful performance. She was the one facilitated it and I was just blown away.

Speaker 2:

I was like, I want what she has and the content. So it tied a lot of like, um, recovery in 12 steps stuff into it. Yeah. But it wasn't, it wasn't themed around addiction, but there was so much in there that that I've resonated with and I just kept wanting more of it. And so you fast forward, um, three years later, I'm now leading pers purpose in practice and part of the mindful performance team at Lulu lemon. I just started as an ambassador and I've been able to keep my ambassador ambassadorship for the last five years and now work side by side with Danielle leading this for the entire company. And it blows my mind this to be able to like set these goals in Lulu beyond the amazing like the clothes and you know, people think they just sell stretch, expensive, stretchy pants and expensive clothes.

Speaker 2:

But their vision and mission and what they do for community and how much they truly care about their own employees, personal development is, it's, it's mind blowing to me. So to be able to get to now lead that is, it's one of the greatest gifts. So I have these amazing mentors and teachers all around me that I just keep trying to take in the information, but also knowing that I can only take my clients and my students and my people as far as I'm willing to go. So it's good incentive. I just want to dive in and keep doing the work because like I said earlier, the work never stops and I am in this work with everybody. I have stuff that still comes up all the time and I will always be in this work. Can you, can you guide us through the program a little bit?

Speaker 2:

I'm just curious. I see on your website it's a 90 day coaching program. What are people expecting? So we want to look at, a lot of times people are surprised to discover that they feel trapped by their lives. They're too busy. There's a story there. There's, there's a story, there's old patterns, habits, limiting beliefs that are getting in the way of them showing up as the best version of themselves. So I would first want to look with each client. I do a free 45 minute coaching call for anybody to discover what exactly their 90 day goals are. But then more importantly, the why underneath the why. Okay. So yeah, you want, you want to have more peace in your life. You want to, you want to get and stay sober, whatever your goals are. Okay. But why, and this is the key. It's the, it's the big motivating factor or why they're choosing to invest in this program.

Speaker 2:

And so the, those wise, cause I always say when your wide gets bigger than your, how the how will take care of itself. So an understanding like, okay, why do you want to get sober? Well, cause I, I want to be free. Okay, well why do you want to be free? Well, because my dad never was or something. My, my mom never was, she died from the disease. So like the real why underneath the why, that's what pulls us forward for vision and achievement. So we get clear on what their why is and then we start to release whatever's getting in the way so that we can invite something new. And it's like clearing the, in order to invite something new and you've got to let go of some stuff. Yeah. So we'll start there and then we get clear on goals like beyond the 90 days, like 18 month goals. Um, your values, like what

Speaker 3:

is most important to you? Because if we get clear on what values, what your values are, we can make every decision based on those values. So if somebody comes into your life and you're looking for a relationship and you have a, a value of, of family or whatever it might be, and if this person that you're bringing into your relationship doesn't value family, well, it's going to be really easy to make a decision. So you start to base and bounce every decision on your core values. And if we choose to ignore those, then our old habits and our old patterns, we'll just continue to consume us. So values and goals will get clear on purpose. We do a lot of purpose work. Uncovering what it is, what is most important to you, what are your natural gifts and talents. These are the things that have always been there.

Speaker 3:

They're the things that people call on us for the things that come easy to us in life. See, cause I believe that, um, our, our purpose is dynamic. It's not like you have to define your purpose and that's your purpose. You're at the rest of your life. Our, our, our purpose is dynamic. It's not static. It doesn't stay the same. What's consistent is our natural gifts and talents. And so how we implement those through the evolution evolution of our lives as how we live a more purpose driven life. Yeah. Before, if we're not using our natural gifts and talents, we're basically out of our purpose. If we don't know who we are, then we're probably living somebody else's life. Right. And I think that's a huge part of, of addiction in general. And a lot of the problems that we see kind of throughout society, you know, they're saying that, you know, suicide rates for, you know, males from 10 to 14 are up three times than they were, you know, a decade ago.

Speaker 3:

Uh, kids are, are, you know, the opioid crisis that's going on. People are, uh, you know, dying all over the country, all over the world because of this stuff. I mean, in record numbers, I mean, Pete, like somebody just said, you know, just think of a, you know, seven 47 is just going down all over the world every day because people are overdosing and, or, or killing themselves. And I think a lot of it, you know, uh, of course there's a lot of differing opinions on it, but I think a lot of it has to come back to that lack of purpose, lack of meaning people. Are you kind of more connected than ever? Uh, technically speaking on social media and, you know, we've got friends and you know, everybody's liking things and following everybody. But when you, when you have a conversation with somebody, I think especially with our youth, that a lot of people just don't know why they are here, what they're supposed to be doing with themselves or their lives. And when you have that start to compound and everyday you wake up with any meaning or any purpose or any direction, and you're only living to, you know, to post stuff or to kind of create this false sense of identity, this false sense of meaning, then you start to see these issues compound. And then of course you're going to numb those away with, with the drugs, with alcohol. And

Speaker 2:

if you can't take it anymore, then you'd just call it quits. Yeah. I believe everything that you said, right there is so on point, all that arises starts with our thoughts. So at some point, someone that's whose life has gotten so bad that they choose to take their life. That all started with one thought. Yeah. And the nice thing about this, this whole meditation in this mindful thing is, is that we can actually watch our thoughts. If you want to change the way you're living, you have to change the way you're thinking in order to change the way you're thinking. You have to think about what you're thinking about or actually notice it. And that's where we can actually create space to make a choice. I can believe that thought where I can let that crap go. Yeah. And then the more space that we have, the better decisions that we make.

Speaker 2:

And so the technology thing with the smart phones and our younger generation, that's a whole nother thing. It's not even the young, it's all of us. It's all of me. And I am in this, I mean, I teach this and I sit there and be like, Jesus, you need to remind yourself of this stuff. You're, you're teaching your people. So I am, I'm in it too. Um, but I do know that you have the biggest companies in the world hiring the smartest people in the world that create these algorithms that are designed to capture our attention. Right? And if we don't have a tool or a way to bring our attention back, then we're gone. And we're lost our whole lives distracted. I mean, our world is afflicted ended and addicted to distraction. And so the nice thing about these practices in this type of work is we're able to eliminate the distractions and we can focus on what's most important to us.

Speaker 2:

Understanding what our why is, why we're here, knowing that we're not our thoughts and we don't have to believe the craziness that goes on in our minds that we can actually take a step back and see the bigger picture. Yeah, it's beautiful. Is the shift, is the program predominantly for sobriety? No. At no. So the, the shift, the transformational coaching, the one on one coaching that I do, I'd say 25% of my clients are in sobriety. Um, we've gotten people sober. I'm not saying it's the end all be all, they're doing 12 step work. But a few of my clients did never went to rehab. Okay. But they were honest, open minded and willing to take direction and do something more than just my program. It's, it's gotta be more than that. And especially if you're a female, you need to find a female sponsor and somebody else to do the work with, not just me.

Speaker 2:

Um, I will be launching right after J on January 2nd the shift to sobriety. So that's a 90 day online program that will have an online community like a private Facebook private Facebook page and a group and that will implement so that the four pillars are going to be mindfulness, um, recovery, personal development and community. So that'll be a 90 day program, like 12 weeks, 12 steps. It's not necessarily designed around the 12 steps, 12 steps, but there are some of the fundamental principles of 12 step recovery, but also mindfulness, meaning mindfulness activities, meditation, audio meditations that I've recorded and video yoga videos that I'll have that will be accessible to, to all levels. So you have the shift us to sobriety that's going to be launching early next year. And then just the shift that's for kind of anybody who wants to level up their lives. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So the, the currently running is the shift, the, the transformational coaching, the one on one stuff that I do level up your lives, get sober, find your purpose. Um, a lot of times people are just stuck, stuck in their, they're needing to get unstuck or have some type of shift. Um, but yeah, the shift to sobriety, that's the one that's really, um, been on my heart. I was going to launch the shift. Um, online program had two people, two childhood friends in the last four months pass away from the disease of addiction. And I knew this shift to sobriety had to come out because also what I, what I came to understand is that what breaks my heart more than anything are the friends and families who get left behind when one of their loved ones dies from the disease of addiction, suicide or mental illness.

Speaker 2:

That is the one thing that gets me. And so I'm starting a nonprofit called the aftermath community. And the aftermath community is designed, the nonprofit will support friends and families who have gotten left behind through therapy outreach. Maybe they need help with funding for funeral costs. So it's an online or not, excuse me, not an online, but a community that will be there where if someone needs to talk to somebody because they just had a family member pass away from the disease or, or suicide, that there'll be an actual community here to carry each other like we do in recovery right through this unbelievably like tough, tough healing process. And to know that you don't have to do it alone and that there's people, it's like the same model of recovery. Right? And we just use this and that is the one thing that, so when people pay for the coaching program that shift to sobriety, the proceeds will go back to the aftermath community.

Speaker 1:

That's beautiful. Yeah. Yeah. And that's something that kind of gets overlooked. You know, people lose somebody. It's like there's all these different modalities for treatment and recovery and therapy and help and inpatient and IOP and all this different stuff while you're alive. But when you pass, the family's just gone. There's nothing else for them. You can go hire your private grief counselor, you can go to there. There are a couple of grief groups and things like that, but in terms of building a community, uh, you know, as we talked about before we hopped on here, my family went through something very similar and we were kind of lost in the wilderness. So I think what you're doing is an amazing service because there is, there are not a lot of resources out there and it's unfortunate and it doesn't seem like a lot of this stuff is slowing down.

Speaker 3:

You know, more and more families are losing people every single day. Yeah. And to be able to, you know, like we have found our found purpose or at least our addiction, alcoholism, whatever it is, has given us an access point to a greater purpose. And so how can we use that same model to all of, I mean my friends and I've had a lot of them that have, that have passed away that it doesn't much break my heart for them as it does the families. Cause I think about what it would have been like for my mom to have to wake up every single day knowing that she lost her baby boy. Like that is the one thing and I found a way out. So like how dare I not share this and to be able to find freedom and purpose through it all, it's, it blows my mind.

Speaker 3:

And so it's really easy to get motivated and yeah, I, I agree. I, I breaks my heart that I lost these friends, but it lights a fire under me to be like, I got to do more than I got to step up. And so it's, it's inspiration even though there's, there's major loss there. Yeah. I was going to actually ask you about that. You know how you keep your energy up because you're a coach, you're dealing with some, with, with a lot of people who have a lot of problems in their lives, you know, they come to you looking for answers and just by necessity you kind of become a vessel in a way. So you have to, I would imagine, you can tell me how you interpret it, but you'd have to really kind of balance your energy and if somebody is going to be, you know, already focused on mindfulness and meditation and being centered and being grounded and maintaining your energy levels, somebody in your position has to really do that.

Speaker 3:

I mean you have to be at a level 12 out of 10 to do that because of the type of work you do because every person that you're coaching, they're bringing their problems to you and you gotta be careful not to allow that stuff to, you know, impact who you are as a person. So how do you manage all that? How do you kind of keep your energy high, wake up everyday with enthusiasm ready to tackle the world and help the people that you work with. It comes down to practicing what I preach, so it's that first hour of my day making sure that I win that first hour so I can build positive momentum through the day. I'm making sure I'm getting my yoga practice and I don't practice seven days a week. If I go three, four times a week, having my own practice, doing my own body work and, and, and things that are going to fill my cup.

Speaker 3:

Uh, um, a meditation technique I've been using often is just saying the word release over and over again. And that's just a simple practice that allows me to maybe not take on some of my client's stuff to be able to energetically release that by just saying the word release. Nothing too spiritual or too deep about that. It's just a technique that allows me to not carry any of their own burdens energetically and gives me that freedom. Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's, it's, it's interesting to hear how people deal with that because it is, it is a lot and you're juggling a lot, but I think if you're grounded, if you're most effective and your kind of, you know, solid as a rock, then that enables you to help that many more people who of course are relying on you. I know you brought some special friends today, so let me tell faith to bring them over.

Speaker 3:

They're going to get some air time. I'm gonna get some air time. So, uh, tell us about who's who's coming in. So Bubba and Cody are my two French Bulldogs. Um, I should say my mine and my, my partner, Jamie's, um, they're as much if not more hers than mine. So if she heard this and just said my French Bulldogs, I might take offense to that. Correct. She's very protective over her babies. Um, yeah, they're, they're amazing dogs. And you know, you talk about, I had a 12 year old boxer Roxy a few years ago, pass away. And you know, when she passed away, I started to think about just how much our, even our dogs show up for us. We're talking about presence and mindfulness and I believe that a dog's purpose they say is to be here now. And they teach us unconditional love. They don't judge us.

Speaker 3:

They're in the moment all the time. So man, we can learn a lot about love and presence and all this stuff we're teaching through our little fur babies. Yeah. Well there was another, we had another guest on the show and he was Marine Scanlon. She wrote the book, my dog is more enlightened than I am and she shared a lot of those same, same topics, you know, basically kind of the premises. Anytime you have something going on in your life, you can just kind of look to your dog and say, how, how would they handle the situation? It's, you know, unconditional love, pure loyalty, nonstop loyalty. Speaking of the two, here they are. Repubs come here. Faith brought him in. Here's one of them. He's the one that usually wants to camera everybody. This one's Baba. This is Bubba. Yeah. Cody, come here. There you go.

Speaker 3:

There they are a door. They're on the camera. They're on camera. Uh, they're great though. Yeah. It's um, so much love. I mean, I, you know, I think about people ask sometimes, or I asked this question, it's like, what is the one thing that you get so immersed and it's like time stops where you're like fully in the moment. And what I think about is when I just watched my dogs playing. Yeah. When I watched them going back and forth and I just have this smile on my face and I don't even know. I have the smile on my face. Like that is the one time where I am like fully present. Like fully in that moment when I'm watching these babies. Yeah, he's got a big smile and they, it's funny, they have different personalities. So you know, Bubba kinda came in, he wants to hang close to you.

Speaker 3:

And what's the other one's name? Cody. Cody. Cody runs a, she's exploring the office. She's on high alert. Hyler just what's that? What's it, what's behind that door? What's behind that, what's under there. And then she just came running back in with the ball. Well that's great. Well cool. So let me, you know, how, how can people support you? So you're doing a lot of amazing stuff. Obviously, you know, anybody who kind of wants to level up their lives and increase their performance or kind of get unstuck, they can reach out to you and connect for the shift coaching program. Uh, and then the, the shift to sobriety program comes out early next year. And then you've got the nonprofit, the aftermath community. But where are some places that people can connect with you? How can they support you? What do you need? Yeah, so my website is just my name, Donnie Starkman's dot com.

Speaker 3:

It's Donnie with a Y. um, everything's on there. All the retreats I do usually for yoga and wellness retreats. Um, a year I have one coming up in Sedona at an chairman resort called love yourself and it's not a couples retreat. It's a self love, um, all levels of yoga. Even if you've never practiced, you will be totally fine there. And again, that's going to be yoga, wellness, mindfulness. Um, there's two different sessions. It's Martin Luther King weekend, so it'd be the January 16th through the 18th and then 18th through the 20th. But that's all on my website. The coaching program, the shift is on the website. My Instagram, I use that fairly often. It's Donnie underscores, darkens and you know, the, the, the shift to sobriety in the aftermath. That is really my passion project, that there'll be plenty of opportunities to either, um, enroll in that first, that first month.

Speaker 3:

So the January 2nd or even support the aftermath community before the end of the year, if you're looking for any kind of, uh, um, donations for, for tax purposes. And what is, I know we touched on it briefly, but what is the, when you say it's kind of one on one coaching, what does that look like? So if you're local, we'll, we'll, we'll, we will meet in person, not on every session. So the, the 90 days, again, it's one call, zoom call, phone call or in person a week. And every client of mine gets a 90 day workbook in that workbook has things like, you know, each basically every morning and every night you'll have writing. It's prompted journaling done for you, talking about things like gratitude and what would make today great, what do I want to accomplish? How do I want to feel today? What's my word for the day? And these are just created, designed to create new habits and rituals to, to win the morning and also go to bed at night, not with your mind racing so you can sleep well.

Speaker 3:

And then each client gets a amused meditation headband. And the muse headband is, you know, it measures your brain's activity, your heart rate. It's a technology that gives biofeedback on the brain and it'll tell you how long your brain was active, how long your brain was neutral, and how long your brain was calm. Yeah. And that's a pretty cool device. I actually have one of those. I like it. And you listen to the birds chirp and yeah, it's pretty interesting experience. I'm still terrible at it, but uh, I could, I could use some more mindfulness probably to get that back in check. Well that's, that's fantastic. So all right, a couple of different places. Donnie [inaudible] dot com uh, info at Donnie Starkman's. That's D O N N Y S T a R K. I N S. dot. Facebook is just search for Donnie's darkens and Instagram. Donnie underscore Starkman's. Dani, I really enjoyed speaking with you.

Speaker 3:

I appreciate everything that you're doing and I want thank you for coming on the show. Thank you. Thank you for having me. Yeah, and if any of your listeners want I do that free 45 minute discovery call, you can go right on my website and actually applied you just answer four or five questions and actually can book that call on my calendar on my website for anybody that's interested. Beautiful, super easy to do it. So check that out@donniestarcoms.com and I look forward to continue to follow you along. I'm really excited to see how this new program launches in January. I hope to have you back. Thank you. Thanks for having me. I had a really great time chatting with you. Thanks Donnie. Thanks.

Speaker 4:

The ruler nation podcast is brought to you by the RNR law group, Arizona's premier criminal defense and personal injury law firm available@wwwdotrrlawaz.com or give us a call, four eight zero four zero zero one three.