Building a Solid Foundation



The recovery Journey can be a long and at the same time, extremely fulfilling experience, with wide-ranging emotional highs and lows along the way. Most of us who step into this way of living life, and intentionally choose to take it on with the same kind of passion we sought out all of our addictive, obsessive, and compulsive behaviours in the past, will experience a variety of thoughts and feelings that we’ve probably been avoiding for a very long time. Usually these unwanted, uncomfortable feelings are kept locked away deep in the shadows of our personality. In my experience, most people who have developed any form of lifestyle that uses harmful, destructive, and generally ineffective behaviours to cope with their emotional experiences, are probably dealing with some form of psychological, emotional, or even physical trauma. These traumas are predominantly revolving around our unmet childhood needs and it can be extremely beneficial to have a solid understanding of the symptoms associated with these issues so we can recognize their presence in our current way of being. This is why, in therapy, people often delve into certain areas of the past, which can be a daunting, and at times, an extremely triggering process.

“In my experience, most people who have developed any form of lifestyle that uses harmful, destructive, and generally ineffective behaviours to cope with their emotional experiences, are probably dealing with some form of psychological, emotional, or even physical trauma.”


~Steven Morris RP.

However, it is usually the most rewarding and empowering part of our journey too. Being able to finally put to bed all of those demons from the past and start to move forward with our life, is the essence of sustainable behaviour change, and this is the reason that the foundational work we complete at the start of our journey is vital to the long-term success of building the Life we Want to Live, whatever that life may look like for you. As I often say, again and again, in any process of behaviour change, regardless of the approach you decide to take, creating a solid foundation using the four primary fundamentals I talk about in group, and one-on-one coaching, can only go towards increasing the probability of you creating the life you want to live, not only as something in the distant future, but also something you can begin to experience right now!

The 4 fundamental areas of foundation fall into the following basic categories, which will be covered in the pages of the website as you continue to read each section:


1. Creating and Using a Support Network

2. Creating a Structured Lifestyle

3. Balancing the Physical with the Emotional 

4. Developing a Mindfulness Practice


What each of these areas look like for you personally is entirely your choice, and this isn't about you doing what you’re told to do in order to make the changes you want to make. If that’s what you’re looking for, ask yourself if this has worked for you in the past, because it probably hasn't, and if it has, there's a really good chance you wouldn’t be here to begin with. The problem with this is what happens when we fail, because language creates behavioural rigidity. In other words, even though we are responding to our own internal narrative, we are either going to go with the flow, and do everything we are being asked to do, or we're going to push back against the requested behaviour. Our response is completely dependant on our perspective on being told what to do. If we are ok with this, then it won't be a problem. If you're like me, and there is an angry entitled child in your system, then the response might not be so great.

If we have a poor relationship with failing, then failing to do something we’ve been “told to do” just activates the primary emotions we've been using our addictive, obsessive, and compulsive coping mechanisms for in the first place, so it's really important that we do our best not to go there again. This is about you building the Life that YOU Want to Live, and putting these fundamental principles of foundation in place is often a very different process for everyone. We have to understand that it;s not going to be perfect, we will fail at some point, that’s just a given. If changing behaviours was an easy thing to do, we wouldn’t be watching YouTube videos, and trying to educate ourselves on what to do.

In the PDF at the bottom of this page there's a worksheet that contains a series of reflective questions designed to help assess the foundation that we currently have in place. Take some time to sit with each question, and contemplate how things were in the past, how they currently are, and what you would need to do in the future for the foundation to be strong enough to support this type of work. As you click "Continue to Read" at the bottom of each page it takes you through the pages of this website in an order that puts the skills in place as and when we need to devlop them. Also, if you take a look around the YouTube channel connected to this page, there are a number of different videos expanding on the principles of foundation in a lot more detail. If you're like what you see and you want to explore these things in a live conversation, with me, check out any of the online meetings I facilitate, many of which are available for free.

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