Everyone is an addict, because at The Recovery Vortex, the term “addiction” is NOT defined as the end behavior of using an illegal drug or drinking. “Addiction” is defined as the entire addictive pattern – which always begins with a person’s thinking. That’s where the addictive behavior starts, with our thoughts.

Practically the entire world population usually cannot stop their Level 1 and 2 thought patterns that lead to their own suffering. Therefore, addictive behavior is another term for ANY Level 3 coping mechanism used to quell the stress of Level 1 and 2 Energy. More obvious Level 3 coping skills are alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, shopping or whatever they have a 12-step group for. But, less obvious Level 3 coping skills are watching tv, playing video games, watching sports/movies, “puttering” in the garage, cleaning, work, rage, etc.

And still yet, there are Level 3 coping skills that are considered to be healthy but can be rationalized coping skills if they are used to avoid Level 1 and 2 thought patterns such as: exercise, meditation, support groups, therapy, religious meetings, etc. Why include these? Because a person is not necessarily shifting their Level 1 and 2 thought patterns, they are using these activities to avoid dealing with their stressful thoughts regarding their wives, husbands, families, kids, work, etc. Now, it does help to calm them, but many times, the patterns reset without dealing with the core thoughts.

When one defines addiction as being caught in the cycle of Level 1, 2 and 3 Energy, then the great majority of the human population can be viewed as “addicts.”

So what is YOUR answer if that is your new definition of “addiction?”
Shifting your energetic thinking to Levels 6 and 7 where Source Energy sees it – and with loving curiosity, no judgment, with absolute passion for reality for “what is,” and go from there. Let’s start with the perception of God: Everything on this planet is perfect, whole and complete, including everything that humans think is a severe problem (war, death, destruction, rape and so on).

So using that definition of addiction, how does The Recovery Vortex work with clients?
We first guide clients to tapping into the power of Source Energy, or Unconditional Love that is already within them. And guide them to see everything from this higher level of consciousness – Levels 6 and 7. From there, if deep inner-peace and happiness is truly what a client wants, we tell them there is another way. Set the intention and commit to having it, no matter what, and we can show you the way, and YOU WILL HAVE IT. We promise.

Do the work of Byron Katie, Larry Crane, Buddha, and uncover Who You Really Are: total loving, happy, creative Ultimate Higher Consciousness who never experiences problems and suffering. Everything, all your problems either melt away or are reframed as good wonderful things, especially addiction problems.

This seems to transcend the concept of “addiction” and enter into spiritual realms
It does. Because in the end, addiction IS a spiritual affliction, and when you look at it from an Energy Level perspective, the great majority of people are “addicts.” And the answer that works in ALL cases of addiction – no matter how great or small the behavior – is to be in touch with the Source Energy within you and see everything in your life from this perspective.

Understand this you’re ongoing “addiction problem” is there to help you transcend your concept of yourself, so you can know your True Nature.


The Seven Energy Levels and Recovery – part 2

The Importance of The Number Seven
The number seven is known as a good luck number in different ancient cultures around the world, and it seems to be for good reason. In the Eastern arts and Hindu religion there are seven chakra points. And in certain Christian philosophies there are seven levels of Christ consciousness. There are also seven levels of energy.

You always have 100% of your energy and it is broken up into seven levels in different percentages. Your individual energetic configuration of the seven levels is the result of every thought, feeling, action and experience you’ve ever had in your entire life up to now.  And at any one time, depending on your topic of focus, you’re in one of these levels. So we go throughout the day with these levels fluctuating all the time, like the equalizer display of a stereo showing the breakdown of the lower ranges and higher ranges in music.

The average of all the levels in both your baseline Energetic Profile and your Energetic Stress Reaction (your energy level configuration under duress) is your Average Resonating Level or ARL. A 2013 study with approximately 1,300 participants showed that people who had a higher Average Resonating Level, reported an increase in satisfaction in fourteen areas of life including work, family, health and finances. Finally, it’s important to note that the ELI is an attitudinal assessment, not a personality test (such as Myers-Briggs).  Personality tests results usually don’t allow for a lot of adjustment, but your attitude can change!

The Seven Energy Levels and Recovery – part 1

In the end, it’s all about energy. Whether your life moves forward towards your goals (and how you get there) is based on how you use the energy within you. Why? The answer is rooted in scientific fact.

We learned in grade school that everything in The Universe is made up of energy because everything is made up of atoms. Atoms are made of subatomic particles, and these particles are made up of energy. So at their base level, the same energy that makes up the computer screen you’re reading, is the same energy that makes up the air you breathe, the trees outside, the sun, and all of the beings on this planet, including you.

Therefore awareness of how energy is flowing through you is the difference between working laboriously towards your goals, or moving with flow and ease through challenges and having your goals manifest effortlessly. A rock-climbing friend once told me he climbed up a particularly difficult 40-ft. stretch in a rock gym, but he was in such a connected energetic mindset that he wasn’t anxious about the challenges. It was as if he automatically knew what to do, and in no time he looked down and realized the stretch was negotiated with practically no effort.

I then asked him, “How would you feel if all aspects of your life – your relationships, career, finances, and health – were like breezing through that 40 ft. stretch?”

If this is what you want, then the first step is simply to be aware of the energy within you. There are two categories: catabolic and anabolic. Catabolic energy breaks things down, while anabolic energy builds things up. In order to live an optimal life, the interplay of catabolic and anabolic energy must be understood as they are both necessary for life to move forward. A perfect example of this is the process of eating. When you eat an apple, you use catabolic energy to break it down so your body can use its nutrients. Anabolic energy is then used to take those nutrients to make your body healthy. So although it seems that catabolic energy is bad, it’s contrast to anabolic energy is necessary for growth. Or in other words, knowing what we don’t want helps us to clarify what we do want.

Life’s Little Instruction Manuals, Part II


Picking up my daughter from Kindergarten last Summer gave me the opportunity to witness some extraordinary group play among Sofie and her friends. The game was tag that involved a “home base.” If you were on home base (a large garden stone in the middle of the playground), you were “safe” and could not be tagged.

First, as they were running around they continued to yell out new rules. But these rules were not formed out of anxiety to control others, they were created to simply make the game more challenging and fun.

Second, at one point, Sofie stopped playing and sat down looking forlorn. Immediately her friends also stopped, walked over to her, and asked what was wrong. She complained she was having a hard time tagging some of the boys because they were running back to home base too fast. One of the boys offered to run slower, and another child suggested a new rule that required they be a certain distance from home base when they left it’s safety so my daughter had a better chance of tagging them. Satisfied with this new rule, Sofie sprang up and began playing again.

I stood there in amazement at what I had just witnessed. “If adults interacted with each other this way, imagine what the world would be like,” I said to myself.

Whether you realize this truth or not, life is a game – not that different than the one Sofie and her friends were playing. The rules constantly change, and sometimes they don’t make any sense. But what if rules were not made with the intention of controlling others, but with the intention of creating more opportunities to enjoy life? And what if people came together in genuine concern to simply help one another play this game to the best of their ability? How would following the inspiration provided by children be a game-changer for our grown-up world?

As I stood there in gratitude, I realized another truth: all of us came into this world already equipped with what we need in order to live our lives fully, and that is our connection to spirit. Children have a more pure connection to their spirit than many adults. Therefore rules and standards do not need to be imposed upon them and enforced by threats of negative consequences.

In the words of one of my favorite childhood movies: “You must unlearn what you have learned.”

The No. 1 Instruction Manual For Living The Life Of Your Dreams


My 7-year old daughter Sofie has commandeered a large cardboard box in our basement. It once housed a large appliance (I think it was for our washing machine), but in the months that she’s been playing with it, I’ve seen it become a boat, a house, a hair salon, a car, and a retail store. It’s now mostly in tatters and parts as she cut it apart more and more each time she found a new use for it.

Many times adults complain, “I wish I was given a proper instruction manual for living life!” We were, in the form of children playing.

When my daughter role-plays, she first becomes inspired, either by something she’s seen or she just has a compelling idea in her head. But then without too much planning, she springs into action and begins creating by inspiration. She pulls at the box to make walls. She asks me to cut holes for a window or a seat for the car (she became particularly inspired after watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). She then grabs her crayons and draws in the rest of the storefront or roof for her house. After she has created the new idea, she begins talking and acting like a hair stylist, a storeowner, a boat captain, etc. She allows the inspired role-play to change her behavior and she asks me, her mother or her friend to join her in the make-believe. I have to admit I was hesitant when she asked me to be her first customer at the hair salon, but luckily she didn’t use scissors.

One time she asked me to be the audience for a circus show she and her friend had created. The main performance was mainly the both of them learning how to use a hula-hoop. As an adult, I could say it was quite sloppy and may have pointed out where she needed to improve her technique to be “helpful”. But that was not the point. Seeing her laugh and feeling the sheer fun of the moment was the point.

As adults, many of use have forgotten the point of living because we’ve become so attached to the details of our own role-play we’ve attracted to ourselves. And the more we say “This is not a game!” or “This is a matter of life and death!” or “This is my home that I’ve worked so hard for!” the more we squelch the joy of living fully in the moment and resign ourselves to having fun only during vacations.

You may say this instruction manual is unrealistic, that without hard work and attention to detail, you’ll never get ahead in this life. Many people believe this, and while those people may be financially successful, they may also have lost the ability to be generally happy and satisfied.

But there is the way shown by our children, in which one can be successful and live the life of their dreams because there is fun to be had. And if you think you can’t make any money playing, when multi-billionaire Richard Branson, CEO of the Virgin Music, thought of starting an airline, his staff disagreed. He then said “They weren’t happy with the word ‘fun’.  To them, business was serious, It is. But, to me, having fun matters more.”

While in the middle of the circus performance, her friend had to leave for dinner. As quick as a wink my daughter dropped what they had created, not attached at all to the outcome. She would wake up the next day to re-create herself all over again.

Recovery Vortex Principle: Unconditional Love Is Your Birthright

In the end there is only one being who can truly show you the experience of unconditional love, God. And there is only one person whom God works through to show it to you: yourself. If you don’t believe in God, that’s fine. Reframe it this way: the only person who can show you true Unconditional Love is yourself. True Unconditional Love of Self is God working through you. That is it.

Everything else, even the love of a mother for her child is not equal in comparison. Parental love of children is the closest comparison but it still falls short. Why is this? Because human beings can never be devoid of their ego, the part of people that judges in order to survive.

Feel the love that Source has for you. Understand it completely. Know that there is nothing that you can do to have it taken away, otherwise it would be conditional. Why? Because it is not something that is taken away. Unconditional Love is ALWAYS there, but we block ourselves from feeling it with our judgmental thinking, especially judgments about ourselves.

God loves you unconditionally. He loves murderers, rapists, abusers, all of them. Again, God loves everything unconditionally. Everything: the destruction of the rainforest, serial killers, Adolf Hitler, nuclear waste, war. Every single thing that humans can judge is not judged by God. It is loved. Why? Because God made this universe perfect and complete within itself. If it wasn’t meant to be under God, it would not exist. Think about that carefully. If God didn’t love something, then it wasn’t meant to be and therefore it would not exist.

Do you honestly believe that God’s love is not greater than the judgments of the human ego? God’s unconditional love is greater than anything a human ego could comprehend. And when you truly feel it and experience it, your life is transformed.

God knows that at our core, we are Unconditional Love ourselves. We used to know this, but now the great majority of human beings believe that at our core, human beings are evil, bad, or prone to hurt or take advantage of others. This is not true. At our core we are connected to God and that connection is Love itself.

But enough talking and reading about it. Words only show us the direction, but you have to go there to truly experience it. Go there, now and always.

The Real Reason Behind Your Desire For Abstinence

If someone were to ask you, “Why do you want to get sober?” Typical answers may be:

– Because I’m cheating on my wife
– Because I’m spending a lot money
– Because it’s controlling my life
– Because I’m going to get arrested one day
– Because I’m going to get an STD
– Because it’s just wrong

All of the above reasons may be true. But they really don’t tell me exactly why you want to be sober. Actually, continually focusing on those reasons may ensure these problems remain in your life.

Why? Simply because you’re continually focusing on them, and by Law of Attraction, you will continue to draw these problems to you. It is similar to the football team who plays not to lose rather than playing to win; losing is on their mind.

So let me reframe the question: How do you think you’re going to feel when you’ve stopped doing this behavior?

– better?
– relieved?
– good?
– overjoyed?

And that is the real reason behind your desire for abstinence. Because you believe you will feel better in the having of it. It is the real reason behind all of your desires: finding true love, getting large amounts of money, eating good food, etc.

So what then, is the real reason then that you feel so bad after you engage in your acting out behavior, be it pornography, prostitutes, affairs, etc? Because afterwards you’ve judged what you’ve done as bad or wrong, which causes you to feel terrible anxiety, depression, shame, guilt, and self-loathing. Here’s the secret: It is  really not the specific behavior that makes you feel bad, it’s your judgment of that behavior.

I am not giving permission to engage in sexual acting out behavior. I am drawing attention to the idea that trying to stop any compulsive behavior by negatively judging it and then feeling terrible will not result in sustained change for most. It may lead one to an initial period of abstinence. But for many, trying to gain sobriety this way eventually leads to relapse or an inability to begin any satisfying period of abstinence at all. This is understandable, because you end up feeling bad, which makes the pleasure of the addiction all the more alluring. Do you see the never-ending cycle?

“Okay, Mike” you may say. “I see your point, but now what?!”

It seems counter-intuitive, but changing from negative judgment to acceptance will actually help in taking away the allure, the magnetism, and the cravings. Why? Because you’re not making the behavior such a taboo subject in your mind.

“But Mike! If I continue this behavior, my wife’s gonna leave me! I’m gonna get arrested!”

Look, if any continued acting out behavior will definitely lead to a more disastrous consequence for you, then yes, I do advocate for abstinence based treatment or programs. Understand though that using the energy of fear, anxiety and nervousness is not sustainable for most people. This is why the relapse rate for addicts, even with treatment is so high. But if that is not the case when you really analyze at the situation objectively and the only person who is making you feel bad is you, then you may want to consider changing your judgments about the behavior first. I guarantee you will feel better immediately.

As you’ve read this post, ask yourself and be honest (no one is watching!), did you feel nervous? self-righteous? or better? And as I’ve already said, feeling better is the real reason for wanting to be sober. Isn’t it?

Seeing Yourself Through the Eyes of Unconditional Love

The following is a dialogue between me and my Trusted Source brought out through centering and meditation, tapping into my intuitive self, the part of myself that knows all of the answers to all of the questions I have.  I then begin typing out the dialogue with faith, knowing that the feeling of love and calmness within is the sign that I am truly communicating with my Trusted Source. This written channeling technique is a similar process used by Neale Donald Walsch in writing Conversations With God.

Me: What is it like to see yourself through the eyes of Unconditional Love?

T Source: When you see yourself through the eyes of Unconditional Love, you see everything you do as perfect and complete. You never get anything wrong, because no thing is ever “wrong,” only further development of knowing, further development of what you want. You gain clarity.

Me: How about the Love part of Unconditional Love?

T Source: That is the Love part, having non-judgment about yourself, thoughts and actions, no matter what you do, is Love in it’s finest. To let yourself just be, to be there with yourself and smile, without judgment, is Love with no conditions.

Me: So what is it like to do it for yourself?
T Source:  Think about the times when you felt you were at your worst. As you think those thoughts maybe you feel embarrassment and humiliation, maybe you want to shake your head to shake it off. Think of all those times that you say to yourself, “I shouldn’t have done that!”

Should-ing is judgment, which leads to not allowing the full expression of Who You Are. You do not see the perfection of your unfolding. Now see and accept the purpose of these moments, go through them in your mind, and embrace them and yourself with Unconditional Love.

Me: I feel tension

T Source: Yes, because there is resistance to accepting. You still judge yourself and those actions.

Me: What do I do?

T Source: Simply accept and love that judging part of yourself as well. The purpose is not to get rid of your ego. You will never get rid of the ego, the part that judges, the part that needs to survive and creates systems of judgment because it believes survival is the goal.

Slowly begin to teach your ego that survival is not the goal, living to your full expression of Who You Really Are is the goal. Surviving is merely that, surviving. “Living To The Fullest” is more than surviving. It is what you came here to do.  Do you see how that works?

Me: Yes, I am embracing and holding the part of me that judges with love right now, and it feels good, peaceful. I picture this part as a younger version of me, maybe adolescence?

T Source: Yes, that part of you was taught that when you were younger. You felt you needed to internalize and use systems of judgment that others taught you because you needed to survive. And even that is okay. That is a part of your life that deserves Unconditional Love the most.

Me: But why am I learning this so late?

T Source: Are you?

Me: I’m 43-years old.

T Source:  Yes you are. But look at your experiences, all that you’ve done. Are you saying it should have been different?

Me: No, when I really think about it. No, not really. The only period I feel like I really kept myself in the dark was right before I learned about the Law of Attraction, and only at work. But that disconnect from Source really affected a lot of other parts of my life.

T Source: When you were desperate for financial success, you were looking outside yourself to feel better about the turmoil you created. But being connected to Source has better feelings of success and security attached to it.

You’ve said it yourself: “ Things working out and staying connected to Source are the same exact thing. And to not have it work out if you remain connected to Source is impossible.” The physical manifestations of success are not separate than your connection to Source. They are the same.

Me: Unconditional Love is staying in touch with Source then, and remaining committed to feeling peace and joy in my life. Is this correct?

T Source: Yes, committing to unconditionally loving yourself, to feeling that joy even after you’ve taken in the contrast of unwanted events – isn’t that a wonderful way to live life?

Me: Yes

T Source: Guidance, inspiration, intuition, and stretching out with your feelings of love. Love that is first directed at yourself, and then having faith at the outcome.  That is a wonderful way to let things unfold for you. That is why you became an artist, to practice your intuition before you decided to devote yourself to your connection to Source.

Me: I understand

T Source: So go and live your life with the operating principal of being in touch with your spiritual energetic Self, because that is Who You Really Are. That is seeing yourself through the eyes of Unconditional Love.

Lessons from Our Daughter – Part II

Sofie at her swim lesson

“Daddy! Daddy! Guess what I did at swim lesson today!” yelled Sofie, our six-year old daughter, as she ran into the kitchen to greet me. My wife, Donna, was left at the driveway carrying her bags.

“What, Baby?” I inquired.

“I swam from one side of the pool to the other! All underwater! I dived like this, watch! Pooossssshhh!!” She then began mimicking freestyle swimming with her arms and head as she walked from one side of the kitchen to the other. The sheer joy and excitement in her face were palpable.

“I got it on video,” Donna said pulling out her camera. So here I was, watching Sofie pretend to swim across the kitchen as I also watched her on my wife’s camera.

As you can see from the video above, she was swimming across the kid’s area of the pool, no more than 8 feet across and 3 feet deep. Even though her form wasn’t perfect, the happiness and sense of play on her face when she demonstrated it in our kitchen was obvious. As Law of Attraction author Esther Hicks says, she was in Her Vortex.

The Universe gives us the instruction manual on how to live our lives in the form of children. Whenever they play or do something new they enjoy, “getting it right” is not the point. Feeling good and having fun is the point. It’s not that they aren’t involved – actually when children play they are very involved with what they are doing. But they do it mostly for the sheer joy of being and then they quickly move on to the next role-play, make-believe, or swim lesson. They are constantly in touch with their own evolving spirit.

As adults, many of us have forgotten that feeling good and being in Our Vortex is the point of life; not paying our bills or worrying about the next step in our careers, or making sure everyone else is happy by adhering to their rules. Because when we are having fun we are the most in touch with our spirit, and thus we are the most alive.

“She’ll get it right eventually,” my wife said watching the video with me.

“She already has,” I replied, feeling my own sense of joy welling in me just watching her… lesson learned.

Writing from My Core,

The Universe Knows What We Need More Than We Do!

After working in the addiction counseling profession for several years I decided to get a tattoo. They seem to be a visual rite of passage for recovering addicts and a part of the culture. I became accustomed to seeing them so much that it wasn’t a struggle making this decision. I’m a recovering addict who’s made a commitment to serve those like myself; I wanted a tattoo to represent this commitment.

But I heard it was painful. Like, really painful.

“Yeah, having a tattoo is great,” my sister said. “But it was amazingly painful to have it done. Well, good luck!”

On top of this, I had heard stories that getting your first tattoo can sometimes be impersonal, including a firsthand account of someone who tried to calm his nerves by talking to the artist.

“You pay me to tattoo you, not to talk. So, shut up,” the tattoo artist told him.

But The Universe/Our Source/God knows what we need more than we do.

A tattoo artist with 20 years of experience in his profession was assigned to my caseload at the clinic. We bonded in the first session due to our similar interest in Buddhist meditation. In the last year of his treatment program, he opened up his own tattoo shop. I knew the Universe had found the perfect artist for my own tattoo.

The next decision: What image was I going to have inked on my skin forever? For years I had thought of a dragon. Being Asian and being called “Dragon Boy” by my friends and family for years, it seemed like the obvious choice. I asked my friend to sketch several ideas for a dragon tattoo, and I thought we had settled on an image. But a month before I was to have it done, he said, “I don’t see a dragon on you. I see a lotus flower.” The Universe was even picking the image for me.

“Okay,” I said. “Show me some sketches and let’s do it!”

But how was The Universe going to anesthetize the pain? I kept asking my tattooed clients about it, hoping they would tell me it really wasn’t that bad.

“Where are you going to get it?” one of my clients asked. I showed him the underside of my left forearm.

“Oh, that’s a painful spot. Yeah, that might hurt, “ he said. Great.

After weighing several options on how to handle this three-hour ordeal (from Happy Place Visualizations to listening to New Age mp3s), I settled on a movie downloaded onto my tablet. On the day it was to be done, I brought the tablet and pulled it out of my bag.

“Oh, you really won’t be able to concentrate on a movie,” my tattoo artist friend said. “Getting the tattoo will be too painful to pay attention.”

“Then, what do I do!?” I said, getting a little panicky. (I was thinking: What if it becomes so painful that I leave with a half-finished lotus flower on my arm?)

“Just talk to me,” he said calmly.

Okay, I’ll be honest. It was painful. When he inked the outline of the lotus, it felt like a surgeon’s scalpel was being pulled across my arm… slowly. When I looked down I was amazed that I wasn’t bleeding.

But ten minutes into the session, a friend of the artist came by the shop to visit, and this friend just happened to be a freshly recovering alcoholic only two weeks sober. He was planning to stay for just a few minutes, but he ended up talking with me for over two hours as I counseled him. Here I was, totally engaged with him as my friend continued tattooing my forearm.

Two months later, I still receive compliments on my lotus flower tattoo, and I can’t stop looking at it. My friend said getting your first tattoo is like losing your virginity, since it’s such a visceral experience. And when I opened up to the will of The Universe, the entire process became an experience I’ll never forget, because The Universe knows what we need more than we do.

Writing From My Core,