Dec. 9, 2022

Using Spiritual Habits in Your Recovery with Eric Zimmer: A Guide to Healing from PTSD and Trauma

Today, we are joined by Eric Zimmer, who shares his personal journey of using spiritual practices to heal from trauma and addiction. We delve into the powerful role that mindfulness, prayer, and self-care can play in our recovery process and discuss the importance of building a support...
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Today, we are joined by Eric Zimmer, who shares his personal journey of using spiritual practices to heal from trauma and addiction. We delve into the powerful role that mindfulness, prayer, and self-care can play in our recovery process and discuss the importance of building a support network. Whether you are struggling with C-PTSD, addiction, or any other form of trauma, this episode offers valuable insights and tools for healing and finding hope on the road to recovery. Tune in now to learn more about using spiritual habits in your own journey towards healing and resilience.

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 Michael: Eric Zimmer, what is up, my friend? I'm super excited for Unbroken Con December 13th. Guys, if you have not registered, go to to register, watch for free live. Eric Zimmer, one of the most incredible podcast hosts and transformational coaches in the country, is going to be speaking and talking to us about using spiritual habits in your recovery. But before we get into that, Eric, my friend, how are you?

Eric: I am doing great. I am happy as always to be talking with you.

Michael: Yeah, man, same. I'm very excited. I'm especially excited to have you be a part of this. You know, we are transforming thousands and thousands of lives during this event, it's unbelievable how many people have registered. We're not that far away from go time. And you know, one of the things I thought about when I was putting together the roster, if you will, for the event, I thought, man, who can I bring onto this stage that just knows what it's like? And I'm gonna use the difficult terminology here to hit rock bottom and to pull yourself back out. And you and I both know that experience, we both know what that's like. And I'm curious as we go into this, one of the things that you said was this beautiful quote, and I wanna know what this means to you. “With the right support, knowledge, and practices, we are all able to turn our difficulties into discoveries and to heal ourselves and the world around us.” Eric, what does that mean for you?

Eric: Well, I mean, I think at its most basic level, it means we all have somewhere positive we can go. You know, there's always, I think, a positive step forward that we can take. Now, how many steps that is; is gonna depend on a variety of different factors. But if we find those things I mentioned support, knowledge practices, you know, if we get those things in our lives, it can really transform who we are and then, our most difficult times can be periods of discovery, they have been for me, the most difficult times in my life have consistently also been the times of the most growth and transformation. And then ideally, coming out of all that is that then we have something to contribute to the world that is really meaningful and helpful.

Michael: You know, there's also something about that contribution when you're healing. You know, I think a lot of people have this idea that they must be healed and perfect and everything be great before they can really start to change things around them but I would disagree with that entirely. And I think that one of the really important things is recognizing like where you're at today is probably in front, just one step of the person behind you who is like dying to be where you are, right?

Eric: Yeah, 100%. I mean, always. I think if you're five days sober, you've got to somebody who's zero days sober, five days is a big deal. Right. In some ways, when you get somebody like me who's 15 years sober, you know, somebody who's brand new might be like, whatever like that guy doesn't, he's not even in my zip code. Right. Whereas somebody who's a month sober has a lot to offer. And I think the other thing about recovery in general that has been so meaningful to me is that the core idea of a 12-step program, and I think this applies regardless, it's just the insight they were the first to kind of bring it to the table is that one person, one alcoholic, one addict, one trauma survivor talking to another is the magic and that magic is actually by directional. So, if I were to go to a meeting tonight and spend some time talking to somebody who had five days sober, I would benefit as much as they do. They're helping me in that moment. It's this beautiful, reciprocal thing that really happens in these conversations. And so yeah, I think from the minute we walk through the doors, whatever those doors are, whatever they look like, you know, that we're on our healing journey. We are not only healing ourselves; we are helping the world around us just by being on the journey.

Michael: Yeah. And you know what's really interesting, as you were saying that, Eric, I get the feeling that a lot of people are afraid to even take the first step and even sign up for the conference, right? Because they're like, ah, I don't know. This isn't gonna work. It's not for me. Maybe I tried something before. And I was thinking about this earlier today as I was kind of prepping for our conversation, and I was like, man, if you and I never those first steps, we would never be here. And I don't know about you man, but my first steps were fucking ugly, they were basically like first fall downs. Right. What would you say to somebody who's like on the fence, they've gone to the website seven times, they know that they should do the VIP, keep the recordings, they know that they should at least at minimum register and come and learn from all of you amazing humans, but they're scared of that first step. What would you tell them?

Eric: Well, you know, they used to say to me early in my recovery, like, we'll happily refund your misery if this doesn't work. So, I mean, you know, this conference is a pretty low risk way to take a perhaps a very meaningful step, right. Like you said, even if you just register right and you attend a couple of the sessions and that's it, like that is a positive step forward and we all start somewhere. And also, I think the fact that we have tried some things and they haven't worked is, it's discouraging, but that's the way this is. And the most important thing is that we keep trying. Right, that we keep, you know, let me go do this thing. Let me try this thing, that we just keep at it because my experience is the people who keep at it, taking whatever little step they're capable of taking, no matter how to use your word ugly that step might be. Those people figure this out, those people get better but it's through continuing to try to take chances, to experiment and to expose yourself to different people. And that's what's so great about the conference that you've put together is we're all very different, you know, me and the other speakers and that is wonderful, right? Because one of us is gonna resonate deeply with most people. I may not resonate with if somebody listening right now but someone else might, or maybe I do. Right? And so, there's a lot of great variety that gives you a chance to find something that's gonna work and resonate and help you.

Michael: Yeah, absolutely. And that was a big thought process I had in building the conference too, because obviously I have my lane of expertise, everyone else has their lane and I was like, I feel like all these pieces of the puzzle come together to help us transform our trauma into triumph. And what I'm really excited about is what you're gonna be teaching. And before we get into that, guys, again, if you have not registered, go to unbrokenconcom, register signup for free. And Eric, you're gonna be teaching and talking about using spiritual habits in your recovery. And I think this is such an important topic. You know, when I was young, I got into drugs and alcohol at 12 years old, I watched so many friends get in prison, so many friends, my three best friends lost their lives, got murdered over drugs. And I just think to myself like, recovery isn't only drugs, alcohol, sex, porn gambling, it's like life, man. So much it's like we're recovering from life somehow, obviously we're gonna get into the how during the conference and we're just having a short conversation here, but what does this mean? What are you gonna teach us about? What is the outline of what people can expect when they come and watch us during Unbroken Con?

Eric: Yeah. Well, I think it's important maybe for me to start with what do I mean by spiritual habits? Right? So, when I got sober, I got sober in a 12-step world. And the 12-step world they say that you need to have a spiritual awakening to recover. Now, I actually believe that to be true, but I believe it to be true in a very, very broad sense. And so, to me, what I mean by spiritual is what matters to you? What is meaningful? What is your inner life about? And that does have to really change for us to recover. And so, what spiritual habits is, I got sober the first time and I stayed sober eight years, and I did it by believing in a particular type of God in a particular type of way but I kind of made myself; made myself believe it. And then some bad things happened in my life and I went out and I used again and when I came back, I went, I have got to figure this out. What does spiritual mean to me? And so, what happened is I oriented myself around a set of principles, that these principles show up in all the religious traditions, all the philosophical traditions, their core principles that I think almost everybody in the world upon hearing them would be like, yep, that's good. I should live more like that. Yep. That's good. Right? So, that's the spiritual part. These core ideas that are repository of great human wisdom from any tradition or no tradition. Married with the modern science of behavior change, what we know about how we create habits, how we change habits, how we change our behavior. And we put those two things together to say, how do we take these meaningful things and actually live it in all the moments of our lives? So, I think, a great supplement to any recovery type program you're in or any that you're not in it, it's very open, but it's about what matters to you and how do you live more from that place.

Michael: Yeah. That's powerful man. And I think principles are such an important thing and if you think about it, they're not taught to us, no one ever sits us down and say, Hey, have you contemplated what your principle should be? Have you contemplated integrity, values, boundaries, all of these things. And we're gonna go so deep into this conversation during Unbroken Con, and I'll tell you this, Eric knowing you and how you teach, and having listened to your podcast for a long time, many, many times I have to come back and re consume the content. And so, guys, if you have not gotten the VIP, you want to do that because you'll get to keep recordings for life. And so, if you don't, if you cannot afford it, totally understandable, that's why Unbroken Con is for free if you go to to register we’re live, December 13th. Eric, my friend, I'm very excited for this. We're gonna change and transform so many lives, but before I let you go, I have one more question for you. When you think about this, what does it mean to you to transform your trauma in a triumph?

Eric: Okay. I think that I'm pausing here because I want to give this a meaningful answer because this is a really important question because our traumas, I wouldn't wish them on anybody, right? The things that happened to you, I wouldn't wish on anybody, but they happened, they happened. And I have found there have been many times throughout my adult life that people in my life have looked at me and said, I wish I was alcoholic. And what they mean by that is that I went through a transformation. I changed in these dramatic and profound ways, and I became a much better version of myself, and they didn't. And the reason that I did is I had to. Right. My traumas caused me to have to change and by doing that, they did turn into triumphs. And the way for me that they're most triumphant is simply in the fact that, and we all have this ability, is that we can take our healing and we can give it to other people. That's the triumph, that's the ultimate human meaning, and we all have the chance to find it, if we have trauma, we all have the chance to find it. That's not to minimize trauma, that's not to say it's good that it happened, it's simply to say it is, but it can be transformed into something really beautiful and a real actual, believe it or not. And I say this with a lot of sincerity, it can become something that you look back on and you go, oh, I'm grateful for that. And how remarkable is that, that you could go from broken to unbroken to use your words.

Michael: Man, that is so beautiful, Eric, my friend. I cannot wait for Unbroken Con. Guys again starting December 13th to register.

And Until Then.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

We'll see you there.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.

Eric ZimmerProfile Photo

Eric Zimmer

Eric Zimmer is a behavior coach, author, and the host of The One You Feed Podcast. He is endlessly inspired by the quest for a greater understanding of how our minds work and how to intentionally create the lives we want to live. At the age of 24, Eric was homeless, addicted to heroin, and facing long jail sentences. In the years since, he not only found a way to overcome these obstacles to create a life worth living, he now helps others to do the same.
Eric works as a behavior coach and has done so for the past 20 years. He has coached hundreds of people from around the world on how to make significant life changes and create habits that serve them well in achieving the goals they’ve set for themselves.
In addition to his work as a behavior coach, he currently hosts the award-winning podcast,
The One You Feed, based on an old parable about two wolves at battle within us. With over 400 episodes and over 20 million downloads, the show features conversations with experts
across many fields of study about how to create a life that has more meaning.