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When you’re aware, you’re halfway there. – Wendy Basch

Sentenced to sixty-five years in a Texas prison, Damon West once had it all. He came from a great family, in a home full of God, love, support, and opportunities to reach any goal. A natural born leader, an athlete with good looks and charm, he appeared to be the all-American kid pursuing his dreams.

Underneath this facade, however, was an addict in the early stages of disease. After suffering childhood sexual abuse by a babysitter at the age of nine, Damon began putting chemicals into his body to alter the way he felt.

Once he was introduced to methamphetamines, however, he became instantly hooked—and the lives of so many innocent people would forever be changed by the choices he made in order to feed his insatiable meth habit.

After a fateful discussion during his incarceration with a seasoned convict, Damon had a spiritual awakening. He learned that, like a coffee bean changing with the application of heat and pressure, he was capable of changing the environment around him. Armed with a program of recovery, a renewed faith, and a miraculous second chance at life, Damon emerged from over seven years of prison a changed man. His story of redemption continues to inspire audiences today.

In this episode, Damon joins us to talk about his two books, The Change Agent and The Coffee Bean which he wrote with Jon Gordon, as well as the life lessons he learned during prison, the three areas of wellness we should exercise every day, and what you can do now if you’re recovering or feel lost in your wellness journey.

Tune in with Dr. Michelle Robin and Damon West as they discuss:

  • Both of their thoughts on spirituality and how they are able to let go of what they cannot control in order to surrender to a higher power.
  • How fellow Small Changes Big Shifts guest, Jon Gordon, connected with him and persuaded him to write The Coffee Bean.
  • An inside glimpse at the profound story of The Coffee Bean and what you will learn from the book.
  • What healthy mindset strategy he learned to help him during his time in prison and how everyone can apply it to their own lives.
  • The opportunity he took in prison to use that time to work on himself every single day.
  • Why we should withhold from beginning new relationships until we take the time to truly know ourselves.
  • What lessons and new insights he has gained about what it means to be in a committed relationship.

Damon’s suggestions for what you should today if you’re in recovery or feeling lost:

  • Get outside of yourself by thinking about other people before yourself.
  • Adapt a humble mindset.
  • Commit yourself to finding ways to help people every single day.

Dive into the three areas of wellness that Damon advises we should work on growing every day that are in sync with our Four Quadrants of Wellbeing:

  1. Spiritual Wellness
  2. Mental Wellness
  3. Physical Wellness

Learn and try out Damon’s prayer that he starts his day with each morning: “God, put in front of me what you need me to do today for you and let me recognize it when I see it.”

All the lessons of history in four sentences: Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power. The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small. The bee fertilizes the flower it robs. When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. – Charles A. Beard

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