I Have a Gambling Addiction

One of the fastest growing addictions in the world is gambling addiction

With more availability than ever, more people are going through challenging circumstances because of this addiction

Many lose their house, job, and family

Some even lose their life to this addiction

1 in 4 attempt suicide, the most out of any addiction

Losing money from gambling is tough to deal with but nothing compares to the guilt, shame, and regret that haunts you

I’m 3 weeks sober right now

I’m determined not to gamble

I have lost 50k in my lifetime but also have put untold stress and anxiety on myself because of this addiction

My life purpose is on the line

True freedom is not the freedom to self destruct

But to be free of our addictions running and ruining our life

With aloha,

Johnny

Relapse & Addiction

It’s been two weeks since I last gambled

Addiction rarely ends over night

It’s a journey that can bring you to your knees

Humble you

Open your heart & mind

I must see the flashing lights of the casinos as bait to a fish

The casino’s hook dragging me into debt, despair, regret and suffering

I must see gambling as self destruction instead of an illusion of pleasure

If I can be mindful & remind myself each day of the self destruction of gambling

Then I will be free to live my life without the burden of financial debt & despair

Freedom is a requirement for true happiness, whether that be financial or mental

To truly touch happiness, we must let go of old habits, thoughts, and ways of living that cause us suffering

With aloha,

Johnny

Darkness into Light

From my experience, our suffering can bring much joy

But we must sit with the pain even when we want to run from it

For us to transform, we must get to know the darkest parts of our mind.

Sit with our demons until they don’t scare us anymore

Show compassion & love to the darkest parts of our soul

Surrender to the reality in front of you

Do not fight or run

Sit still & get to know them

They will always be there

But our mind can be a sanctuary, even with the demons; not a warzone

With aloha,

Johnny

Dreams

Here I lay

Listening to the soft voice of a yin yoga teacher

In a deep meditation

An American backpacker in a distant land

Byron Bay is the perfect place for those who are searching for self knowledge

A place to heal emotional wounds.

So here I lay in a dark yoga studio

Suddenly tears come down my cheeks

My inner Buddha speaking clearly without the distractions interfering

If I don’t let go of gambling

I let go of my dreams

I let go of my happiness & freedom

My life will read as a tragedy if I don’t change my ways

I’m 6 weeks sober from gambling

Turning my life around 1 day at a time

With aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

Namaste Sober

1 month sober

Forever changed

Thank you to those who taught me the way

Thank you to those who taught me what I do not want to become

This path is more difficult but the rewards are great

I will not force my views or tell others to follow my path

I will not fight a crusade or try to convert others to my way of thinking

I will just sip my herbal tea peaceful with non judgement

My life is my message 🙏🏻

Namaste sober

With aloha,

Johnny

Darkness, Transformation, and Redemption.

The darkest moments of my life led to the most transformation. The darkness brings self-reflection, awareness, and focus.  This is only if we do not numb the pain with alcohol, drugs, and/or overeating. When a family member suddenly dies or a relationship ends, we can have moments of pure awareness and clarity on what led to this moment in time.

My first experience with this transformation was when I was honest with my ex-fiance about my infidelity. She left me the following day. At first, I numbed myself with distraction but when her parents moved all her stuff out of our studio I was forced to sit in a dark & empty apartment. My first reaction was to run away and move to a new place. Luckily I chose to stay in my empty studio. The following weeks I cried every night in sorrow. Pain, suffering, and anxiety filled each moment until one day I picked up a book called “Buddhist Bootcamp” by Timber Hawkeye. Suddenly I was meditated 1 hour a day, reading, writing, eating healthier, and working out every day. I quit smoking and significantly cut down on drinking alcohol. My days were now filled with joy instead of sorrow. This all took place from March-May 2015 in San Luis Obispo, CA. Since then I have fallen back into old habits, relearn lessons, and also had new transformations from suffering. I began a journey of self-love, peace, forgiveness, and acceptance; a journey I am currently still on (and always will be). There is no destination on this path, only the love of the journey itself.

The famous Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says “No Mud, No Lotus”. The beautiful lotus flower grows in the darkest and muddiest environments; I truly believe humans are much the same as the beautiful lotus flower. The right environment for growth usual consists of awareness, compassion, and love while we are suffering. Once we learn how to suffer, we suffer much less. Suffering can actually be the most transformative process of life if we allow it to be.

Through the darkness, we can transform ourselves and become the light to see out of the darkness. We accept the darker side of ourselves (and the world) with compassion, understanding, and peace. In this practice, we feed the light while accepting the dark. This allows for peace instead of war. The key to transformation is to sit with ourselves through the pain instead of distraction or numbing the pain. The coldest winters of my life have always ended with a warm inviting spring. All is impermanent, even the darkest of times.

 

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

The Creature of the Dark Forest.

One breath at a time

One step at a time

I ascend up a steep mountain

A forest so lush it blocks the sun

As I reach the summit

A sudden storm appears above

Rain & wind torment me to no end

I start to run as fast as I can

Anything to escape this dangerous storm

A dark creature appears from the darkest depths of the forest

What do you want? I shout

It doesn’t answer me

I begin to move towards the creature

Fear filling every ounce of my soul

The creature runs away as I chase it

I hear its painful screams echoing within the forest

I finally catch this creature

What…. I can’t believe what I’m seeing

The creature is the darkest part of me

He was banished to the depths of the darkest forests

Suppressed, ridiculed, & beaten the creature laid wounded on the ground

Sobbing uncontrollably

I extend my arm to him

Picking up the creature I was astonished by how frail & weak it had become from my neglect

Yet so powerful to cause such powerful storms

I carried the creature back to my home, letting him rest and repair from all of the abuse

Thank you, said the creature as it gained consciousness once more

Anytime, I replied.

I’m so sorry that I banished you to the dark forest

You are part of me & always will be

I promise to shed light into the darkest part of the forest

Tiger.

My idol once fell from the sky.

Bruised & broken,

His body burning as he descended into the atmosphere.

Landing in the deepest of rock bottoms.

My perception shattered of a once untouchable man.

Judgement by others filled the air so thickly you couldn’t see the sun above.

Darkness surrounding him as he sat with himself in the coldest of winter’s.

His mental health at an all time low.

Body deteriorating in front of our eyes.

He struggled.

He fell once more.

Almost all doubted his ability & strength.

But he still kept moving forward.

As years went by, his mentality changed.

Soon he was grateful to play the game he loved.

Years of hard work began to pay off.

Today, I watched my idol win once more.

Tears came to my eyes as I saw him hug his family & pump his fists into the sky.

The journey was well worth the struggle.

As a man who has fallen in dark times before.

I appreciate your journey to becoming a better man.

Thank you Tiger Woods.

Black Mirror.

I feel nauseous.

Anxious & depressed.

Fearful & full of doubt.

Violent & apathetic.

 

All day I stare into glowing screens.

Advertisements bombarding me at every moment.

One show is violent.

The next full of greed and anger.

Could this be the source of my discontent?

 

You are what you eat.

You are what you listen too.

You are what you watch on your glowing screens.

The Mind of An Addict.

Looking for a quick fix.

Pacifiers to numb me.

Numb me from my fears.

Numb me from my insecurities.

 

Cover the pain deep in my heart.

Patch my broken soul.

Give me that rush of dopamine.

 

Silence the endless stream of anxiety.

Shine your light into the darkness of my depression.

Even if it’s only for a moment.

Will you please end my suffering?