Monday State of Mind challenges the polished narratives of our world and embraces the power of genuine connection. Host Michael Maassel, the director of development at Harmony Foundation, sets out to break down barriers and build a thriving community through meaningful conversations, all with the strength and power of recovery tools!
Maassel first launched the popular podcast in May 2020 during the horrifying early days of the COVID-19 pandemic that turned out to be such an emotional drain for so many people in recovery from addiction.
Inspired by her own sobriety and wellness journey, she intends to spread the wealth of knowledge of how you can take the fundamentals of recovery and apply them in your life whether you are in recovery or not.
Following her own successful recovery from a severe alcohol use disorder at Harmony, Michael (under her maiden name Arnold) teamed up with Andrea Carr and Scott Leeper to write a personal guide to recovery in Drowning in Addiction, in which the authors shared their first-hand experience with addiction and recovery.
After taking a break from podcasting, Maassel has now resumed cheering up and inspiring the recovery community every Monday morning. In episode one of the reboot, she kicked off the new series with an important recovery topic: fear!
“Are your decisions based on fear, or are they based on faith? Am I making decisions based on the desire for control?” Michael asked.
Have you ever felt irritable, restless, or discontented? “Of course, you have,” she assured her audience, because “those are things I check myself on almost every day.”
“These are all hidden fears, and if you don’t take the time to identify these feelings as fear-based, they will turn into rage, anger, and being downright resentful,” Maassel warned. “Our fear-based emotions grow in strength when they are not talked about.”
Talking about them, though, also opens the door for other people to share. “When I was a kid, I was afraid of the bogeyman and monsters under the bed,” she remembered. What helped to overcome those fears? Turning the lights on and talking about her fears with Mom and Dad.
“When you shine a light on your fears, it helps to make them go away. Simple connection with other human beings and talking about your fears is that light switch,” Michael said. “When you’re in fear, pause, and then ask yourself, ‘Am I ready to turn the lights on this and feel safe, or am I going to continue to suffer from fear in the dark?”
Many people think it’s not safe to talk about one’s fears, but Maassel thinks the opposite is true: “It’s not safe to live in fear.” Awareness is key here: Michael only realized in recovery how many of her decisions were really based on fear. People close to her saw this and called her out. “They said, ‘Michael, when are you going to relinquish control and have a little faith?’ When I heard this, I said, ‘Okay’ this is a call to action.”
Michael “turned the light switch on,” and the magic started to happen. One day at a time, she started to trust more and fear less. She realized that she shared two fundamental fears with most people: not getting what she wants and losing what she wants to keep. “I realized my decisions were rooted in control to get what I want. What if by not getting what I want and me trusting an outcome, something even better would come along? This has absolutely happened for me this past year, and my life has seriously turned out for the better.”
Many people stay where they are out of fear of losing what they have rather than embracing change as an opportunity. “What if trusting that losing something is not actually a loss but a gain?” Michael asked. “It’s actually probably a gift. Living in faith is freedom, and it opens so many doors.”
On Monday State of Mind, we want to empower you to question the status quo and explore new perspectives. We want to shatter stigma, ignite curiosity, and present thought-provoking solutions. Together, we uplift, educate, and empower one another, fostering an environment where every word spoken is valued.
You can check out the new season of the podcast Monday mornings or anytime really—all episodes are available online and via many podcast apps!