Trading Your Addictions for
Creativity & Empowerment
Intro (3 Minutes)
Creativity is More Important than Food & Water.
It's a bold statement. I know.
A LOT of people argue with me at first. Maybe you're even thinking that I'm wrong.
Let's get into this.
The human BODY needs food and water. This is REALLY important. Without proper nutrition and clean water we don't think well and we'll perish.
So how can Creativity be more important?
I know you're not suppose to answer a question with a question ... but we're going to do it anyway.
How many people do you know, who are getting enough food and water who are NOT engaged and happy in life?
I see it ALL the time. I've been coaching since 2005.
When we're NOT Creating the Life we truly want to live we are NOT tapped into our heart, our soul, and our spirit. And, we certainly don't experience ourselves as empowered.
Empowered = Knowing I CAN Make a Difference in My Life & the Lives of My Loved Ones.
Food and water keeps me alive, but it doesn't mean that I'm LIVING. I've been fortunate to have never been really hungry except for the one quarter during college that I interned at a production house in Columbus, Ohio and I ate a lot of baked potatoes and salsa.
But I have called myself "not creative" and NOT made time to be creative.
I got so wrapped up in "making a living" and "taking care of others" that I have ignored my creative impluses. "I've got more important things to do!" I declared and put my creativity on the "back burner."
I thought I was being grown up ... and in a way I was.
Many "grown ups" stop being Creative.
And when they do, they usually take up Consuming. I know I did.
If You're Ready for More (20 Minutes)
Some of the most favorite things to Consume in our culture is:
Chocolate, Surfing the Web, TV, News, Reality Shows, Naked People, Drinking, Snacking, Smoking, Netflix, Sports, Gaming, anything with a screen, etc.
And, most of us, have probably done a "little too much" of some of these. Why? Because we're trying "to feel better."
We're NOT bad or wrong, we're just hurting.
I've been working with men and women since 2005. I've seen it over and over again. When we tap back into our Creativity ... our Heart's Dreams ... our Soul's Calling ... the Projects and Goals some of us have been putting off for years or even decades ... the Positive Energy flows through us again and we experience REAL Joy.
When we FEEL better, then we don't need something to FEEL better, because we already FEEL better. This is one of the main ideas behind Trading Your Addictions for Creativity & Empowerment.
Listen, if you're reading this, you probably have enough food and water but if you're not "Being Creative" and if you're not "Creating the Life you're Called to Live," then you might be wrapped up in old habits and patterns. And that's painful.
I know, I was lonely, frustrated, bored and wrapped up in old habits and patterns ... until I wasn't.
My clients were also lonely, distracted, and feeling guilty when they were wrapped up in old habits and patterns ... until they weren't.
I invite you contact me and we'll talk about possibilities.
Food and water are GREAT and Creativity is even BETTER. Without Creativity we're not truly living. We're not really being and sharing OURSELVES ... and that's painful.
(See below for Trading Your Addictions for Creativity success stories.)
Do You Need Relief from Procrastination & Distractions?
TV, Facebook, Gaming, Surfing-the-Web, Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Instagram, the News, etc.
Hour after hour.
Day after day.
Decade after decade?
Does it feel like you're pulled from one distraction to the next, but never really getting what you want?
Are you ready to be done with procrastination and guilt?
Do you have a heart's dream that's been calling you? Do you have a project you started or want to start, but don't work on?
Do you continue to “should yourself” and try to “make yourself” live differently? But you keep coming back to the same distractions?
What about your Life's purpose? Is it really OK if you ignore it for another 5 or 10 years? How will that make you feel?
What about your relationships? Are they suffering every day you “don't go for it?” What are you teaching your kids?
What about your health? Are you feeling washed-out? Do you want to feel vibrant and strong?
Trading Your Addictions for Creativity & Empowerment
Coaching & Online Course
Experience the freedom to create.
De-energize old habits while learning how to energize your creativity – so you're “pulled” into positive action.
Feel strong and vibrant.
Create positive habits that assist you to live the life you truly want.
Experience creativity as a fun adventure.
Experience empowerment as you change and create new, joyful possibilities for yourself in different areas of your life.
Smile more often. Soar. Shine.
About John J. Hruby
I was a writer who was not writing.
And then I started Trading Your Addictions for Creativity & Empowerment.
I have a wife and two kids and a dog. I wrote my first novel while having all of these wonderful, awesome responsibilities AND a full-time job.
I learned how to be more creative and more productive NOT from a place of “I should be” or “I have to,” but rather from the realization that as I use more of my time to create (and for me this meant writing, because I’m a writer) then I actually became a better husband, a better father, and when I had a full-time job, happier at work and a better employee. Why? Because I was fulfilled (filled-full with positive, creative energy) because I was creating.
As I lived more of my heart's dreams and life’s purpose, my life transformed and I experienced true empowerment and creative freedom. And, I've seen this happen with my coaching clients.
What does creative freedom mean? To me, this means the freedom to create individual projects, as well as the ability and willingness to create new possibilities for my life that I have been coaching men and women since 2005, helping them to let go of old habits and patterns and use more of their time and energy creating what “matters most to them.”
John J. Hruby's Trading Your Addictions for Creativity & Empowerment Timeline
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio.
Moved to Los Angeles and worked in film and TV production.
Earned a Master's degree in Spiritual Psychology with an Emphasis in Consciousness, Health, & Healing.
Created Trading Your Addictions for Creativity & Empowerment in 2000.
Started coaching men and women in 2005.
Recorded his podcast with Steve Chandler called, “Addiction & Creativity.”
Wrote his first epic novel, Space Spiders on Prom Day. (Available in paperback and ebook.)
Launched his Trading Your Addictions for Creativity & Empowerment online course in 2019.
“Through my work with John I got really clear on the story I was telling myself that was holding me back and together we smashed through it. John is constantly asking questions that call me forward to look at my blind spots and helps me question my thought patterns. He's a great combo of practical approaches to action and inner reflection. This has allowed me to step more boldly into new projects that I was hesitant to embrace before. If you are looking to move ahead in business, creativity or life, John is a forceful coach to have by your side as you step into new frontiers.”
John Hruby is an alchemist and his course is a live experiment of transformation. The best part is his base materials are already within us--our lives, our flaws, our strengths, our weaknesses, our addictions, our dreams. We don't need to search for willpower or answers or earn rewards with "good" behavior. With John's radically refreshing philosophy and practical steps, we start right where we are accepting our addictions and using them for direction, as rewards, for our greater good. And almost like magic, we begin to transform, which spurs us on for more transformation as we learn to be our own best alchemists--just by being ourselves.
“John isn’t simply a writing coach. He is a Writing Archangel disguised as a hilarious and wonderful human. With a brush of his magic, my pen was unable to stop writing, editing carried on for days upon days, and I hit impossible deadlines with my official editor. Post my time with John I stumbled across chapters I had forgotten, took on the mighty task of writing summaries for an 8-book series, and had the overwhelmingly fun sensation that I was suddenly JK Rowling cranking out epic heroic spiritual adventures. Nothing else except writing seems to matter at the moment. I might need another coach to drag me back to bills, the gym, and household chores but for now, I am relishing time feeling like a mad scientist buried under a mountain of creativity and bliss.
Thank you John!”
“John Hruby’s material is refreshing, specifically I like how he doesn’t speak clinical speak. He gives options and hope in a very human way. He also discerns pleasure from happiness in a way, that by itself, increases self-awareness. He’s like, “Let’s look at that. How about trying this.” No judgment. His consciousness is what brings healing.”
Marriage, Family Therapist
“John’s calm and encouraging presence has been the difference between doing nothing and doing something. His capacity in understanding the struggle of the artist makes his approach in working with me feel so organic – it is as if I have grown without the usual self-punishment I am used to getting from myself or anywhere. This is why, in essence, he has been life-changing; he as recognized me and my greatness, encouraged it, and now I am on a path that truly seems limitless. I am even surprised I feel this way, but thanks to John, I do. Thank you, John.”
"In the week after attending John’s workshop, I completely redesigned, rewrote, and re-launched my website, secured a private practice internship with my ideal supervisor, received four direct referrals, and also won two copywriting contracts. Financially, it has already paid for itself three times over. I directly attribute this fuller opening to my creative flow to the coaching, practical tools, and support I received from John as well as the input from the other men in the workshop.”
Marriage & Family Therapist
Author, Running Home
“John is witty, endlessly patient and a true master at overcoming resistance. You can't get anything by this guy! During my time working with John, I learned so much about how to follow my curiosity, have fun and trust the creative process. I was able to reconnect with my deep love for writing, and in doing so opened myself up to receive more inspiration than I ever imagined. I can't thank John enough for the role he played in my creative process. He helped me get out of my own way.”
“John's coaching has helped me up the level my writing, and his hints about coping with addictions and distractions have been of tremendous assistance in helping me reconnect with the greatest joy in my life: writing.”
James Philip Cox
Author, The Rose of Camelot
"Getting coached by John Hruby has been powerful and transformative for me. In our work together, I feel deeply listened to, supported, and challenged in the most wonderful ways. It has led me to helpful awareness that has impacted my choices, and his calm, pragmatic optimism and gentle guidance have helped me tap deeper into my creative juices. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with John and benefit from his wisdom."
Julia Torgovitskaya Rapoport
Cadenza Artists, LLC
“Thanks very much for holding space for the group several weeks ago. It was a terrific gathering and experience to explore and share about our respective experiences. In addition, your courage and leadership, and availability in being a source of support and visibility are tremendous. Thank you.”
"As the wife of a recovering person, I am so impressed by how much love and hope John gives in his spellbinding material. His approach is sincere, frank and even touched with a refreshing sense of humor. Families and friends will have as much to gain from this as people with a problem."
A.E. in Barrington, IL
Relief. The greatest gift I have received in working with John Hruby has been a relief! I am so freakin' relieved to no longer feel enslaved to my cravings for porn. I'd been attempting to free myself from this addiction for years and John's approach has been totally liberating, non-judgmental and totally out of the box. In this moment, I truly have no fear, shame, or resistance that if the craving for porn were to come that I would somehow be subject to it or at its mercy. Actually, in the same way, that thinking about eating a tub of ice cream doesn't really make me feel good, the thought of watching porn for hours makes me feel a kind of sickness inside. And it isn't because watching porn is bad or wrong, it's because I've really realized what it does to me, how it will make me feel and there are so many other things that make me feel way more alive and happy. THANK YOU JOHN
Male Anonymous (early 40's)
"John Hruby is a gift to the world of addiction recovery. His work is so touching, funny, heartfelt and street smart that anyone interested in freedom will benefit from his material. As a recovering addict myself, I can honestly say I've never seen a sweeter, more graceful program for finding your way back into the light."
Author, The Story of You and Creator
"When I first started working with John, my porn and gaming addiction were taking up literally about 75% of my free time. I was surfing for porn or playing computer games for about 15 hours a day on the weekends, and not doing anything productive or creative. It was clear that my addiction was dominating my life, and my 'free time' wasn't very rewarding. I was just numb.
"With John's guidance, I began to get back in touch with those things that left me feeling more alive and more fulfilled. Together, we up-leveled my addiction to the things that gave me real pleasure. My need for porn and games quickly diminished. It wasn't about giving up my addiction, but about connecting to something that had real value for me. Thank you, John, for your support, caring, and clarity, and for actually making the process fun."
Before I started coaching with John, I’d been smoking marijuana for 20 years. It had grown from a weekend accompaniment with friends to a solitary practice that began as soon as I woke in the morning and lasted until I passed out at night. Smoking pot was how I alleviated the stress of a corporate job I’d had for 14 years but couldn’t stand anymore. Smoking pot was how I managed to meet my commitments to the various communities I was a part of and how I supported family members and friends who were going through hard times and needed my emotional support. Smoking pot was how I got by with all of the stress in my life.
Please note, I was highly functional. I took Pilates 4 times a week, did TRX workouts and walked in the California sunshine. I was fully employed, well-paid, highly respected, highly educated and well-loved. With all of this proof, I kept saying to myself, “Surely, I don’t have a problem with pot. Do I?” That question kept coming to mind and I had to continuously point to my achievements and commitments as evidence that I was living a proper life, a good life, the kind I was “supposed” to be living. Inside though, I was crushed under the weight of self-judgement about my habit. I was embarrassed of how much time I spent thinking about pot, even when I was out doing something that should be fun.
I was appalled at how much money I spent on pot and knew there were other, better things I could do with those funds. I was spending more than $500 a month. My sleep was not restorative, I ate balanced meals during the day and binged on unhealthy food at night, further disrupting my sleep and digestion. I poured thousands of dollars into working with nutritionists and whole-body healers to help my digestion and lousy sleep, but never told them I smoked marijuana because I knew they would tell me to stop. The stress of an unsatisfying job and the disappointment of many personal relationships just made me unhappy and made life seem like “too much.”
I didn’t think I could live without pot.
It was the one thing that I viewed as a treat, a reward, something just for me, something I deserved for all the challenges I stepped up for in my life. I hated myself for smoking pot but could never quit for more than a day or two before something would happen. It could be something good – and then I’d want to celebrate with pot. Or It could be something bad, and then I’d need the pot to soften the harsh edges of whatever had happened. Either way, afterward, I’d feel terrible about smoking, or over-eating, or both and listing my accomplishments wouldn’t allay my fear that my habit was out of control. My inner critic would tear me down and beat me up...and I’d end up smoking more to escape the self-hatred and judgement.
I started working with John after taking a week-long spa retreat that helped me see that when I wasn’t in my toxic work environment, surrounded by needy people, and bombarded with digital media, I slept better, had fewer food cravings and managed to use very little marijuana. I had proof that there was a lifestyle that didn’t necessitate me constantly numbing myself out to deal with it...but how could I live at a spa on retreat 24/7? I couldn’t, it was just way too expensive. John helped me realize that I didn’t need live at the spa retreat center, I just needed to “awaken to desires that were incompatible with drug use.”
I needed to focus my attention in a new direction. John didn’t tell me I had to quit smoking pot. He gently, calmly, regularly encouraged me to drink water, eat whole foods, connect with loving people, with nature, with animals – anything that fed my spirit. And he never, ever judged me about anything. Between weekly sessions, I’d set lofty goals for myself and not achieve them. I’d want to skip the call with John because I felt so bad about “failing” the week. But John encouraged me to keep the session, and he was always happy to hear from me.
He rejoiced in every microscopic shift and reflected to me the myriad ways I was changing, even though I didn’t think there were any. John asked me thoughtful questions like, “Would it be useful and valuable if I did more of what I’d learned to take care of myself in regard to my sensitive-empathic nature? If I did those things, might that assist me in ‘taking the sharp edges’ off the world? If I ‘smoothed some of those edges’ might my desire to smoke decrease a bit?”
Slowly, surely and with more loving than I thought I deserved, John helped me ponder those questions and discover the answer was YES. Slowly, surely, and with loving instead of self-hatred and judgement, I started adding more positive and rewarding things into my life so that I started smoking later and later in the day. We worked together on holding and creating boundaries. We talked about creativity and spirituality and I started to experience the more I took care of myself – in real nurturing ways – I felt better. I experienced high value from acting before-hand (before I got too low), to prevent needing to use my addiction and was able to make my stash last longer and longer without feeling desperate and afraid.
In one journal entry I noted, “I just had some crumbs. It wasn’t enough and it didn’t taste good. I actually preferred the way I felt before I smoked.” In the 4th week of working together, I wrote, “Honestly, I didn’t think I could ever feel this way again – free from the compulsion, free to make choices – much less after only 4 weeks.” John reminded me how to be gentle with myself and modeled genuine compassion that helped the hurt parts inside me get heard.
I started showing up differently at work, in relationship with others, and even with myself. I was more positive, optimistic, and my self-hatred was decreasing as my self-compassion was increasing. I felt less beholden to the negative entanglements I thought were just part of life and had the courage to consider letting go of things if they didn’t “fill my cup” - like my job. I updated my LinkedIn profile which caught the attention of a recruiter and began preparing a portfolio and participating in a rigorous and lengthy interview process. During that time, I decided I wanted the new job and a fresh start more than anything.
I started looking forward to what was coming instead of trying to numb out to what was present. I had a powerful dream that showed me that nothing I’d done in the past would work for me now that I was in this new, expansive place. I realized I didn’t have to be a victim or a martyr. And I needed a new kind of nourishment to sustain me. That was 27 days into a “bud fast” - longer than I’d gone in years. John was there for me during the detox which was not fun. John guided me through all the new sensations and realizations that came forward in that time and supported me as I moved out of state to pursue a new opportunity. And I started writing poetry and even dabbled in writing stories. I rediscovered the joy of creativity and life actually became more of an adventure.
It’s been almost 9 months since I last used marijuana and I don’t even think about it anymore. Let me say that again: I don’t even think about it anymore. I never thought that was possible. And, the really great thing is: My life is full enough of things I love and desire. The thing is I don’t need something to try and make me feel good because I already feel pretty good already. And, when I don’t feel good, I know how to get there without using. I no longer need it.
M.K. (A Woman in her Late 40’s)
“After years of using a variety of substances, porn was sort of a last frontier for me. My first session with John was like turning a light on in a pitch-black room. Suddenly I was able to see my behavior around porn in a new way. With his non-judgmental coaching, I completely shifted my own usage. I went from daily watching to completely forgetting about porn for weeks at a time. That’s how powerful a shift I had thanks to John’s wise counsel.”
Other Men’s comments after working with John Hruby
“Exploring what was behind the porn was revelatory for me.”
“Good balance of serious conversation and humor to lighten the mood.”
“…porn isn’t about porn, it’s about an unfilled need that is specific to all of us.”
“Creativity, power, and leadership are in the shadow. Thanks so much, John! Some great tools. I love your understanding of the topic and the solution!”
“…bringing my awareness to the present, to what I really want. Also, what’s going on in me when the addictions surface.”
“Twas great. Funny. Nice stories relating back to the presenter, knowing he’s walked in my shoes.”
“Thank you! I look forward to working with you again.”
“It’s great to have a more overt, empowered conversation.”
“Loved it, because it gives me an experience to draw from to make more conscious choices.”
“Thanks again for last night, John. Insightful and empowering for me.”