Paul Williams is the songwriting legend behind hits such as Barbra Streisand's Oscar-winning song, "Evergreen," Kermit the Frog's beloved "Rainbow Connection" and the Carpenters classic "We've Only Just Begun." Paul says that, at the height of his fame, an addiction to alcohol and drugs nearly destroyed him. After hitting rock bottom in a harrowing public meltdown, Paul got sober and started a difficult journey to discovering the true happiness he feels today. Together with author, director and screenwriter Tracey Jackson, Paul has written a book, "Gratitude and Trust," outlining six affirmations they say can help people become better versions of themselves. The co-authors claim that the affirmations work for fear-based habits like perfectionism, overeating, fear of intimacy and even smartphone obsession. Paul says, "When getting help was important enough for me to let go of ego and do it, I began to connect. And that connection, that brought me to life."
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I'm over Winfrey welcome to supersede conversations the podcast. I believe that one of the most valuable gives you can give yourself is time taking time to be more fully present. Your journey to become more inspired and connected to the deeper world around us starts right now Paul Williams is a song writing legend from coal writing. Barbarous. Try sends ever green and Kermit the frogs beloved classic the rainbow connection to the carpenters defining head. We vote They just begun. Yes, he wrote all those he's now,
in his fit decade in the music business and still driving at the twenty fourteen Grammy's Paul accepted the award for album of the year after collaborating with a cutting edge. Do oh daft punk, but at the height of his fame Paul says an addiction to alcohol in drugs nearly destroyed him. He says it took hitting bottom before he could discover the real happiness that he feels today. His remarkable story of recovery serves as the the reason for his new book gratitude and trust its collaboration. With his long time friend, author director and screenwriter Tracy Jackson, she wrote the screenplay for the film confessions of a shop a holiday and says shopping has always been her daily addiction, though never did did too.
Drugs or Alcohol Tracy says for years. She numbed her pain with food with clothes and men, Paul in Tracy believe that recovery is not just for attics and facing any level of addiction. Is sacred work. What is so raising is Paul. You have an Oscar three Grammy's, golden gloves, and I read that next Bring our children that your greatest accomplishment is what is written about ingratitude interest? Your greatest accomplishment my surprise. Issues arise regular. Twenty four years of actually feeling connect the rest of the world. You know and sobriety. You know when you hit me, you see, I don't know what I'm doing, and I desperately need help when you reach out and see me there's somebody. Let go of Vigo and you go on desperate alive died, you all of a sudden connect
but the world on a level that is so wonderfully intimate and nurturing and healthy the best twenty four years, my life, because was what March nineteen nineteen March fifteenth eighteen March exceed ninety nine and it's it's than the most. Remarkable just to be sitting here today at this moment. For for us, this is a remarkable, remarkable gift so This is what passing I read. A lot of books obviously had a lot of people on the show talking about different ideas, but the concept of a book for recovery for people who are really serious, attics works if you aren't attic, but also works, if you're not addicted in the traditional way. How did you come up with that? I've got a lot of friends and recovery over the years and I on an attic, as it says in the book, but there's something about recovery and the guidelines and the principles that I think so foundational, and so spiritual and all my friends,
really down and out who rose amazing heights and ended up being the most honest, trustworthy, competent responsible human beings. I in my life- and I thought at one point- I thought everybody should just be required to go through recovery. Would you just take one round of recovery, to learn rigorous honesty to learn how to SAM sorry to learn how to on their faults, and I think that we all have things I listed in the book, but we're we're all addicted to something, we're all stuck somewhere in patterns, no matter how evolved, we are in every day is, learning, and I think we can all benefit from these principles and half and bye, bye, literally gratitude and trust and trust. I let gratitude just so. Let's talk about you for a minute. It's amazing, you alive, oh my god, don't you think it's amazing you wake up, sometimes in how did I get to be here because listen, not many people survive drinking vodka in the shower
are those who are here and doing cocaine, Chunnel cocaine on of cocaine. You no alcohol made me feel big enough to deal with the rest of the world. Cocaine made me feel like I can shoot basketball for money. It's an absolute truth. Yeah. You go from being this where little guy and I have given shots to grow. When I was like nine years old, it had the opposite effect. I didn't slowed my body clock down, didn't hit, you re getting shots to grow, but it did it because of the born so made me short in May last year, but also most of my body, clocks, home and a high school. When I haven't hit puberty yet didn't it, we need so I was like an early twenties real. Yes, I'm different my field different and what s interesting is. That is that I was five years sober before I felt with that fell like because long before I drank alcohol likely, I acted alcoholic mean that men, I didn't feel what was uncomfortable to feel you numbed it yeah. You know what you're thinking you know
with you with your you're drinking to use and we all do it in different ways. You were saying in the book you talk about how you loved smoking cigarettes. I loved a lot of things. I love smoking cigarettes. I made really bad choices with man. You know I had a thing. I ever saw China shopping. And I I think that we all know ourselves but Paul just since it is so true that we all push the pain away in certain ways, and I can't imagine it No, I wasn't that at one point this is my last cigarette. My last purchased my last car. We ve all set. We ve all set my last time. I have a drink. The last time I go gambling though it is every bit human, the real and the world makes this claim you and that's addiction. That is, I have to go back for more, even though my conscious self, my intelligence self is telling me this is bad. For me,
Kay. Does every person, though, have to hit rock bottom? So you had this behaviour for how long before you hit rock bottom. I was forty nine eurozone moments. I you know it's progressive disease that on a one I crossed that magical line from used to abuse, to addiction. But somewhere along the line. Seventy two seventy were so productive. For me, the eightys was hiding a joke that I did. Forty nine am? I chose I remember six I went from there and all that attention to hiding out my bedroom, but did you start just sort of by accident? Weren't you on the set of a moral and brand movie and just picked up a guitar did every daddy. I sometimes there are age limit change there. They come swimming into our lives. Sometimes they suggest you wrote a book. Sometimes they say pick up that good tar and well yeah. I just I you know when I was a kid. I listen to the great american software and is it true you ve only just begun was written, is a bank of our shadow over the romantic beginnings of a bank, commercial Crocker back you
I gave you got a long way to go, we'd like to help you get through the Crocker, back, Roger Nickels and expanded, is a complete saw and never in our wildest dreams imagined it would be here and then an angel sang it and one and a one, slash two. The carpenter sings your songs, you are last and then ever green. You when the asker forever Cream, Enviro, hugging ones I know I know it's just you know and you're walking on the stage and you're looking out at there's Crook Douglas Hillsboro, Lancaster. Theirs is all these people that are there. Are these iconic grey, and at some place back inside all the of the charm and all the wit and all the aren't. I just wonderful up here on this stage is a little piece of Bali. The goes you don't belong here, so you drink. So you drink, But isn't it amazing because the thing that you just your whole life, never even could imagine that could happen to you that your
traveling in those same circles with those kinds of people and now you're there, and that what you do because of the unworthiness is choose drinking and choose now consciously not consciously yeah, because consciously you think you're that you think you're the man right yeah, but the the reward for their is comparable to the reward of talking to and other alcoholic annoying that we're both giving each other at a breath added life in the exchange of recognising a higher power working through both within this moment? I have never felt useful in my life. I would not trade a day of this for all of them. The original inspiration for alcoholic synonymous was a christian movement. Call the Oxford group, which taught that faith in God could try. This forum broken lives, Paul in trade,
research, the expert group to develop what they call their six affirmations of personal freedom. So, let's talk about the six affirmations of personal freedom. Now alcoholics anonymous has the twelve the twelve step programme. How is it that you all determined that we can get by on this? Well, we work in a rip off another programme to make and something that is embedded in everyone's conscious. We went back to the Oxford group and we looked at the original tenants and they had six and we also thought six is doable. Its law is twelve is a lot to place on someone who's, not really rock bottom, so the people that we really want to reach out to have, but we can live, limiting behaviors, not like threshold. Ok, the first one is something needs to change its probably MIA. That's number one problem:
is immense. I think, because it allows you to comfortably put on the jacket of change. You know, Tracy writes a lot about about relationships where you're in a revolving door were right, Shangri are fighting back somewhat vague and what that person may never change, but if I have a copy city to respond to the many different fashion. I am capable of changing the dying. Makes the relation. I say I people all the time is, that is that the wizard of OZ of Glinda, the good, says the wicked witch of the West go away. You have no power here. She says it here. You only a power in your own territory, as you only can control your own territory. So what you're saying with the first affirmation is that you have power in your own territory, something if something needs to change it
It's you, have you always he wants a you know. You can change your empowering yourself in a huge wave, your life, a little number two. I dont know how to do this, but something inside me does God, oh yeah, yeah the bigger meagre column, the video, because you know before I walk on stage. I gave it up. You know, because I get scared before a walk on stay down either can therefore be eighteen people out there. You know and as I walk on the stage I say out on how to do this, but something inside me does well. I love, So am I found it even just you when you say it out loud, it's just so comforting yeah. I will learn from mistakes and not defend them. That's where we all get hung up. That's the big e! That's a bit! You! We spend so much time defending our mistakes, hiding from our mistakes, making excuses from our mistakes and never just looking at an on going well. This is me this is me. This is my mistake. I'm in a cleaner,
my side of the street, and we would do something which I called you the emotional shirt, but we carry around so much baggage of all the time baby, don't like an end and carry it around and its heavy and we unloaded and others which is completely unfair. Mistake is a great, is our best teacher and that's it. You just take em and though I am not a bad person, I made a mistake. I learned a lesson and that's a good day any day. You learn a lesson is right that the other. Think, though, that number- for I will write the wrongs wherever possible had hard fact that that that's what you can do, what you can do is is, if you can't make that that direct adjustment to somebody go to them and say you know, there is more on Euro carbonated, then than from my boots, and God, like you're, clean it up that person maybe gone. So you can decorate your life with acts of kindness in other directions. With other people you can you can you can be a sweeter person.
And you can mean to me. I feel if I'm doing something that would appear to be an act of kindness. I feel like I'm beef suddenly useful. I feel tat my own. Because you because you're all your life changes when you that shift your paradigm to service for anything budgets for many years, you know to hide my responsibility back. They learn from our mistakes. Is I became a chronic individual liar and hide my addiction to hide my behavior and that's exhausting opposite sex? yeah, pretending to be something that you're not got to be as lasting,
I love the final. I will live my life and love and service gratitude, entrust. How is it that you all can because they're all these in innumerable virtues, why gratitude and trust? If you hadn't gratitude, you don't ever for fear- and that was one of the biggest things is the fear holds us back. So much fear is what causes so much of our bad behaviour and for choices and gratitude can't live with fear in the same way. That love really can't. Let the fear self. Your grateful. You move that place of love and then how does trust trust? Is God, of course, entrust this all prevent means attention is all in God and those two or we call on the sole sister treasures, no there's a power greater than yourself at work here and trusting law work out. Trust Rachel for everything that has ever happened to my life, the good
bad and you roll it in your life if you're, if you're in a car wreck your grateful and nobody was hurt, if they, if they heard me grateful that they didn't die, did Daya grateful for the chance he had to know them funny. It's you know it's an expandable gratitude. One size fits all put it in your heart and use. Songwriting leginn Paul William says when he learned Grace community and connection his life opened up in ways he never imagine over twenty years ago, Paul was sleep deprived, and high on alcohol and cocaine. When he took a prescription drugs, he says he experienced a psychotic episode weeks later. He finally reached out for help one major call the doktor of that night. I'm too certainly what a word and I won't come
I I didn't levantin in Oklahoma City, where I had a full tilt psychotic melt down. I mean I thought it was being beaten up by a monster. I've been up maybe two or three nights without sleep. I was always drinking using had this the media, to cancel a show, and I went back to your way and I drank for two more weeks and then a black. I called a doktor at ten years sobriety. I met this gentleman and in Nashville I found out that he was also sober news in recovery He pulled out a chip for seventeen years. I was ten years sobered. The time I saw this listen kills me I somewhat Do when you saw me so so, beaten up and so near death is at all. We were terrified. What we did is we put together a purse of where you so we put a prayer civil together for you, a bunch of alcoholic sonoco, almost city and two weeks later, in a black out. I call the doktor its
but he whispering to us why one more time at a long way from rock bottom, to recognising that everything is a gift and did you have to hit bottom to figure that out? I think I think, I'm not I'm not sure, because our waterways idea I've never had a financial bottom of the minimum. If you talk to my kid the items that were round me. They would pay a very different interpretation of how far to live close to my bottom. I got because for my children, whenever head of other there for the money needed to be there and they saw a real bottom had Marietta financial bottom. But I had a bottom as far as this is what I was able to deliver. As a father or a friend. You have regret round my children. I do the great that I wasn't there of wisdom, and yet you know there are and once with Sarah Nicole, where the lights go on and we we connect in a way that then no, I think not
there were some ever experienced before which then they are magnificently, forgiving and loving You know what I want to give the impression that I have evolved out of this mean two years ago tracy- and I had dinner with with my son call, and she says she points out. I was region for the czech risk, for the Czech during the appetizers she said stay in the moment. Sit with your son only wants its relationship with you. And she was right- I mean it's if you dont every village, you ve ordered gave just order the siege of Jack, like revenue, so we run sometimes should things when don't quite know how to do yeah. What's a key to living a happy life, authenticity, you're enough said now Tracy to write this book and an eye for an eye. Nevers
moment, stop being Tracy started going. No, you do. We need you more this invention. She dared to tell me what I needed a year. Wow authenticity is an amazing gift. Yeah. I think you know why, because we always talk and they show about spiritual practice, spiritual practice. I think just trying to be excellent, everyday honouring those principles, whether there the six principles that you have outlined here or honouring the principles that new hold to be true for yourself, trying to be a good person every day is in itself. A spiritual pact is, is it now
I think the Nightingale, the courtyard value- and I think it's just saying hello- to someone on the street its hold its though several things run with the old Ngos. Helping no lady across the street. Paul has lyric, which I love, which we use. Every act of kindness is a little bit of love. We leave behind and it's just being a kind decent human being every day in every way you can one of his exit Paul talks about to is that many times when you try to change, there are a whole circle of people who actually like you better the old way. Exactly a lot of Peter was torn between that life and the life. That's calling for them to develop languages with people and develop patterns of behaviour, which is a dysfunctional when you're the functional one, I'm the one who control you're the one who's ultimate crazy. I'm always depressed whatever it may be, and when you change that all the southern, their role in your life is put in,
question and they are having to question their own behaviour, of which a lot of people don't like to do is forced on them. Did you lose a lot of friends when you got sober, my friends were gone because a big one of the elements of of addiction is isolation, so you know that so many friends were gone. You know I was really good at you. I went from courses courage to begin this implies. Looking for the tree Valise three in the morning I was isolating. I didn't How to be around people an end as a sober verse as well. No, I this is drinking to use a really good thing is that they give to my oh, my addiction is it'd force me to you: are they going to die where you gonna get help and one getting help? is important enough for me to let go of Vigo and do it. I began to connect and that's that connection wrote that their brought me to life.
You know. I think that what amazes me is it in in the in the midst of my of my drinking and using that there was a spiritual life they are, and the proof of it, I am happy to say, is in the songs of its sometimes were a channel. Sometimes things pass through us, but what so interesting is all of this music was able to come through you in such a way that feels like prayer. You know Rainn Wilson was on here and was saying, there's no difference between art and prayer music. Your music in particular, feels like an offering feels like grace, feels like rare. How is that music able to come through such dysfunction? You know it was It was and remains in absolute gift. I, but I think that again it's you medicate! You you play around this crap and gets out of control this control your life, but somewhere in the UN.
Neither all is a soul in his spirit, and it has perhaps lifetimes of choices. That of hope that Spirit and I think the deep down inside there's a part of me. That is absolutely grateful and totally believes that this immense power. I mean that's a connection you, I see, you ask people what is so yeah, that's connection at me. That's the connection to the meat and it's our soul, is now that's where I stopped being alone at our sole, that's where I connect to God, that's where I connect the Holy Spirit as well.
That's where we're we're one where you and I are y yeah yeah, that's that's! That was always there. You know I just I just had to listen. I had to learn to listen so in that way I mean, I also say to people all the time, nothing that ever happened in your life, his wasted. So free you look at what look at what the addiction actually did for you. You took what work, as you know, the dark night of the soul. You know you're hitting bottom calling that doctor and turned it into literally like a movement for yourself and for other people. Word that comes to mind. Is gratitude yeah the grateful for all the missteps stumbles. So you started out trying to help yourself and winded, helping yourself turn into wanting to help. Others was one of the gifts of recoveries. You thought that right where you get in the way you get to keep the miracle by giving it away you get too? Can the thing is that none of them,
something about that process speaks the ego because we all want to be a bit of a teacher. We all want. I y know a little something you don't know yet, and I want to share with you: will the the brilliance of that is that one shared with you, especially in the early stages of recovery, reaffirming something that I say that I come to believe it. But at the time you were you, you you to find yourself a spiritually bankrupt. Do you think that the people who have been the most bankrupt actually have the most to teach us about filling ourselves up. I turned into the polio. I mean I went to you, so I was dying to play. Lover come touch the Hem over to get you somewhere. It's like I loved it. I drag people out bar stools to share it with them. I love that I you know it's just for the first time in my life I felt absolutely useful when I look at my life the most valuable ten year period of my life said ten years that I lost drinking and using because we know you know my last two decades
wants to deck, and you know you're not gonna like when you misplaces decade is flat out. You know he happened to be where I My life today to be working now in work for ASCAP Live and which, as you know, the american society component just orders or just like. Aren't you the chairman of at present in Germany and then this whole thing with their part this year? Just is what what seventy four year old, Wenzel money. That was amazing. Let's talk about your eye, comics on rainbow connection. You now you ve said it's a spiritual saw. It is a road with Kenny Asher, for you know, you know you have your life is, is on track when you get their words
alarm clock in the morning. You realize you gonna go to work with Kermit that day you can do with the gym Hansen, an amazing spirit- and I think that sometimes you know of this around somebody over certain spiritual level that they raise you that there is an energy with somebody like Johannsen who is is in you. You have a relationship with them and just their essence. Anyway, you say it's it's it's a song that about answers. But about questions. You believe the questions are equally as important as the answers will. My favorite line of the song is who said that every wish would be heard and answered if wished on the morning star somebody thought of their yes, someone believed it look what it's done so far. The essence of my own Scrooge velocity probably in those words right, there's somebody thought of that, and someone believed it. You know, thoughts become things, thoughts become things. When did you learn that.
Yeah, which it's a long process. I learned a little of it this morning. You know because I had it We want a shower this morning. This was gonna, be a disaster. I just wasn't. You know it's new with me. No! No! No! Not induce cells on the arm taller, no I've, just I'm I'm capable of going to bed fearful latest fear, monkeys talking in IRAN. We did. The rest are doing so interesting that he would save ass starts you in on the wires. Hang you gotta back up and go wait a minute. Are you not somewhat sit down with Tracy and opera back, but it happens to all of us They have actually elders because I always think you ve seen Michel Superstar, sending tapered soccer and watch it all that for decades ago, one of them that I would feel like you would feel like wow, I'm gonna have a chance to say exactly what I want to say how I want to say it. But then next life, I'm gonna be bad, evolved where I am.
They do their nonstop, but the fact is that there is an element in so many a word. You know their little forbade thinking, Wilkes key moments in our life Why do I? Why do I get nervous with world walk on stage? Why would I ever be afraid about anything yeah yeah, are you able to Canada or call must buzz? Buzz is still being recovery must always consider yourself recovering or after twenty four years. Can you say I am well I'm really if I'm recovered than I have nothing left to learn. Nothing left! that there is a close chapter, my life, and the fact is that I will sit and learn from within from the newest young, this most beaten up low. The wanders into a roman shares, the story. I will learn something from I will have of a breath of life
My story with him that I like that I have never experienced before and as we lose people who you now gave so much to our culture and to the arts like Philip Seymour, half men and people who you know, we who everybody had thought had beat it does it make feel like while that could be me to know. I know I am stunned by their laws, and I am stunted how fortunate I am. I dont think that I feel that. I know that there are a couple drinks you're a drink, and I could start down that path. A drink you could yeah. I don't want to check on. Why would I trade clarity for their again it when Philip Seaworld Hoffman died? I was devastated, but now I live at this point. As he was twenty three years exactly homage,
Five march, but I think that this point I am selling towards the White right now and I I wouldn't trade differently, you know what do you have a spiritual practice or the spiritual practice, just being you every day, why run every morning and there's one meditation, you know and I live in gratitude living gratitude. I'm a member of a church to us we're to practice. I do I. I don't go to church another member of an organised religion, but I I wake up every day and I am grateful for coffee. I think that's my first gratitude thing in the morning and I and I like candles- I let it candles and as they wake up, then I laid incense and irish bells and I have only if they come from all over this everything there I give my bases covered, but I think its living a spiritual life and I think I wonder when you say
There's this difference between the semantics have living a spiritual life and a spiritual practice. It's it's. I dont know if there are an interchange of, but I think, it's being it think, it's just living. In its being honest, every time, I'm honest and truthful and being spiritual. What are you most proud that you were able to learn? It often asked what the toughest lesson you had to learn. Obviously yours was coming to our calls them, but what are you most proud that you learn that you now can offer and that you would want to offer to the people? Listening, not alone. Will you not alone, no matter where you are no matter what you do anyway, I love the wine if you're praying for more faith in God enough. I love that. I love that. I think that that's that's the essence of comfort. For me and in this whole deal is I found a real higher power when I got silver and what is your definition of that higher power or guide God
the Big Amigo vigour, rigour The big you may his home. The bigger may, who is just its home, is who is where it is? It's all big enough, I love the Dalai Lama's saying that his religion is kindness, its. Elegance of kindness manifest in this power. That is there for all of us. What for sure did you want to say that would leave its mark on every person who open these pages? What for sure did you want them to walk away with that. You can change your life at any given moment. It's never too late that there's something so much bigger than you out there that genetic bear of and then there's a message in their wishes. Probably subliminal- and I don't know- that's ever even stated, but it's in the steps in its in the work, which is it's better to love than be right, and I did it.
You know. I think that so many people- and we all want to be right when all we really want is to be loved, and I think if people can walk away from that book and ingratitude entrust know that their point of view and what they ve been stuck in four years, where the mindset is so much less important than loving and being loved and loving yourself enough to care about taking care of yourself and that your dreams are really worth pursuing any deserve them. I just think if you can give people that you can do it in all, you can do whatever you want to do. You just have to do the work and believe in yourself what a great good to give gratitude. Untruss, ok, gonna end with this. What are you most grateful?
my family in love, I dont know what I would do without them. I am so grateful for the way for him to do. I'm so great that we got to be here. I mean I get to talk to you, my anger, and yet what a give my move, ruined, free and you ve been listening to supersede conversations podcast, you can follow super soul on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook if you haven't yet good apple, podcast, unsubscribe rate and review. This plugins join me next week for another superficial,
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-02.