Tag: Michael Arndt


By Michael Arndt, Alumni Coordinator, CAST Centers
Follow Michael on Instagram: @michaelcastcenters

For many people, spirituality evokes a strong response, some negative and some positive. When I first came to CAST, I was put off by just the word spirituality. At the time, I thought of the religion I was raised with, which I no longer identified with nor felt connected to. However, I was reminded to keep my mind open, and to not judge the whole forest because I didn’t like one of its trees. 

Somewhere along the line, my perspective on spirituality shifted dramatically. I no longer saw it as a necessarily religious word tethered to my own experience growing up. Through having open conversations with my peers and mentors, I came to identify the spirituality as a feeling of connectedness and purpose. I developed a spiritual practice that worked for me, one that was in alignment with my values and principles. I began to understand that my spiritual life is meant to enrich my heart and my soul — that is its primary function. It does not require that we follow any religious tenets, but does not exclude that either.

What matters is that we understand that spirituality means living a life in alignment with our own principles and values. It means living authentically and giving more to each other and the world than we take. It’s the process of building self-esteem by performing esteemable actions. It grows and evolves as we grow and evolve.


By Michael Arndt, Alumni Coordinator, CAST Centers
Follow Michael on Instagram: @michaelcastcenters

Compassion is a foundational and universal value and practice. Compassion allows us to connect and empathize with others. It also allows us to take things a little less personally. 

For many of us, it is easy for us to find compassion for people we are close to, or with whom we relate easily. However, most of us can think of a few people we have encountered or who are part of our lives with whom we struggle to find compassion.

In the early stages of my own recovery, I often struggled with finding compassion when I felt I was being lied to or manipulated by others. We can easily justify not even attempting to find compassion for challenging individuals. We tell ourselves that they are unworthy because they are “bad” or that they are choosing to do something we do not agree with or cannot relate to. As it turns out, these people and situations hold an incredibly valuable lesson for us.

In finding compassion for more difficult individuals, we are actually challenging our hearts and minds to expand. We learn to treat every human being with a little more respect and understanding. In doing so, we deepen an even more important practice: treating OURSELVES with a little more compassion.

This helps to lessen our feelings of shame and guilt, and in doing so, we may find that having more compassion for ourselves and others makes life just a little bit easier. 

Gratitude As A Practice

By Michael Arndt, Alumni Coordinator, CAST Centers
Follow Michael on Instagram: @michaelcastcenters

As most of us begin the journey of recovery, we often hear the word gratitude thrown around. Some of us write gratitude lists daily and share them with friends, but few of us go beyond that.

To live a life with gratitude not only as a concept or word, but as an action is a very different experience. We can show our gratitude by picking up the phone and checking in with someone without the intention of talking about ourselves.

Actions like this show the person we are grateful for them, and that we value them even without us having to say it. Bigger steps like volunteering our time demonstrate our gratitude for others and show our willingness to put them first.

To live a life in alignment with gratitude as a core principle, we notice that we begin to live differently, think differently, and most importantly, feel differently. We are no longer as hindered by self-centered thinking. We open our minds and our hearts to others, and begin to see life more positively. It is a choice and a practice.

We will never do anything perfectly (nor should we expect to), but as we travel the road of recovery we find that gratitude holds a very important role in our daily practice. 

The Past Does Not Dictate Your Future

CAST Centers Resident Advisor, Michael Arndt, was quoted on the Thriveworks blog, on the best advice he was given as a client.

“Some of the best advice I was ever given while I was a client at CAST was that my past, and all the baggage that came with it, did not have to dictate the trajectory of my life, unless I allowed it to,” says Michael Arndt, Resident Advisor at CAST Centers.

“That I did not have to continue being a victim of what had happened to me before entering treatment. That was such a powerful thing for me to hear; it helped me shift my perspective on what I was struggling with. It was a message of empowerment and of taking responsibility for myself and my actions from that day forward. I believe it was one of the most important turning points I had on the road to recovery.”

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