Reboots

EXTRA: Catching Your Breath with Steve Austin

August 10, 2018
Reboots
EXTRA: Catching Your Breath with Steve Austin
Chapters
Reboots
EXTRA: Catching Your Breath with Steve Austin
Aug 10, 2018
Tracy Winchell / Steve Austin
Steve Austin - a minister who attempted suicide - shares his story of redemption and a return to a relationship with Jesus Christ through an admission that he doesn't have faith figured out, and that's okay.
Show Notes Transcript
If you are frustrated with chaos in your life, or you love someone who battles anxiety, this may be the best 20 minutes of your week. We’re lucky to have my friend Steve Austin with us for a few minutes to talk about the launch of his latest book - Catching Your Breath: The Sacred Journey from Chaos to Calm. Url preview:https://rebootspodcast.com › Steve-Austin-Catching-Your-Breath
Speaker 1:
0:07
Hey there, you're dialed into reboots featuring stories about people who have been forced to start over in life or in business, all walks of life, anonymous or named high profile or low Dan, stories with heart, soul, and grit, because knowing and sharing our stories is essential for living a life of joy, experiencing healthy relationships, and impacting the world around us in a positive way. Here's your host, tracy winch.
Speaker 2:
0:35
Happy Friday. Y'All. Welcome to this
Speaker 3:
0:37
pop up reboots episode. It's a Friday edition. If you're frustrated with chaos in your life or if you love somebody who battles anxiety, maybe this could be the best 20 minutes of your week. We're really lucky to have my friend Steve Austin with this for a few minutes. He's going to talk about the launch of his greatest, latest and greatest book. Catch your breath. It's the sacred journey from chaos to calm, and in case you haven't heard, reboots, episode r zero, one eight years. Just a little bit of background on steep. It was a pastor when he nearly died by suicide. The second chance, grueling recovery and years of honest conversation of allowed Steve to find healing and purpose and it's evident in his speaking podcast and coaching and all of his writing, including his Amazon best seller from pasture to a psych ward, overwhelmed people get their lives back. One of the things I love about talking to Steve, he lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife Lindsey and their two children and talking to Steve just means I don't quite have to work so hard on my pronunciation. I kind of get to go back to my, my Arkansas one thing. That's awesome. My brother did they Friday, August 10th. We've got a special deal. You can get the book for ninety nine cents. We'll tell you how to do that in a minute and I've already got mine. So welcome. So glad to have you.
Speaker 2:
2:05
Oh, so good to be here. Yeah, we can. Uh, you know, we can let that southern drawl. Just drip like ice t baby. I don't have to root against you accepted a when we play in football and basketball, most of the time we can be friends is good. Absolutely. You got it happy Friday to, you know, you too.
Speaker 3:
2:27
You know, I, I, I reached out to you, uh, earlier this year when you sent some of us at the Galley copy of your book and you, you already know this, but it came into a really good time for me earlier this year. I was in bed with pneumonia. I couldn't breathe. I was pretty ticked off about it and I just, I felt powerless. And so even though there was no external activity going on in my life beyond hitting my inhalers and taking my medicines, I'm, your book
Speaker 2:
3:00
really calmed the inner chaos. And, and, and that's really important, um, in, in helping our bodies heal is, is resolving that conflict. So thank you. Oh my goodness. Well, thank you. What a, what a great testimony. It's crazy how different the book is today versus what you saw back in. Gosh, that was what, March? Yeah, boy. Yeah. It's, uh, it's changed a little the same, you know, same heart, same posture, but wow, it feels so different from those, those early drafts. You're an incredible writer and um, your work means something. I know it comes from the heart and uh, I know beyond any shadow of a doubt people are going to be better off from reading this book. So who, who did you write this book for? Oh boy. That's my favorite question. You know, it is the easiest way to say this is, this book was written for anyone who's ever felt overwhelmed and isn't that all of us, haven't.
Speaker 2:
4:06
We all at some point felt like our heart is drowning underneath a sea of chaos. So this is, it's a book for anyone who's felt like they've had the wind knocked out of their lungs and they're standing just reeling, grasping for air, grasping for hope. This is a book that I think will connect with that person on a very deep soul, kind of a level. Um, it's a book for anyone who says, you know what? I'm not sure that I can take another step today. This is a book that will give you permission to embrace your humanity. It'll give you permission to say I don't have this whole thing figured out and I'm kinda scared and I kind of feel alone and I don't want to feel like that anymore. This is a, it's a book. I kind of feel like I'll just wrap you up and like, you know, grandma's old quilt and say, Hey, is going to be okay.
Speaker 2:
4:58
Let's do this together. Let's hold hands. Yeah. And it, it, it's a pretty short read, right? Yeah. About a 150 pages. So maybe that, that, that cup of hot tea that we long for, um, and never seen time to find. Maybe. Maybe this is sort of an excuse to just have that self care moment, right? Yeah. You got it. Yeah, it is. It's an extension of, you know, the first book was from pastor to a psych ward and the second book was self care for the wounded soul and this is just a natural sort of part three. If they're, if this were a trilogy, this would be, this would be parked three, but I think it's better than part one and two put together. It is, you know, I've never felt more clear after writing this book about who I am, what I believe about stuff like life and faith and spirituality and self care and mental health, and I just feel so clear after writing this and I think this is, this is the book I was meant to write. This is my gift to the world is so exciting
Speaker 3:
6:06
from pastor to a psych ward was good. And, and my favorite version. Yes. Under it out. And I read both of them, but my favorite version was the audio version because it's your voice. There was humor infused in all of that and um, yeah, it, it, there were tears in my eyes. I hear, here's a warning, don't listen to that book while driving. I don't know. Probably true. Pretty heavy. Yeah. It's pretty heavy and there will be an audio book for this one too. Very good. One of the things that are really like to ask my guests is, is kind of doing a deep dive into what the words that you use mean. So, uh, what is the word chaos mean to you?
Speaker 2:
6:51
Yeah, I'd much rather talk about calm, you know, it just feels better, but chaos is important because we've all been there. You may be listening to this and be there right now. I don't know. Being totally honest and totally fair. I don't know that there's a great definition for chaos because I think it depends on who you are and where you are today. I think it can feel like stress. It can feel like breathlessness. Chaos can feel like shame and anxiety and buisiness, you know, that never ending buisiness, half of which doesn't really matter. That kind of business. Chaos can feel like shame and performance and guilt and secret keeping and a million other things.
Speaker 3:
7:40
And then, and then the word sacred is in this book. And I know you do not
Speaker 2:
7:46
take that word lightly. What does that word mean to you? Yeah. Sacred. Um, you know, it is the word I, I'll tell you this, the word holy for me was I got to sneeze. I don't know if you can edit this out. It will be fun.
Speaker 4:
8:14
Fine. Whatever
Speaker 2:
8:23
was used and abused. I picture the old school assemblies of God preacher that I grew up with, with these jowls that would shake when they would say, holy God, demands on, you know, in their face would shake when they were saying it. It was always scary because it was holiness. Perfection. Holiness meant I'm making your list and checking it twice and not being naughty and getting everything right and having everything figured out and knowing how to defend in debate your faith and every hill is a hill to die on. That was wholly and
Speaker 3:
9:00
Tracy. I'm not wholly.
Speaker 2:
9:02
Hi, I'm an unholy mess, but I love Jesus with all my heart. And
Speaker 3:
9:08
so sacred is, is the opposite side of that same coin. Sacred
Speaker 2:
9:15
makes me stop for a second. When I hear sacred, I stop and I listen. I'm sacred as a, it's cherished. It is special beyond words. Um, some people might still say, holy. And that's okay. It's divine. It's a word
Speaker 3:
9:33
that whispers to me
Speaker 2:
9:36
about hope for transformation. It's a word that says, and you'll get this from recovery, that there's a power greater than me that is able to help me through whatever mess I find myself in. That is a sacred.
Speaker 3:
9:53
Isn't that the blood of Jesus Christ? Isn't that the Romans? When he said, look, the law demands perfection and if anybody was going to gonna, get that. Perfection was going to be me, but I couldn't do it. What do you think God sent Jesus to die on the cross for. Isn't that what do you think? That pasture with the jowls ever understood that. Yeah, I
Speaker 2:
10:20
it was always demanded it was, and then I hear Jesus going, just come as you are a sacred whispers of divine love. It whispers of acceptance and affirmation and I love you exactly as you are and not as you should be said. Brennan Manning.
Speaker 3:
10:36
Yeah, and, and I, and I don't want to. I don't want to be condescending to, to, to the caricature that, that you paint. I feel bad for people who only know that rigorous kind of what? The definition of holy that yeah, it's exhausting because that used to be me and I know it is exhausting. Um, you know, you're a follower of Christ, you know, we, we strive to follow the teachings of Christ and we know we're not gonna be perfect. Um, and man, when I found the beatitudes in what I began to understand that there is a system and a check list or what to do when I screw up, life started to get a little bit easier for me. But you describe yourself in this radical kind of a kind of a way, man. It's bold. You describe yourself as a Christian agnostic. Does that Kinda shows show kind of some. What does that mean?
Speaker 2:
11:46
Don't hang up. Don't disconnect. Don't stop, keep listening better, I promise. Yeah. Christian agnostic agnostic is one of those words that if you don't know what it means, and most of us don't know what it means, we say, Ooh, bad, terrible. You know, a agnostic is one of those words that can even be treated worse than atheist. A lot of times we, we at least you're if you're a Christian or an atheist, you're hot or cold, but if you're an agnostic, you must not be either hot nor cold and God's going to spew you out his mouth. Right? Right, right. Yeah. So can I read you a little excerpt from the book? Love it. We've got time. Yes sir. Okay. Right here we go. After being released from the psych ward, Lindsay drove two hours, picked me up and drove us home. I leaned my seat back and watch the green overpass.
Speaker 2:
12:37
Signs on the interstate, fly by my life had fallen apart just one short week before. All I could do is wonder what will tomorrow be like and will I ever be able to go back to a church again. Up to this point, church had consumed my waking hours. I was steeped in the ways of southern evangelicalism all my life. Then went to Bible college and eventually served in some form of paid ministry for nearly 10 years. I knew the rules when to stand, sit, kneel, and raise my hands. Still all the external doing of Orthodox Christianity was it enough to save me. I could read church people like a book and I knew how to play the game, but I was dying inside. I nearly died on the outside too. I knew that if I was going to move forward and get my life back, everything would have to change.
Speaker 2:
13:34
This included the ways I connected with the divine. These days I'm not so sure about all the rules and expectations and that is the biggest part of my faith. Struggle, my walking away from everything I was raised on into the vast unknown struggle for the for the past few years. My biggest frustration when it comes to Christianity has been this. I live in the in between. I am the Lego piece that doesn't fit. Agnostic. Agnostic is a word that freaks out a lot of fundamental Christians. People don't like agnostic for many of the same reasons. No one ever votes for an independent. We don't know what to do with people who choose to no longer toe the party line, but I love this definition. A person who no longer holds up. Sorry, a person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic. Let me read you the definition of agnostic.
Speaker 2:
14:33
One more time. A person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic and the opening of her book agnostic. Leslie Hazelton says this, to be an agnostic is to love this kind of paradox, not just skirt around it or merely to it, but to actively revel in it. The agnostic stance defies artificial straight lines such as that drawn between belief and unbelief. It is free spirited, thoughtful, and independent. Not at all. The wishy washy, I don't know, ness, that atheists often accused of being me to leslie, yes, I still hold the example of the Jesus of the Bible at the center of my life, but I am finally admitting that I have more questions than certainty, more doubt than belief. More possibilities than answers. I'm not sure folks like me are welcome any longer and the fundamental corners of the Evangelical Church when it comes to dualistic thinking my butt, but he always gets his way.
Speaker 2:
15:40
I don't buy the message that you are either good or bad, black or white, right or wrong, sacred or profane. Religion sees life through the lens of duality, this or that. Things of Orthodoxy and Christian theology just don't always make sense or line up exactly right for me, so these days I'm wearing the label of Christian agnostic as a badge of honor. I supplement my spiritual journey with principals from countless other traditions and I'm perfectly comfortable with the following three words. I don't know. Wow. There you go. Thanks for sharing that. Thanks for letting me. You know, as you read that, I think I, I, I see a dozen faces in my mind's eye of friends who deal with all kinds of struggles and at the root of that is this feeling that they're not good enough for God and
Speaker 5:
16:44
this
Speaker 2:
16:46
long held secret that maybe they don't believe and then when they are at bottom and they cry out for God, they realize I must believe in him
Speaker 2:
17:03
and then to rebuild that relationship in that sort of a way that they don't. They just feel like, man, I don't have to have all the answers. Now there's freedom in their lives and there's just a tinge of regret amidst a great deal of gratitude will. Why couldn't I figured this out sooner? Yeah. Yeah. You know, I have been incredibly fortunate to build a friendship with and division who is one of Billy Graham's grandsons, right? And if anybody knows what it's like to have their life fall completely apart, um, by their own doing, by really his board decisions, really bad mistakes. It's deleon. Here's billy Graham's grandson, a church pastor, New York Times best selling author over and over again, and because he was caught and not one affair, but two, he lost everything. He lost his family. Number one, he lost his megachurch. He lost his book deals. He lost everything. And here's a guy who had a lot of doubts come up. All the sudden, man, life was so grand. Life was so easy. It was so good. The world was on a string. He's this great looking guy on top of everything else like that successful of a person. Really, you need to be good. Look into and um, it all came tumbling down and in his
Speaker 2:
18:33
lowest point at the, you know, like all the rest of us, he's able to see this god of the Bible that says, if I go to the depths, you are there, you know, and so I think it's the same with us, whether it's doubt or just totally blowing it and screw it up. That here's this God who says, even if you maybe don't believe, even if you're not sure, even in your uncertainty, I'm there. I'm awaiting. I'm, I'm standing right here. I'm not going anywhere. I am for you. I am with you always, even to the ends of the earth.
Speaker 6:
19:07
Yeah.
Speaker 3:
19:09
I'm glad. Good God, God, I'm really bad meeting and I have to say it's been worth it to. That's the god of Genesis. Yeah. Yeah. That's a true story. Yeah. Um, in fact, uh, I'm, I, I've spent the last year or so just really being fascinated by stoicism and the order in which, that just the timeline between the first stoics and the writings and Jesus, and then you know, how those to commingle because there were so many things in stoic philosophy that comes straight from the beatitudes. And so, you know, which, which came first. It's hard to know because, you know, uh, I don't know if you got this memo, Steve, but there were no interwebs back in the day, so travel so fast you couldn't Google Jesus. Come on.
Speaker 3:
20:06
So I'm just fascinated by this and every now and then I'll ask, uh, uh, uh, one of my pastoral theology friends, how do you reconcile stoicism versus the teachings of Jesus? Two of my favorites are, are here, one of my friends says, chew on the meat, spit out the bones, and another one says, um, that God may work through an atheist or modern day stoic without them intending or being aware of. It shouldn't surprise us a bit. God hits straight licks with crooked sticks. Preach that. Yes, that's good stuff. So it sounds to me like maybe there can be some bias in, in the this notion that we don't and can't fully know until I see Jesus. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
21:00
Yeah. I think it's a very, very rare, special, fortunate person who can say, no, I am certain of it all. I believe at all. I buy it all. I got it all figured out. Yeah. All this Bible stuff. I'm sold on every letter of it. That's a pretty special person. I'm really jealous because I'm just not there, but it doesn't mean that I'm not seeking after genuine faith. It doesn't mean that I'm not engaging with God, that I'm engaging with Jesus, that I'm following the words and the example of Jesus. I absolutely am.
Speaker 3:
21:30
I just have a lot of questions. Yeah, I really liked that. Yeah. Well, I know this is a super hectic time for you. I'm a little bit. One of the things that I love about following you on social media is that you demand accountability for yourself care. Typically on Sunday afternoons I'll see a post that says signing off for the rest of the day and you usually have one of your kids. So, um, with this hectic life gets hectic sometimes. We can't always protect ourselves from ourselves. Right? So tell me, I know you've got to safeguard because I know you do. Do you have, uh, some hard stops either at the end of a day or at a date certain on your calendar so that you'll be able to unplug and take care of you and make sure you reconnect with God and your family? How does that work for you?
Speaker 2:
22:28
Yes, thank you for asking that. What a great question. Um, you know, thankfully at this point in the production process, my part of the work is done now. We leave it up to the professionals. I just tell the story and I'll let them make it pretty. So it's everybody else's job. There are um, the final, final edits are being done today and have to be finished in an hour and 20 minutes. I don't have any part of that. That's my editor doing her. Her final little bit from her, it goes straight to design work and she will be finished with the interior design and layout in the next week. And so there's nothing I'm doing other than promoting the book, um, which just means I get to have conversations with my friends, like you, I get to just sit and talk about stuff I'm passionate about. So this is the, even that gets exhausting after you do, right?
Speaker 2:
23:20
It does, yeah. I won't do more than one a day. I don't do them on the weekends. The weekends, my kids are home. I'm home a wife's home, so I don't do interviews on Saturdays and Sundays. Um, and then I have two big breaks coming up. So next weekend I'm taking my family and we're going to a cabin in the woods where we will disconnect from everything other than power and running water. Thank you, Jesus. Else we will disconnect from, um, and we're just going to sabbath together. We're gonna play and we're going to rest and we're just going to click out and we're going to fish and it's going to be really nice. And then I'm super exciting, the first weekend in September, I have been invited to go to this inner spirituality pilgrimage to Panto, which is in southern Utah. And Panto is a quaking aspen forest is these quaking Aspen, um, and it's the largest living organism in the world.
Speaker 2:
24:19
So you drive up, you know, anything about Panda Tracy? No. Okay. I didn't tell about six months ago. So you drive up and panda looks like this giant forest of Aspen trees. And it is, but it's not individual trees. These are actually all branches. They're all shoots from the same root ball. So you go underneath the ground and it's one root ball. They are all connected at the same route and these trees, quote unquote sprout up from there. So it's the largest single living organism in the world and it is dying. And so we are going. There will be a Christian leader of Buddhist leader and a Muslim leader. And we're all going together and we're all gonna sit down and say, how can we work together? How can we embrace one another and celebrate what we have in common rather than focusing on the things that would try to divide us and we're using this Panto forest as such great imagery. And then we're also gonna do some conservation work and talk about how can we work together to save this Panto forest. It's dying. So doing that for a weekend, September and I cannot wait. I can't wait to read what you have to say about that. Thank you. I'm got to podcast every day.
Speaker 2:
25:38
A lot of updates. I need to let you go. I got to respect your time. We could talk all day. Thank you for end. But um, before I let you go, tell us how to get ahold of your book for ninety nine cents today. Only on Amazon. Can I tell you the most exciting thing? Okay. Yes, you can get it today only for ninety nine cents. But do you know that before 7:00 AM, this book hit number one on Amazon today? It did. Yeah. So in the religion and psychology category, it, which it sounds like the most ridiculous pretentious sounding category and it has nothing to do with Dr Steve. That's so not true. Um, but yeah, it is ninety nine cents today. Only if you pre ordered the Ebook, the book will be released October 22nd, but preorder today, today only Friday. We'll actually end up Saturday morning about 10:00 AM central time.
Speaker 2:
26:34
So you go to catching your breath.com, which is just a link that will afford you right to the book on Amazon. Catching your breath.com ninety nine cents for the ebook. And I will thank you kindly. You are amazing. I am so glad I met you on twitter last year, early this year. Sometime you, you're just, you're, you're, I love your soul. And uh, I, I value your friendship and um, you're, you're just, you're just going to be like this. You're right at the point of being the overnight success after working your tail off all these years. Oh, I just want to help people. If it helps people, that's great. That's, that's fantastic. If it's saved somebodies life, if it keeps somebody from spinning completely out of control than hey, praise the Lord. Amen. Well, thank you my brother and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day and congratulations on the book launch and I will be talking to my tribe about this over the next couple of weeks if you don't mind because like I said, it's already helped me and I can't wait to read the, the new version.
Speaker 2:
27:44
It's been, uh, it's been fun to watch you work through this. Very cool. Oh Hey. And last minute. Oh, if you order and you email me the receipt so you can take a screenshot of your purchase on Amazon or just email me the receipt steve at. I am Steve Austin Dot Com. Then I will send you the digital swag pack. How cool is that? So you get two bonus chapters. You get the introduction, chapter one and chapter two plus two bonus chapters. You get the, catching your breath manifesto and you get an MP three of a song. My favorite song in the whole world called weak sometimes by my friend Devin ballroom. So all you gotta do by the book for ninety nine cents, you get all these extras, just email me and I'll send it right to you. You're the man. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Good luck, my brother. Thanks. I'll see you soon. Have a good Alabama day. Youtube. No go hog.
Speaker 1:
28:45
We hope this episode has helped you in some way. If so, we'd love to hear from you. Maybe someone you care about might benefit from the reboots podcast. It's easy to share from our website reboots podcast.com. The reboot podcast is a production of winchell storyworks incorporating a company dedicated to helping businesses and individuals know, share, and live their stories in order to impact the world around us in a positive way and to achieve financial freedom.