Episode 9 – Rising From The Ashes – From Pain to Purpose with Joe Williams

This podcast interview features a Wiradjuri/Wolgalu First Nations man, with a 15 year career in professional National Rugby League playing for South Sydney Rabbitohs, Penrith Panthers and Canterbury Bulldogs before switching to professional Boxing in 2009. He is a best selling author, struggles with suicidal ideation and bi-polar disorder, attempted suicide in 2012 to eventually fight through his pain to realise his purpose. Meet Joe Williams.  

This episode examines how Joe managed to turn his whole life around. He shares the practical strategies he continues to use to combat the constant downward spiralling effects of self-defeating thoughts, and the defining moment with an Elder to cure his ‘spiritual illness’ that set him on his path to pursue his life’s purpose. 

We talk of many themes including the flow on effects of childhood trauma, paranoia, the importance of choice, having a growth mindset, and the need to take personal responsibility for your own happiness, and to master what Joe calls our ‘inner stigma.’ 

Joe offers advice for carers of those with mental illness, lots of ways to deal with suicidal thoughts, and the need to ‘step into the pocket’ in seeking a more understanding relationship with these thoughts and fears.  

Tune in, open your mind and heart, and be inspired.  



Website: https://www.joewilliams.com.au/speaking 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joewilliams__tew/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEnemyWithinJoeWilliams

BOOK: Defying The Enemy Within https://bit.ly/2ZCpWY1

Wellness & Wisdom for the Workplace for preventative and proactive strategies for positive mental health and growing resilience capability with Josie Thomson https://bit.ly/2RqQ5Vn

You Are Not Your Brain online course, for changing bad habits, ending unhealthy thinking and taking control of your life, with Dr Jeffrey M Schwartz & Josie Thomson https://bit.ly/33uiKyn

Simple Meditation For Busy People ebook/meditations download https://bit.ly/2ZAO79k

Enliven-U book of inspirations and hope https://bit.ly/35BLnwr

The Wise Advocate book – the inner voice of strategic leadership  https://bit.ly/2ZD4aDQ

Purposeful Pause – free online 15mins mindfulness meditation practice each Monday at midday with Josie Thomson https://josiethomson.com/pp

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  • Josie what a great interview, and Joe thank you for sharing. Joe you are a tower of strength, who has amazing gold nuggets of wisdom, helpful for all. My key take always from this podcast were:

    It is up to each and every one of us, to decide if we are going to challenge constant negative thoughts in our heads, by firstly wanting to live, and be well, followed by a determination of rebuilding, 1% at a time (baby steps!) in order to succeed.

    How? By removing extra hassles to minimise triggers, by exercising to create the natural healthy endorphins, and by refusing to take other people’s poor behaviour personally.

    Why? By stepping into a pocket, even when identifying pressure from all sides, and confronting the heat, one is being forced to ask, “What is it, that is triggering me? What feelings am I being forced to confront?” The reward from doing this, is growth and progression. It is entirely up to us to make this conscious decision, in navigating a way out, and we need to commit to doing this well.

    Another nugget of wisdom in this pod cast was your point Joe, 250 000 years ago there were no mental health issues amongst the First Nations people. These ancient practices of connecting with other people, be physically active, learning new skills, giving to others and paying attention to the present moment, (mindfulness) have proven to work time and time again. We just need to do more and more of this …..look after our spirit like your wise elders passed on to you.

    Joe please don’t ever listen to that negative inner voice. I loved this podcast and took away a lot. A big thank you Josie for organising and posting this podcast.