From Prison to Calling (#112)

From Prison to Calling (#112)

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. My guest today is a minister and an attorney. His path has had some twists and turns.

After an addiction to prescription opioids and serving almost fourteen months in a Federal prison (2006 – 07) for a white-collar crime he committed in 2001 when he was lawyer, he started his own reentry – earning a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, majoring in Social Ethics. After graduating from divinity school, he was called to serve at an inner city church in Bridgeport, CT as Associate Minister and Director of Prison Ministries. He then co-founded Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc., the world’s first ministry dedicated to serving the white collar justice community.  His name is Jeffrey Grant and I think that you’ll see how the challenges he faced are rather universal in nature. 

Show Notes

Jeff's First Life – Jeff tells his journey of various twists and turns, none of which he could have predicted would result in such a great life.

Being a Sober – Jeff discusses what he believes helped him stay sober when everything seemed to be collapsing around him.

Isolation and Community - Jeff provides a comprehensive explanation about his saying, "Isolation damages us, and the answer is community."

Comeback Story – Whatever the worst-case scenario occurs in our lives, we must have a story of redemption. Jeff explains how he assists someone is preparing to write their comeback story.

Jeff's advice – Jeff delivers some suggestions for individuals who self-sabotage on how to move ahead.


Connect with Jeff: 



Business Insider: A lawyer who went to prison for 9/11-related fraud just got his law license back, and became an ordained minister along the way, by Peter Coutu, July 2021:

Reuters: Jeff Grant 'Let Go of the Outcome': How this Felon Beat Addiction and Won Back his Law License, by Jenna Greene, May 2021:

American Bar Association Criminal Justice Magazine, "A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats: Progressive Diversion & Reentry," by Jeff Grant and Chloe Coppola, Spring 2021:

Forbes: As Law Enforcement Pursues SBA/PPP Loan Fraud, A Story Of Redemption, by Kelly Phillips Erb, July 2020: 

Bobbi's Takeaways

I hope that you enjoyed that conversation.  Here are my 3 insights for thriving:

  1. Have some ritual that centers you everyday.  Jeff talked about feeling 1% off when he wakes up which is why he goes to an AA meeting every day.  I’d never thought about it quite that way, but recently I started a guided meditation practice.  If you’ve listened to the podcast, you know that this is something that has felt like a struggle for me.  But, I founded a 12 minute guided meditation where I can move around and do stretches, etc. but it is focused on calming the mind and really feeling movement.  A few weeks ago, I started doing this every morning upon rising.  It’s been super valuable.  This past weekend, for some reason, I skipped both Saturday and Sunday and I noticed that today I wasn’t feeling quite as grounded and centered.  So, I did my meditation today and things feel more centered.  When Jeffrey said that the 1% mis-alignment wasn’t bad but if you let it go on and on pretty soon, you are way out of alignment and not centered at all.  It was a good reminder that having a routine that helps me be centered everyday is a great practice.

  2. If you are going through something challenging, it is helpful to have a team of people around you who have been there and who understands where you are now.

  3. Embrace healthy conflict as Jeff calls it.  To me this means being willing to discuss the undiscussable, and to have the courage to bring up things EARLY, before they become a crisis and while they are still small enough to deal with.  On an earlier episode, Josh Freidman used the analogy of dealing with things while the train is still in the station – not once it’s worked up a full head of steam.  

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