I smoked cigarettes for 15 years. From age 15-30 I smoked socially but eventually did it in secret. I carried a lot go shame around this addiction like I did with food. It was only ever 2-5 cigarettes a day, but it is more about the behavior As a child I also watched my mother smoke and vowed I never would. However, social influence is real, especially when you are young and impressionable, hence why Big Tobacco targets the young. Later after working as a hands on healer, teaching yoga and leading worldwide retreats I wasn’t happy about my decision to continue partaking in a faded habit that wasn’t in alignment with my values around health and mindfulness. Alcohol took a little longer for me to realize it's mindfuck due to my excuses easily that were supported by society's shame game around abstinence. It was time I exert my personal power and end the excuses in order to find new behaviors to support my desire. Some say that to get a handle on addiction one must admit powerlessness. I adamantly disagree. I had to find the part of me that was stronger than the substance that had me in a cycle of craving and aversion for years. I tried everything—pills, patches, hypnosis, cleanses, everything when giving up cigarettes years ago. I have found some addicts blame and lack accountability—My parents and ex husband being perfect examples. That kind of rhetoric exacerbates Victim mentality. Admitting fault is a big part of forgiveness and moving on, but in order to stay clean, I have found my conviction of desire needs to stay in check. I don’t need to test myself sitting around allowing a craving. I am not my thoughts. However, my desire to be alcohol free needed to be stronger than swimming in the grey zone. Power is one of the 12 Principles in our digital course ‘Live Clean, Drink Dirty’ and is one of the 12 Ferm Fatale Living Clean Principles hence why harnessing your inner power is essential to living an empowered life. There are 3 elements to using our Power. The power to decide, power to question, and the power of alignment are how we master our energy to attract what it is we want. In order to really own our power, we need to first know what we want. Then we must decide it shall happen. Once the decision is made, we must act upon our decision. God cannot steer a parked car. ‘Decide’ means ‘to cut away from’. Decision is the hallmark of all successful people. How do you measure success? I did not feel real successful when I felt like I was the cigarettes I was smoking’s lil bitch. I felt like a tool…a puppet…a hamster on a wheel. I felt deep shame. I had to get angry and deny them to embrace me. If we want to exert our personal power we must have the courage and willingness to cut away, unlike that which you are creating for yourself. Just like Michael Angelo talked about when creating the David sculpture. He said all he needed to do is cut away which was not David. We do this when we start stepping into our own power and start saying no to things that open up the door for a big Fuck yes!
I might have had the option for alcohol taken from me in my 20’s when I was ill, the moment in time that inspired the creation of this company back in 2014. The feeling of isolation from society’s norm was enough to realize WE needed more choices. It feels a shit ton more fulfilling now having given up alcohol on my own terms just over 3 months ago. I needed to want to be 'Alcohol Free' more than I wanted to keep using alcohol to celebrate, relax, socialize, and cope with stress, loneliness, grief, and attempting to process difficult emotions while building a company.
Ditching Alcohol and Drinking Dirty instead is having a similar renaissance to that of the the anti-smoking movement had back in the early 2000’s. Recent awakening in collective consciousness has provided space for society to start to see how poisonous ethanol isn’t the only way to have fun while socializing. The beauty of these new options are the insights they've provided in showing us how we have been duped by capital driven motives revealing a whole new world that is available to us if we just utilize our own sense of Power. Here are 3 ways I’ve have used my personal Power (Living Clean Principle #5) and embraced JOMO (the joy of missing out) while socializing sans booze:
- I bring my own drinks to parties and end up being the topic of the event in turn attracting new friends either interested in also becoming AF or are already—-It’s a great way to locate the mindful in the crowd.
- I ask for NA options at restaurants or ask they put my bubbly water with lemon in a wine glass. I find a lot of contentment in having a fancy glass. The importance of what is in the glass does not seem to matter as much. This is why asking your favorite restaurants to bring your favorite RTD mocktail into their bar is vital to us all charging the landscape of socializing.
- I focus on hanging with friends that do not make alcohol the center of socializing and like to do activities that don't revolve around alcohol.
Friends, if you have a good handle around your poison intake, good for you. However, if you are someone like me who is realizing alcohol is no longer helping you with your health and wellbeing goals, ask yourself how strong your desire is to be Alcohol Free is and then take full accountability for the reasons WHY you have been choosing to numb yourself out, escape, or fit in. Transparency and accountability are keys to living an empowered life. If you want change, perceptions need to change. How will you own your choices that support your goals this upcoming season?
Thank you, Julie. You made some very lucid points. I really appreciate your company and your passion for helping others be the very best version of themselves. May you be well, blessed and at peace.