Reiki Cumbria

It has been three whole years since a drop of alcohol (or poison as I like to call it now. Lol. Oh yes, I am converted indeed) has entered my body!

This is a sentence I thought I would never type. Yet single handedly one of my greatest decisions ever made.

My journey as a yoga teacher really triggered many questions in my head about how I was treating my body. My vision was clear. The yogic mindset really resonated with me and for me to teach congruently I really had to make a few shifts in my conscious behavior. In essence walk my talk. My diet is reasonably good, I am a vegetarian that eats little to no dairy and am so mindful of what I put into my body yet was happy to put poison in my body every Saturday? Made zero sense. I am by no means tarring everyone with the same brush, these are simply my sets of beliefs that resonate with my map of the world.

My work at The Sanctuary has evolved over the past years. Addiction is something that has been addressed on many occasions. Addiction to alcohol, recreational/prescription drugs, gambling, pornography, shopping to name just a few. Not all addiction is so obvious. So many have functional addictions that they secretly hide from the world. I hope this blog will empower many of you to break the cycles of habitual sabotage and live your best life! One tiny step at a time will lead to big changes!

I’ve taken so much strength from so many of you that have walked your path out of addiction with courage, stepping into your truth and in turn living your best life. You have all inspired me and still do to this very day! I am humbled to share your space!

It took just one simple sentence from a dear friend.

I decided to do sober October and my friend David said “no way, you will never quit”. That’s all he said. I thought Oh my days he is right. What started off as a ego/pride thing soon turned into something magical.

All was slowly being revealed to me from the universe.

We were well known for our parties and gatherings, all fuelled by alcohol, games and food, my husband and I had certainly partied like it 1999 for way, way too long.

Since the death of a dear friend we celebrated life and love to the max, but not necessarily in a healthy way. We used our dear friends death as an excuse to self-sabotage our bodies and to justify the habit of cracking open that celebratory bottle/s of whatever poison was our choice.

We watched our friend die of cancer, his body suffered the greatest of pain and yet here we were drinking a liquid that is scientifically proven to increase our chances of all sorts of disease. It’s only now on reflection I see the absolute irony in our choices!

Did we have fun? What I can remember yes!

Was it worth it? Yes because without that life choice I would not know the bliss of this life choice! And in the words of Joseph Campbell I have found my bliss! Through a series of tiny decisions and commitment it is here. In a simple, mindful way of life.

Let me get the negatives out of the way before I start to tell you how utterly amazing I feel living a life with minimal toxins in my body.

None! That’s what I want to type but that would not be my truth!

  • I have zero tolerance when around anyone even the slightest bit tipsy. As soon as I see that glazed look I am out! Something in me cuts off and I have absolutely zero interest in the conversation. Harsh! But my truth.
  • I crave authenticity now more than ever. Alcohol changes how a person “is” and as a sensitive soul I feel this somatically more than think it. This is a feeling that is so huge my rational brain cannot keep up.
  • You know when someone has broken wind and you want to get away because the smell offends your nose. Well drunkenness on any level offends my aura! (TMI but I needed a powerful metaphor)
  • I can tolerate my nearest and dearest, It’s the strangest thing. Like my irritability is selective. I am working on this btw, it’s a me thing not a them thing!
  • I am judgmental at times and I HATE this. When I see people guzzle into their bottle of plonk or knock back the spirit of choice, I think two things. One, oh I miss that feeling of fuzziness and two if you knew what that liquid was really doing to your beautiful body long term you would be horrified.
  • I miss being part of the ritual of sharing alcohol. I miss that feeling of sitting down and sharing a bottle of red wine with my tribe. I loved the taste, smell and feeling.
  • I have the energy and enthusiasm of a class full of reception children. I actually find myself annoying at times. I AM BOUNCING with ideas and have a zest for life that is off the scale. I am still adjusting to this. I have to really wind it down most of the time and try to behave normal! Tis a task. Alcohol used to somehow tame my energy and dull me down. That ship has sailed!
  • I am way too opinionated on the subject of alcohol consumption. When it comes to any form of suffering or dis-ease of the mind or body. I see that people still choose to engorge themselves with poison and I think why can you not see this is making things a whole lot worse, Its crystal clear to me.  I see it more on media. The weekend jovial, high energy posts then the Monday dower post, memes and quotes about woe is me and how the world is so tough. It is in plain sight. Depression and anxiety are both dramatically enhanced by the after effects of alcohol yet it is very rarely talked about generally. The antidote being just take a tablet rather than alter your choices, behaviour and general actions. This may sound harsh to some. This is not my intention. If you think the answers to your problems will be rectified in the bottom of a bottle or glass i am simply saying this is not the case. The feelings raised when taking away alcohol is the issue, when there is no where to hide and feelings are raw! If you can learn to manage your mind, body and emotional wellbeing the way you would care for your new born baby, with ultimate love and compassion, seeking help and support where you can, then surely you can see the wisdom in this. It’s not easy but it is life changing! Rant over!
  • My taste buds have changed. I crave sweet things, which is new to me. Never a fan tbh, now I love all the naughty vegan snacks I can find. I often fancy “something” to eat but never know what, I think this is my brain trying to fill the void that my trustee G&T filled.
  • It can be a very alone place to be being so “awake” to the world. With alcohol consumption every evening/every weekend becoming the norm by the month, it can be difficult sometimes to find other humans on the same page. But then I realise that my lifestyle is extreme and I can adjust my vibe accordingly, winding my opinionated little neck in! I still buy my husband his favourite poison, as being poison free is my choice not his and I want him to be comfortable. His alcohol consumption has dramatically decreased. He drinks a couple of times a month and really enjoys it. I try to stay quiet! Lol!

The positives.

  • I am sooooooo well. My body, skin, hair, mind just feels light and bright. I have not lost weight but I have changed shape. My waist is tiny and my tummy fairly flat with not much effort. My body changed so slowly that I didn’t really notice for many months. Lost that wine bloat, that I didn’t know I had.
  • Sleep. I sleep so much better than I have in years.
  • Menopause. The aches, pains and hot flashes are dramatically diminished to a level that’s virtually not even a thing now.
  • My mind is so clear all of the time (most of the time, that was more wishful thinking), like I see, feel, smell, taste and hear things on a extra sensitive level. It’s hard to explain. To be without the fog of alcohol or a hangover literally feels like a veil is lifted
  • I get so much done every day. Because I am more focused and have all this energy I achieve so much in a day and more importantly I have the energy to do whatever needs done with lightening precision.
  •  I feel all the feels. There’s been some pretty tough times over this past three years. Really tough in fact. To be in these raw emotions with such awareness and high intensity is cathartic and has abled me to process all the situations in a healthy way, painfully so or otherwise I feel like I have dealt with life much wiser and much kinder way. There is no way I could have delt with the last two years in such a balanced way had I still been drinking! NO WAY!
  • Intimacy and connection with my husband is off the scale. We are in the honeymoon period again for sure. Physically our connection is conscious and very beautiful and very real.
  • The gym and yoga. I have more strength and stamina than ever before; my injuries are very rare and if so the recovery short.
  • No more beer fear! EVER again!!!!! If you are unsure what I am referring to than its the moment you open your eyes after a night out and think “OMG what did i do/say!? What have I organised or agreed to, and now in my sober mind does not want to attend!? NO more checking your phone to see what utter rubbish you have either posted on media or text ! Or even worse trying to work out what you said and the reason your other half is not speaking to you! No more of these shenanigans! Horrrrahyyyyyyy!
  • My tribe has changed. Some are new and others I don’t see so much these days, and that is ok. We no longer meet in bars. My gatherings are in cafés and restaurants or outdoors and the quality of conversation is very deep and very real, raw at times. I feel genuine connection and love in the safe space that we hold. For this I am eternally grateful. Far outweighs alcohol fuelled conversations of the past. Makes me cringe on reflection tbh!
  • I am settled in my ways and routine, genuinely settled. Life is certainly not perfect but life is good. The levels of consciousness that I live at now are almost meditative at times. To be “in” life fully awake is like the universe showing me a natural high in the collective connection of it all. I have experienced death, pain, stress, worry, laughter and love all at this level. No fine wine or organic spirit could or will ever replace the joy life has shown me on this journey. Please don’t read this and think it has been a breeze! But it has been worth it.

By the time I actually decided to stop alcohol intake I was down to one bottle of wine a week. I would drink this on a Saturday followed but double the amount of water, it was becoming such a effort. I looked forward to the wine but as soon as I was finish I needed it out of my body and was so tired the next day as I would be on the toilet all night. Sounds bonkers writing this!

Breaking the pattern of having a casual drink was much, much harder than I anticipated. What did really help my mindset was the books I read at the time.

Once the penny dropped and the full horror what alcohol does to us ALL hit home, how the government fund so, so many alcohol related issues yet profit out of selling the product in the first place (really) and how glamourised it is to be a drinker dawned on me I WAS DONE!

This is my list of favorite books from three years ago.

The naked mind by Annie Grace

The sober diaries by Claire Poorly

Atomic habit by James Clear

Solve to happy by Mo Gawdat

The unexpected Joy of being Sober by Catherine Grey

Kick the drink easily by Jason Vale

I need to add. As this is a major player in my journey. I had been stopped drinking 14 months when my Mum passed away. My Father found her cold lifeless body outside. She had went to out to put the bins outside in the main bin. She tripped and hit her head on the coldest day of the year. She died of hypothermia.

As I sat in their living room surrounded by the police and whoever else was swarming the premises all I could focus on was two things, My Mums distinct tiny frame covered by a blanket and the bag of rubbish next to her. A bottle of Gordons gin and schweppes tonic lay within the rubbish. In that moment I knew I would never ever drink again!

Written with love, light and truth


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