I found my own freedom from the “do more, be more” mindset and the alcohol that seems to make the hustle easier, and now I’m here to share words of encouragement with you.
Cozy up with some tea for my reflections on finally, blessedly, living and loving life by simply figuring out the next right thing.
reformed people-pleaser, former gray-area drinker, and Senior Certified This Naked Mind Coach.
Five years ago, I was sleep-walking through my life toggling between auto-pilot and fire-drill modes. Lost in the hustle and noise of my do, serve, perform, achieve and be who others need me to be life. I was drinking wine, nightly, to quiet the noise and the chaos and to take the much-needed edge off. I had a beautiful family and marriage, a good career, community and church and yet I wasn’t able to feel any joy. I felt constrained, irritable, impatient and anxious. Something was missing.
As the noise and chaos intensified and my once only-drink-wine-on-the-weekends habit became a more regular thing, slowly, I began to wake-up. The noise was getting louder and an internal tension was brewing.
Desperate to figure out what was missing and desperate to make some kind of change I took many breaks from drinking. Dry January here, weight-loss cleanse there. I took many breaks but they were never permanent. Even though I loved the benefits of not drinking with more energy, better sleep, improved mood and weight loss this was not true freedom from alcohol for two reasons:
I was miserable when I was drinking wine because deep down I knew it interfering with precious time with my family. Wine was a big distraction at best. And when I took breaks from drinking I was still missing out on precious time with my family because I was thinking about wine.
Wine became a huge, noisy distraction keeping me from what I valued most. Meaningful connections and relationships to my people. My kids, my husband and most importantly God. This reality kept me trapped in shame believing there must be something wrong with me that I couldn’t just fix it. It was painful and I was stuck in the over-drinking cycle.
Eventually, I woke up to my life and prayed for courage to do something about this thing that was majorly getting in the way of everything. I also prayed for a rock bottom thinking that was the only thing missing between me and the relief I was so desperate for. What I got was so much better than a rock bottom. I got a path to true freedom with the next right thing at just the right time.
With the mention from a friend of a book and a warning, be careful if you read it you may never want to drink again he said I found This Naked Mind. Itprovided my path to unstuck. My path to freedom. My path to peaceful, joyful living awake and fully alive.
This Naked Mind taught me about the power of cognitive dissonance. It was the reason for my internal conflict. This conflict arises when consciously we want to change something but because there’s an underlying subconscious belief that there’s some benefit it keeps us unable to make change. I was drinking more than I wanted to be yet because I believed subconsciously that wine was taking the edge off and necessary to my life I kept drinking it. This is why I missed it when I took breaks from it.
Thoughts create beliefs and beliefs lead to outcomes. Beliefs are just the stories we tell ourselves that have power to show up as truth in our lives. By first uncovering our underlying beliefs, our stories, that are keeping us stuck we then can present the subconscious brain with info, facts and logic. This process reveals that our beliefs are just stories and not truths. This is where we are then able to make change and this is where the real transformation begins. And this is also where other programs for change end—with the removal of the ‘thing’ that was keeping us stuck but not true freedom from it.
I was alive. Through, the help of This Naked Mind, and the life-giving story-work that I get to do nowI was able to find the missing piece to the peace and joy I was missing. Living alcohol-free, as a non-drinker, is amazing. But living, blissfully, free from alcohol is nothing I ever imagined was possible.
The secret to lasting change and total freedom from alcohol—or any habit or tendency that is keeping us stuck—ends and begins with the mind. Changing the mind begins with awareness of the thoughts and subconscious beliefs that tell us there’s some benefit to doing the thing we want to do and don’t want to do all at the same time.
Changing the mind involves exploring the heart’s attachment to the thoughts and beliefs. Pulling the evidence that says yes this serves me or no this doesn’t is how we over time make real and lasting change in the body. When we meet the truth—of course this carcinogenic substance, ethanol, that is the same thing that goes in my gas tank of my car—of course it doesn’t provide any benefit in my life! When we meet that truth when the mind, heart and body are no longer in conflict, anything is possible.
As we strategically disrupt old patterns of thinking by tackling them one at a time and replacing them with new ones that are grounded in fact we create new neural pathways in the brain. Those new neural pathways are what lead to effortless change and true freedom from our habit.
Back in 2018 if you had told me that in 2023 I’d be more than 3 years of living blissfully free from alcohol as a non-drinker, where alcohol takes up zero space in my mind, body, bank account and life, I would have laughed in your face. I wouldn’t have believed you in the least.
If you had told me that I wouldn’t think about it, or miss it, or ever question my decision to explore my relationship to alcohol, I wouldn’t have believe you. If you had told me that I would have zero problem being around it and that I’d still be doing all the things I enjoy doing and actually enjoy them more without alcohol, I wouldn’t have believed you.
I am often around girlfriends drinking my old favorite bottles of wine and I don’t have the slightest temptation. In truth I find myself thinking, I’m so grateful that I never have to drink that again. Because now I know what I didn’t previously know about alcohol and the conditioning that led to me once believing, for twenty plus years, that it enhanced my life. That it was necessary to my life.
When you remove the desire to drink you remove the temptation. Without temptation there is no conflict. Without conflict there’s only peace. This is where I finally found my missing peace. My missing joy. This is where new life begins. This is what it means to truly love life, experiencing it free, clear, present, deeply connected to the Lord and loved ones. This is what it means to be fully alive.
As a freedom coach, writer, educator, and speaker, I empower others to find freedom from the alcohol habit that’s keeping them stuck so they can discover who they are, reconnect to their true self, and create a life of their choosing.
certified freedom coach