I was at a friend’s super fun annual Christmas party. Everyone was laughing, smiling, and having a great time. Drinks and conversation were flowing. Toward the end of the night when it was clear the party was nearly over, me and a couple of friends swore we were going to start a bookclub. To make it official, we sealed our promise with a clink.
Oh, those empty drunk promises; the ones you make when you’re feeling a little tipsy and say things like, “let’s go hiking tomorrow!” or “let’s start a book club and trade books!” They’re good intentions, but fruitless. The only thing everyone is going to want to do the next day is get more sleep! I hugged my friends and went home.
Indeed the only thing I wanted the next morning when my 9 month old baby woke up at the crack dawn was sleep! The last thing on my mind was coordinating a Read List and organizing a book club, never mind hiking. Plus, Christmas was right around the corner. All of my friends already dedicated what little time they could spare to weekly spin classes in which we all would carpool 40 minutes into town together. Fruitless.
That’s when it hit me. Not a hangover, just exhaustion. I never sleep well when I drink, so I don’t know why I do it, even if it was just the two glasses. But that familiar feeling came over like an old frenemy I never wanted to see again. So I said what every person says when they feel like shit after a night of drinking, “I’m never going to drink again.” Sound familiar? Well, I said it, and the difference this time is that I have kept that promise ever since.
Everything was going easy and smooth at first. I didn’t have a drink with dinner when we went out. I didn’t have a glass of wine at home on the weekend. I didn’t pour a glass of craft beer from our growler to enjoy with my husband after a hard day in motherhood. Those were all relatively easy things I didn’t do very often anyway. But man oh man when that first social function came up and I knew I was going to be around a bunch of people, it had me thinking. I’m not a total introvert, but I do like to feel people out before I open up. I don’t need or seek the attention of other people, but I’m not turned off by it either. Sometimes I’m the first to strike up conversation, sometimes I’m not.
When we finally walked in the door, there were all these faces I didn’t know. Usually in this type of scenario, like most people, I would just grab a drink which would serve as my wingman. And if I were having a conversation with a group of people, I could just take sips in between when I didn’t have anything to say. You know, to fill in the awkwardness of my non-contribution. And luckily, after about an hour, I would have been given the gift of feeling relaxed and bold enough to strike up conversation with total strangers and make them laugh. And, I was very good at making people laugh. Once the alcohol loosened me up of course. I was convinced I couldn’t be funny otherwise (a lie I no longer subscribe to).
But not this time. No, because this time, I had no crutch. I wasn’t doing that anymore. It no longer served me. I had to endure the growing pains that came with this new lifestyle. Thankfully, this event was a family affair, at a brewery no less, and I had my adorable baby to tend to. My husband made his rounds of introductions, and I greeted everyone I met. After making rounds, I sat with my daughter and just watched the party go on. I studied people and watched them smile and laugh. I started to feel a sprout of jealousy creep in, I wanted to socialize and make friends, but I was distracted by Jade’s fussing. She was hungry, so I grabbed some snacks from the diaper bag and she was happy again. Then, I went back to people watching. That’s when it hit me. As I panned the room, I noticed every single person was standing in small groups, each with a drink in one hand, sometimes both. I played with my daughter and noticed how the energy in the room shifted. I witnessed the habit of people arriving to the party then heading straight to the bar before doing anything else. They’d be a little stiff at first, not saying much, and then, they would transform. The once moderately audible music was now drowned by an uproar of voices.
First, everything was calm, then after a while, it wasn’t. I could clearly see how the alcohol had easily made its way into the room by penetrating people’s bodies too. Normally shy people became social butterflies and false confidence floated around doubtlessly. Cheeks were flushed and eyes became heavy.
After a few more gatherings like this one, I concluded that alcohol served as an escape for most people. Sure, beer and wine lovers proclaim they love to sample unique creations; that they simply appreciate the craft, and it’s a hobby. And I know that is true. I also used to treat alcohol like it was an adventure. But, I also know that many people appreciate alcohol for its ability to lubricate otherwise stiff social interactions. To put it simply, people are afraid to be themselves. They like who alcohol helps them to be. Except this is a facade. It’s a lie. If you think it helps you be you, then I got some unsettling news for you.
I know lots of people will agree that they don’t need it. But, if I were to ask those same people to give up alcohol for a year, they’d reply that sobriety isn’t necessary to prove that they in fact don’t need it. In other words, they don’t need the action to prove that they’re words have meaning. Isn’t that ironic?
It’s been five years since I’ve sworn off alcohol, and I’ve learned so much about how it influences other people, but more importantly, who I am without it. So, I’ll share the profound lessons I’ve learned since giving up alcohol and how my life has transformed.
I have more confidence. In the early weeks of my abstinence I felt like an outcast. People would ask me why I wasn’t drinking and when I responded simply that I quit, there was an obvious level of discomfort on their end. They were sorry they asked. My not drinking at a party made some people uncomfortable. They felt like I was judging them, or that I didn’t want to bond with them. Some made jokes, and others tried to pressure me into having a drink with them. Not I, nor you, needs alcohol to bond with another person. Alcohol isn’t a requirement for friendship, and if somebody is challenging your sobriety, be bold enough to walk away.
No more hangovers. Imagine if you could never have another hangover ever again. My mornings are mine again. I no longer need to spend a day recuperating from a few hours of partying. My days are busy enough as it is. Children have zero chill, nor will they go easy on you because you don’t feel good. Also, I sleep better, I have more energy, my body is healthier, I don’t get that gross bloating feeling, I save money, and my skin is sexier than ever.
My circle of friends has tightened up. I bet if you invited friends over to have a few drinks you’d get way more responses than if you invited them over for tea. What does that say about your friendships? People that used to hit me up to party don’t anymore. I’m sure in their mind I’m the No-Fun-Mom who doesn’t drink, is asleep by 10, and doesn’t always want to be the designated driver. And they’re nearly spot on. Just because I’m abstinent doesn’t mean I am the on-call chauffeur. I’d still love to hang out and dance and have fun, and sometimes I don’t mind driving, but I will not let that be the reason I’m invited. And don’t get me wrong, if my loved ones needed a safe ride home I would without a doubt pick them up, but I’ve been through it enough times to figure out who really wants me there and who is looking for a free ride. I spent a lot of lonely nights crying about this, but let me make this clear right here and now: Giving up alcohol is one thousand times better than fair-weather friends. Oh, and but the way, I am fun. Just ask my kids.
I don’t care about it anymore. It feels like a brand new world on this side of the fence, friends! I don’t even think twice about it. I have successfully made it past the awkward stage. I can show up and be social all on my own without liquid courage. Turns out, that confidence I thought only alcohol could extract was in there all along. Now, it doesn’t feel like a mask, but rather a part of me that has been set free. Not like before when my confidence needed special permission from a glass of wine to come out and play. My true self is on full display and it feels so damn good!
I have more time to do what I love. Now that I don’t have alcohol as a stress-reliever, I get to utilize healthier outlets. I go for a walk, practice yoga, lift weights, meditate, write, paint, organize, tidy up, chat with a friend, go for a scenic drive with the volume up, go shopping, paint my nails, craft, take on a home project, bake, and so many other things that I enjoy. All of these alternatives add value to my life and are a hundred times better for me than drinking.
So now I’m curious about YOU! Could you go 365 days without a drink? Even when life gets hard, or there’s a celebration, or someone just poured you a shot when you didn’t ask? It’s easy to find a reason to have a drink, but could you find a better reason not to? The most common response I get when I ask someone if they could make it a year without a drop is “that’s too long.” Look, you said it, not me. You just openly admitted that alcohol has that strong of a hold on you. I’m not judging you, I’m just wondering if you can see the value in giving it up for a little while. If maybe there are some dependency issues your ego won’t let you face. How do you manage awkward social gatherings? What’s your go-to coping tool for difficult moments? Just some questions to really be honest about. And if you don’t mind, I’d love to hear from you.
If I were to ask you to consider energy exchange in your relationships, what do you think of? Most people probably think of relationships with friends, family, or neighbors. Some might not yet be aware of the energy exchange concept and exactly what it is. So, let’s go ahead and address that first.
An energy exchange is best described as a transaction. What you give and what you’re left with, sometimes the transaction is more of a trade, so you get something else in return. In an energy exchange relationship, the transaction is ongoing. And ideally, it’s a continuous balance of give and take. Though, as you can imagine, sometimes that balance can be off. It’s important to remember that it’s okay for things to be thrown off balance from time to time, but we want to aim for that sweet spot in the middle as often as possible.
Let’s dive deeper, shall we? When people think of energy exchange relationships, they most likely think of relationships between loved ones and other people. However, they don’t just occur between people. They can also exist in different areas of our lives, such as nature, things, and of course with ourselves, but the one I want to tell you about today is your relationship with food.
I want you to take a moment and think about your current relationship with food. Note things that stand out immediately. Then, take a moment to describe your ideal relationship with food, and for you that may already be what’s going on, and for others it may look different. Is the balance off? Is where you are now far from where you want to be? What types of food do you truly enjoy, and what foods make you feel supported? The energy exchange between you and food goes a couple of ways. First, actual energy from calories and the quality of those calories determines the quality of your energy. Next, the true cost of the food you eat is beyond what you pay; it’s either promoting wellness or pushing the pendulum in the opposite direction toward illness.
To be clear, you do not need to earn food or reward yourself with food. You cannot be “bad” if you eat certain foods and eating salads out of duty do not deem you “good.” There is food that is best had in moderation and there is food that is needed often.
Hello! Welcome to a very special post on how to manifest your dreams and align them with the moon’s energy. It can be a little confusing first learning the terminology, but with a little help, you’ll get the hang of it in no time! So, let’s start with why someone may want to manifest with the moon. It could be a number of reasons. Maybe you’re curious what it’s all about, maybe what you’ve already tried isn’t working, or maybe you have an eclectic spirit and are looking to expand on that. Whatever your reason may be, I hope this guide will help you on your journey. Time to dive in!
As with all things, your intention behind goal-setting matters. The ideas are limitless! But it’s important to want to manifest for the right reasons. Take a few moments to think about what you would like to call in to your life. I like to get a very clear picture in my mind by taking 5 minutes to meditate and clear out my mental static. Sometimes the goal is super clear, other times I need to fine tune the request.
Once you have your request crystal clear in your mind, it’s time to align!
The ideal time to call in your request is during the New Moon. This is because a new cycle is about to begin. Think of it as a fresh start. Fresh energy and new beginnings! A match made in heaven! I encourage you to make a ceremony out of it. New beginnings are a big deal, so it’s a wonderful idea to celebrate such an exciting time. Some like to participate in New Moon circles to share and support one another and gather with like-minded community. It truly sparks the feeling that something wonderful is about to happen.
After the New Moon comes the next phase, Waxing. I like to remember what this phase means by thinking of Mr. Miyagi’s “wax on, wax off” phrase. Wax on means building up. So, the Waxing Phase is building to full or the Full Moon. The Waxing phase is important because this is when your manifestation will start to take shape. It will begin to grow as the moon grows. This process takes time so be patient and trust that everything is working out best case scenario.
Then, it’s the Full Moon! A monumental moment for the moon and your progress. There will be lots of energy floating around. Try to tune in and see what it is exactly that you’re feeling. The Full Moon is an exciting, but also important time. Reflection during this phase is crucial in determining where you are in your manifestation or goal as the Full Moon is the halfway point. What did the Waxing Phase reveal? Were things going smoothly or were there challenges? What is your internal energy like? Keeping a journal is a great idea for this time. Full Moon ceremonies are also quite lovely. The most important part of this phase is decision-making. Depending on where you are in the process, you may wish to continue on with your goal. If that’s the case, say thank you and use the energy of the Full Moon to sustain you throughout your journey. If you are struggling and noticing signs that things may not be working out, then it’s time to release. Some like to write down on paper what they would like to release and then burn it in a well-controlled manner, like a bowl. Have water close by to extinguish persistent flames.
It’s important to note that you can practice the release portion even if things are working out. You may simply notice something weighing you down that you no longer wish to carry. This will allow you to go further with your goal without all the extra dead energy weight.
The next phase is the Waning Phase. I remember this by thinking of waning away or withering away. During this time, drastic change may take place. Your decision may be confirmed with unexpected blessings or lessons. Energy will begin to wane as well and you may find yourself losing steam as you near the finish line of meeting your goal. Persist through and manage energy levels by taking breaks as needed.
Finally, the New Moon appears once again and the cycle starts over. As you can see, this is why it’s important to embrace the pause and get very clear about what your intentions and goals are. If you have a long term goal, you simply chip away at it little by little utilizing the moon to aid you in your effort. Short-term goals allow you flexibility in calling in many requests one at a time. The entire moon cycle takes about 28 days or 4 weeks, so plan accordingly.
I hope this guide serves you well and gives you better understanding on how to Manifest with the Moon! You’ll be a goal-setting pro in no time! Let me know what you thought about this post or about the process in general. I’d love to get your feedback and hear what goals you have.
Social media has twisted the expectation of the modern mother. Pinterest has some of the most creative and wonderful ideas I’ve ever seen, but if you get lost in the scroll, you can fool yourself into believing that your kids need an ultra crafty DIY mom when in reality all they need is you. Just as you are. Messy bun and spit up t shirts and everything. And Instagram influencers? Well, they showcase curated snapshots of their lives with perfectly constructed color schemes, discount codes, and shopping sprees. I’m sure they’re great people, but for me, I find it harder to connect to them because their lives seem so different than mine. And, it used to serve as a reminder that I wasn’t striving for enough, but really I already was. Never before has it been so easy to judge and compare each other on raising children, and never before have those comparisons made us feel so inadequate and lost.
What I know for sure is that you can only ever do your best. Children are the ultimate mirrors in life, so if anything, that’s how you edit yourself. But, I’ll disclaim that even though that may be true, it’ll only take you only so far. Why? Because kids are wild things. No matter how many times you coach them into doing something, they’re going to do what they want. We guide and love them, but sometimes they’re stubborn.
Jade is the most friendly person I’ve ever met, ever. She will say hi to anyone and everyone. Some folks think its totally adorable. But every now and then, there’s one person who casually tells me that’s a trait I need to be mindful about; they say it’s dangerous. Sure, I can see what they mean by that. But it’s also the thing I love most about her. And with my guidance and love, she will know the difference. That’s me doing my best by choosing my battles. If there is one takeaway from this post, please let it be that.
Choose your battles.
That goes for anything in life, not just motherhood. Not every thing is worth fighting about. The sooner you implement that belief system, I promise you it’s going to get at least 10% better every time. Before you know it, you’ll feel so much more at ease.