In 2020 I decided that I wasn’t going to drink alcohol…except for my June retreat in Positano (hey…it’s all about balance;). There were a few reasons for this, and they weren’t because I think alcohol is evil or bad.
1) I’m in a mindfulness meditation teacher training with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, and they had encouraged us to take the 5 lay precepts for the duration of the training:
:: no lying
:: no stealing
:: no sexual misconduct
:: no killing
:: no intoxicants
In general I’m pretty solid on everything but the last one 😝
I opted out of that for the first year. In Buddhism the precepts aren’t “commandments” per se – you can choose which ones you can commit to or not since it’s better to be realistic and stick to something if you can really make a commitment.
But this year I decided to go for it. I’d cut out alcohol in the past when I was pregnant and during my doctoral program, when I knew I had to get high quality sleep and be able to get up at 5am to accomplish everything I needed to do.
2020 is a year where I have some amazing things planned, and once again I find myself asking, “Why do anything that doesn’t serve my highest good?” So I took Jack and Tara up on their invitation.
2) Ever since I turned 40, sleep sucks when I have a drink, even just 1-2. Sleep is key. In my medical practice, I see so many people who are chronically sleep-deprived. It’s at the root of so many psychological and physical problems. This mama doesn’t have time to not get enough sleep.
3) There’s a difference between freedom TO and freedom FROM. We often focus on the freedom TO part: location independence, freedom to buy what we want, being our own boss…basically, freedom to control our time, money and energy.
But there is an equally valid part of freedom and that’s when we free ourselves from things that no longer serve us. Bad habits. Toxic relationships. Basically, those things that no longer serve us.
I decided that I had gotten into a habit with having a drink every night. It wasn’t serving a purpose except that I got used to it and found myself having a drink with dinner even if I actually didn’t want one. I didn’t want to model that kind of mindless consumption for my daughter either.
When I used to smoke, I remember my meditation teacher once telling me that after she quit smoking it felt soooooo good not needing something anymore – to have so much brain space to think about other things than the next cigarette. Once she said that I was like, right!? I quit within a week.
I’m not writing this to tell you to stop drinking, smoking, overeating, over-Netflixing or watching porn.
Nothing is inherently negative or bad in a moral sense.
I’m writing this to simply say it’s time to make sure your habits serve you and help you evolve instead of holding you back.
What are you ready to let go of?
Now’s the time.
Worried you can’t do it? If you want to cut back on something, come join Freedom School this month because we’re learning why we buffer with things that don’t serve us – and why it’s not our fault.
You’ll learn skills you can apply to stop overdrinking, overeating and over-anything.
There’s a free Drink Less Feel Free class in Freedom School too – and Stop Overeating is being released this week!
Let’s make March one of #truefreedom where we don’t just have freedom TO do the things we love, but freedom FROM that which no longer serves us – which is waaaay better, right?
You can do it YOUR way. Without judgment from anyone in the tribe.
It’s a no-brainer. Freedom School has the best tribe of supportive women that help you through it all and it’s a super-sweet deal. Come join us already!
To Your Freedom!