Well, it’s that time again. The nights are getting shorter, the leaves are changing and there is crispness to the air. It’s also the time of year when everyone gets back into a routine and with all the crazy full moons, eclipses and retrogrades it also seems to be a time of reflection. It’s also a time to rein it all in and get healthy again. It’s time for Sober October (see previous blog)! Well, this year I decided to step it up and make Sober October actually Sober October, November and December, and here’s why . . .
A few nights ago I was bundled up on the beach with my girlfriend and a great bottle of Prosecco. We were watching the full moon/lunar eclipse (this was an epic evening) and as I sipped away I announced that this was the last vino for a long time. My girlfriend looked at me like I had five heads.
“Why the hell would you stop drinking wine?”
As I savoured the light fruity flavour of the Prosecco, which complemented our fruit and cheese plate perfectly, I pondered the question, would I ever completely stop drinking wine? This is a question that I cannot answer, because honestly, I don’t know. But what I do know is that booze hasn’t been working for me for a while.
A few months ago I decided to give my body and brain a break from one of my favourite indulgences. I wanted to see how clear and clean I could get my body. It has been an interesting process that is still ongoing. It started in the spring with health issues involving my thyroid, which evolved into deciding to give up gluten. Then I went on a retreat and had a violent purging reaction to alcohol. So I decided to give up wine and see just how clear I could get. Over the summer I started to feel really good: clear, light, focused, calm and creative. But I also seriously considered my intense relationship with wine over the years. My conclusion is that wine is my best girlfriend. My favourite wine, “Kim Crawford,” has gotten me through good times and bad. Kim always comes to the party and guarantees a good time. But occasionally, after a night out with Kim, I end up feeling foggy, emotional, exhausted and basically like hammered shit. As much as I liked to have a good time, I realize I liked feeling good every morning even more.
This summer I substantially cut the alcohol out of my lifestyle, while keeping said lifestyle intact. I went to social gatherings and pretended to drink. I did this as an experiment, studying people’s reactions and avoiding the “Why are you not drinking?” conversation. I’ve noticed that people get very uncomfortable when someone is not cocktailing, it’s kinda like a buzz kill. They want you to be on the same level with them. So I drank virgin margaritas, cranberry soda and sparkling apple cider and let people assume that I was cocktailing. What was totally ironic was that I had more fun and was way more hilarious sober. How is that even possible since I am already a freakin’ funny person? But it’s true; I danced, dressed up and laughed my ass off. I did all the things I normally would do and no one was the wiser. Plus I could drive home and I felt great the next day.
However, there has been downside to getting really clear! What? How can there be a downside? The downside is that I am more aware and highly sensitive, probably because I am not numbed out by alcohol or foggy from gluten. There was a point last month when I came to the conclusion that most people are assholes and then when they drink, they are super assholes!Why? Because of the shit that comes out of people’s mouths! Let’s throw in their lack of responsibility for what they say and the repercussions of their actions too. It has blown my mind how people comment, criticize and gossip. It is truly shocking, as if everyone has a mild case of Tourette’s and they just spew crap without thinking about how it might affect the person in front of them. There seems to be no filter at all anymore. Whatever happened to, ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?’ Add a few cocktails into the equation and I have ended up having conversations with people who constantly repeat themselves, are irrational, augmentative and reactionary. But of course, I am the one who is being overly sensitive! Really? Ironic, because I am also the one who is clear and sober.
I decided to rack it up to a rough week with lots of dickheads. However, the downside is also an extremely amazing upside. Being off gluten and alcohol has also given me more patience when dealing with people (thank god, because I obviously needed it). My intuition is off the charts, I feel incredibly connected to nature and animals and I am more present with people. There are also a few other benefits like:
- Losing weight and no food cravings.
- Better sleep.
- Higher sex drive (Yup, loving that one).
- Consistent energy, I no longer have the 3:00 p.m. coffee crash.
- Being more in tune with my body (for example, if I have a headache I know if not from what I ate or drank, it is another factor, like body fatigue or stress).
- Improved meditation and yoga practice.
- Saving tons of cash! Gotta love that one! What I am saving on wine is going towards my new surfboard.
- Feeling more chill and relaxed and even keel when dealing with stressful situations.
- My PMS and period are better – that one requires its own dance party!
- Being stoked! Just being happy to wake up every day!
Over the past month, I can count on one hand how many glasses of wine I have had. I can also say I have loved, enjoyed and savoured every single one! I have also really enjoyed feeling amazing! So I am going to roll into Sober October clear! What a concept. Then I am just going to keep going. I am a living experiment. I want to see how clear is clear. How clear can my mind and body be by the end of 2015? I will let you know. To answer the question, will I ever stop drinking wine? Well, I guess that will remain unanswered for now. I might know by 2016. I have learned to never say never, but if I could bottle my new best friend, it would be called “Feelin’ Clear!”
Why are we a society that refuses to be clear? Even with all the yogis practicing and the awareness of our infected and corrupt food chain, why do we still ingest substances, whether its gluten, alcohol, pot, pills or sugar (almost everyone has a vice), that contributes to being foggy and numb? Is it because when we are clean and not “numbed out” that we actually have to deal with our emotions? We have to feel anxiety, anger, sadness or fear, and then we might have work our way through it. But the upside is this: when we are clear we have the strength and patience to work through it. The end result is that there are way, way more benefits to being clean, clear and healthy than there are to a great night out with your best bottle of wine! We have 30-day challenges for everything right now: 30 days to personal revolution, 30-day yoga challenges and 30-day water challenges. Why not challenge yourself to be clear. Give Sober October a try and see how clear you can get. I guarantee that the benefits are amazing, plus you might even laugh your ass off!