The 5 No's of Being 90 Days Sober


I wasn't planning on it, but today marks 90 days sober for me. I originally gave up booze for lent this year and I didn't really tell anyone about it because I wasn't sure if I'd go through with the whole 40 days. I'm not religious, I just thought it seemed like a good period of time for a challenge. I'm also not a huge drinker but I started to notice how lousy it was making me feel.

As I've progressed on my yoga journey, I've become a lot more in tune with my body. I'm more aware of what and how I eat, how I move, how I sleep, and how I feel at any given point in time. Aches and pains or stomach aches and headaches are no longer a mystery, I can almost always pinpoint exactly what caused me to not feel well. As a consequence of becoming more aware of the effects things were having on my body, it became easier to avoid things that were triggering negative effects. My perception has shifted and I'm leaning further away from instant gratification and more toward long-term wellbeing.

Everyone loves a numbered list, so here are the 5 No's of Being Sober

1.  No hangovers. Not a smidgen of a headache or upset gut. Everyday is another fresh, clean morning.

2. No wasted time. Because I'm not hungover, I'm not wasting any time on the weekends curled up in bed praying for the pounding head to pass. I can get up and go and get everything done.

3. No wasted money. I'm not spending money on a purposeless and frivolous expense. The pub bill never gets so high.

4. No shame. I never feel bad about stupid things I did or said. No domestic disputes or embarrassing texts.

5. No one cares. No one cares that I don't drink alcohol. The people who love me, still love me. No one gives me a hard time (although please stop asking if I'm pregnant).

I'm not making any plans on whether or not I'll ever drink again. I just feel good now.

The Key

I'm the kind of person that always has a great new idea, or a lofty new goal. I know exactly what I need to do to achieve it, have all right right knowledge and resources, and the very best of intentions! But quite often, it's all for naught and ideas are left abandoned and goals unfulfilled. 

If I am so enthusiastic and passionate about these goals and know exactly how to achieve them, where am I going wrong!?

I am inconsistent.

Consistency is truly the key to any kind of success.

Any big goal in your life, whether it be saving up for a luxury vacation, or getting fit and strong, can be achieved by taking small but consistent steps towards that goal. You don't have to practice yoga for 2 hours every day, but by taking maybe just 10-15 minutes, consistently, you are going to notice changes.

"We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day." 
Richard G. Scott

So, you don't have to do it all at once and whatever your goal is, it doesn't need to all or nothing. Simply, make a commitment to yourself to be consistent. Just keep at it. Consistency may not be very glamorous, but it will get you there!

For the Love of Yoga

I've faithfully spent my summer weekends teaching yoga. What a change has happened!

In all honesty, at the beginning of this class session I was fearful before every class. I doubted myself, my words, my abilities, my lesson plans. I was scared no one would show up and even more scared that someone would show up! What if I missed something? What if they didn't like my class? What if I fell over while demonstrating?!

I was just filled with fear. But I knew that if I didn't jump into teaching right away that the fear would consume me and all I needed to do was actually face it. Each week I arrived at the studio I felt more and more confident, and more excited. I left each class feeling enthusiastic and so grateful that my students had shown up and worked hard with me. After each class I feel ecstatic and full of joy and I can't wait to teach again. 

When I began my teacher training I couldn't tell whether I wanted to teach or not. I wasn't sure if I'd be any good. Wasn't sure I had anything to offer. As my experience slowly grows, I feel like I am blooming as a teacher. I'm excited to see my students each week and am looking for more opportunities to spread my joy and teach more yoga.

My future plans for teaching include Yoga Nidra and Prenatal Yoga. Yoga Nidra is very interesting. It's a passive meditation practice allowing for deep rest and visualization. I'm excited to learn more about it so I can share it with my students. Prenatal training doesn't start until spring 2016 but it will be a great asset for the mama's to be in our community. 

So keep your eyes on the horizon and keep moving forward!

Book Club

Have you ever read a book you really enjoyed that was thought provoking and amazing and you wanted to tell everyone about it but didn't really have anyone that you thought would get it?  I've felt that way about books almost my whole life. For a while, my 75 year old aunt and I were reading the same series of books and we chatted about them regularly - but then we both finished all the books. I experienced withdrawals. I had finished a bunch of books I was crazy about, had no ideas for what to read next and I knew my aunt and I wouldn't be on the same page about anything else.

During my yoga teacher training we were talking about books all the time. The books we had to read for our course, other books we had read that were similar, books we were reading on the side, books we remembered that had inspired us. Anytime anyone mentioned something they had read, my eyes got wider and I needed to know the title and author and a brief synopsis so I could determine if this was a book I needed to get. Many of them were and I've got my hands on a few of the most highly recommended ones that were mentioned.

Many of my fellow yoginis are as interested in books as I am and we share a common ground. We love yoga and we trained together.

We have formed the Blacksmith Book Club!

Our first book is Shiva Rea's "Tending the Heart Fire: Living in the Pulse of Life." It's easily available from the big book sellers.

I'll be updating with reviews of our meetings and the books we read.

Any suggestions for what we should read next?

Happy page turning!