*I wrote this post 6 months into my YearWithoutAlcohol journey. Once I hit the year point, I decided to keep going day by day (sometimes, minute by minute!) As of today, I haven’t had alcohol for nearly 16 months. Was drinking a “problem” for me? I’ve come to look at it this way: there are things I believe I’m here on Earth to learn and teach and it was laid on my heart that alcohol was interfering with the clarity I needed to achieve to effectively do so. Does this mean I’m against alcohol? Read on:
If you’re a reader who wants to get to the meat of the matter without wading through the added words it may require for me to dissect my abstract observations and mystical mind wanderings in order to arrive at my conclusion, I’m going to answer that question. After all, I have spent the last six months pondering the subject and I’m interested for the answer as well. The answer is no.
“I have come to the conclusion that drunk does not equal wasted.” -LA Holmberg
So there you have it! It would appear that this life coach and fitness trainer just gave the thumbs up on drinking. If that’s what you needed to hear today, may your continued journey be prosperous and bright as you go on your way. And for those of you who sense there’s more you need to know? You’re right, so we’ll continue.
You do understand that when it comes to choosing to accept or refuse what the universe is offering up to you for your personal consumption, there is no wrong? Yes, you heard me right. This is your journey. You can’t get it wrong. If a message is intended for you, you will arrive at it when you are meant to. A message will reveal itself to you as many times and in as many forms as is required for you to receive it.
You may wonder why I decided to stop drinking alcohol. Don’t think that very same question hasn’t entered my mind several times as well… Six months into what I’m referring to as my Year Without Alcohol Journey, I feel somewhat like what I imagine a pair of sneakers feels like in the clothes dryer. It sounds like they’re going through hell in there and you regret that you had to put them through what probably felt like an eternity to them, but you forge ahead with the process, understanding that this was a necessity to get to the positive end result. And perhaps you also are quicker than me in acknowledging that sneakers don’t actually “feel” anything, since they are inanimate objects. That “things can’t really feel” fact always hangs me up! Anywho… So I feel a bit battered and banged around, with a bit of light fraying around my edges, but clean, which is a good feeling. Not that I was actually dirty before, (well, in what sense? 😉 ) but I was weighted with the burden of knowing a mission had long been laid on my heart and I was choosing to tune out the call. But as I pointed out above, the universe will get its message to you. You can turn a deaf ear and a blind eye, but at some point, you will understand the magnitude of what is attempting to be revealed to you and you will make a choice. And that choice will involve deciding to step forward and be led by faith, or to stay put in your warm cloak of familiarity. The caveat is that the warm cloak which once felt comfortingly familiar, will become a blanket of suffocation to your soul, pushing you to spring out from its confines and emerge in your quaking nakedness. What you must understand is that you won’t be naked for long. You will always be given what you need for your mission. You actually are already equipped with everything you need, but you can only find that out on your own, so let’s leave that thought for now.
So to get back to the original question, does drunk = wasted? Anybody who knows me (welllllllll, how well do any of us actually know one another when you get right down to it?) would not be surprised that my answer is no. In regard to your training program and physical fitness, can you drink alcohol and still be fit? Can you even drink to the point of drunkenness (which for some of us means nearly immediately after those first few sips, so for me, drinking and drunk are interchangeable, which leaves an excruciatingly small space for any leeway) frequently and infrequently and consider yourself in good shape? Technically, externally, yes. You can probably think of several people who model this. I was once one of them. If you have the discipline and drive, you can still get drunk on Friday night and soldier through your workout on Saturday morning. You can also eat sugar, smoke, and drink soda if you choose to do so and manage to stay “fit”. The question of how much and for how long is individual (as with everything!) to each person. In case nobody else has ever pointed this out to you, you have free will. You can do whatever you want! But wait… with the gift of free will comes the responsibility of accepting accountability for your actions. And while you may be able to maintain at least a semblance of fitness while engaging in known unhealthy behaviors, it’s always a gamble. You won’t know at which point one or all of them might catch up to you. But then again, they might not! That’s why it’s a gamble, which is why when it comes to what’s best for you, your body and your life, nobody else is qualified to know YOUR answers regardless of how educated, intelligent and/or worldly they are. They can inform you scientifically through knowledge of the body as a whole. They can also inform you statistically through research and collected data on the masses. But they can’t see your future and they’ll never have access to the direct line of communication that runs between you and your body. Only YOU have that. And while I can enthusiastically assure you that I have already experienced numerous health and fitness benefits due to abstaining from alcohol that have far exceeded my expectations, I have no desire to sway you one way or the other. About anything. That’s for you and only you to arrive at in your own way and time. For that reason I’m not one of those coaches who will clean your cupboards, toss out your coca-cola and nutty bars and “punish” you with extra minutes on the treadmill. I don’t believe in asking anybody to give up anything. While I can give educated fitness guidance and scientifically backed healthful suggestions, you and your body are in charge of you and your body. You know more than you think you do, but until you trust in what your body is trying to communicate to you, you will continue to believe that the source of your answers comes from something/someone outside of yourself, and that is where you begin to be led astray. Drunk does not = wasted. We become wasted when fear of our capacity for greatness causes us to hide behind anything which dulls and deadens our magnificence. And what could possibly be more wasteful than that?