To imbibe The Drinks, or Not To imbibe The Drinks…
Is THAT really the question?!
Whether to drink or not was a question that mercilessly screwed with me.
I always seemed to have an incessant dialogue going around whether I was drinking too much, or too frequently.
Sometimes it asked a more poignant question…
What was I trying to escaping from?
Other times, an outright chilling question emerged…
Was I drinking to be More Myself? My fun, outgoing, creative self… The guy my family and career seemed to leave behind in college?
Where do The Drinks end,
and where do we begin?
Four and a half years ago, I consciously flipped the switch on my drinking career. For good. All of my choices in my partying life had prepared me to decide once and for all.
I was a kid who snuck beers in the creek behind my parent’s house at 14. I was touring in bands, performing in clubs and drinking whenever I wanted at 19.
6 nights a week, in 35 states.
At 35 I was running a $7MM sales territory, with unlimited expense accounts and clients to entertain. Our third kid was on the way, yet I was home less and less.
And then there were other Dads and neighbors who always wanted to drink.
Fellow musicians wanting to “jammmm bro” which usually meant weed and beers. The stressful holidays inviting me to drink more, if only to be more at ease in my skin.
For decades we insist we won’t become the person we fear.
But day to day, situations present themselves which link together into a moving sidewalk. Our habits start choosing for us, trigger-happy from stressors, with a blank check for expenses and endless open bars.
In April 2012, I was at a threshold. My meditation practice wouldn’t let me bullshit myself anymore. SO I HUNG UP THE DRINKS.
All of a sudden, that narrative in my head was silenced. I didn’t need to count my drinks, or how many days I could make it before wanting a drink. In fact, I had no interest in counting anyone’s drinks.
The constant self-judgment was over. Compassion emerged. I only judged my friends as AWESOME if they wanted a drink.
But did that higher understanding work in the other direction?
Oddly, I often found my not-partaking made other people uncomfortable.
It seemed to make some people feel better about themselves if they assumed I was a raging alcoholic.
But I wasn’t.
My wife never gave me an ultimatum to quit. I never got a DUI, or a Party Plate. In fact, my rock bottom was nowhere in sight. Meditation just kept gently nudging me to sneak off the elevator before it plummeted to the ground floor.
And with the resolve to move beyond, more interesting questions emerged.
For the first year, I felt a need to justify to everyone else WHY I wasn’t partaking…
My vibe was something like “…don’t worry! it’s not YOU! It’s ME!” Like I was broken for making more conscious, healthier choices.
What I’ve found since then, is that wrestling over whether to drink or not is really teeny tiny mice nuts.
(I once had this boss —a raging alcoholic God bless his soul— who minimized all marginal activities as “mice nuts”.)
Never moving the conversation beyond
whether to drink or not misses
the FAR GREATER OPPORTUNITY
to embrace THE NEW SOBRIETY.
It’s no mystery that Sobriety needs better marketing. At best, the perception of sobriety is “…the lame alternative to drinking”.
But what if, like The Grinch, I had discovered that “Maybe Sobriety, perhaps… means a little bit more?”
Sandra Dodd, a writer and philosopher provides one of my favorite definitions of sobriety:
“Do not all you are able, eat not all you wish, spend not all you have, and tell not all you know.”
My friend and best-selling author Susan Piver helped me define my own Sobriety: “pared down. sharp-eyed. Awake.”
And as I move further beyond The Drinks, practicing kriya yoga meditation, raising my family, venturing out on my own as an entrepreneur…
A New Sobriety is emerging.
I’m currently defining Sobriety as “Complete alignment with the miracle of your circumstances.”
It’s a higher consciousness of the present moment. One where we don’t have any interest in escaping. We’d rather hang back and savor it. Hang with it. Become a clear vessel for something greater to express through us.
It’s in this space where we experience freedom. Authentic laughter. And wow you guys, profound JOY!
And you can grab your lamp-shade party hat too, cuz this is DEFINITELY where we party!
Every Summer, I get to rock numerous Unicorn costumes as the Chief Spirit Officer for Camp – Good Life Project.
I used to think I was just just trying to show our guests a good time. There’s no booze at Camp, and I wanted them to be creative with how they party-sans-drinks.
My children have taught me how to party way harder than I ever did in my youth.
I honestly don’t know if I could have this much fun if I was still hustling for more drinks.
A couple months back, one of my readers and good friends Kate O’Brien had an idea…
To take everything I’ve learned from running my 30-day meditation challenges and apply it to The Drinks.
By the way, Kate celebrated her own first 3 months of The New Sobriety last week, and her energy, her skin, and relationships with her family is radiant. (Love you Katertots!)
So, we built what we would’ve LOVED…
We started designing an incredibly fun, and POWERFUL program around a new 30-day challenge.
Starting next week, we’re going to ramp up to a 30-day challenge of No Drinking. Along the way, I’m going to interview my favorite teachers and experts along my own path toward The New Sobriety.
- Susan Piver will discuss Sobriety in Relationships.
- Artist and Author Cynthia Morris will dig deep on Sobriety in our Work.
- My dear friend and teacher Dr. Alice Bandy will help us look under our emotional, and spiritual hood in defining The Sober Individual.
- And I’ll help you walk your own path toward The New Sobriety.
- I’ll also discuss The Art of Partying, and Sobriety in our IMPACT.
5 Powerhouse Weeks of Modules.
We’ll also be hosting deeper conversations in a private Facebook community, and supporting one another like crazy as we conquer the 30-Day Challenge.
Every Friday we’ll facilitate group video-calls to Optimize our Vibe for the weekend.
By the way at the conclusion of the challenge, I’m not pushing for anyone to become some Teetotaling Sober Grandmother.
You’ll be asked to commit
to 1 of 3 paths forward:
- More conscious consumption
- Continuing on with your own 90-day challenge of no drinks
- The New Sobriety
I live in Akron Ohio. We Akronites have given many badass things to the world. Devo. The Black Keys. Car tires. Blimps. Lebron James…
Not everyone knows that Akron is also the founding site of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I’ve got nothing but love and respect for my AA brothers and sisters.
But my team and I also envisioned a new alternative.
I pictured a lighter, middle-ground between unconscious drinking, and rock-bottom rehab.
The New Sobriety Program: Zero Judgement. Compassion. Community.
How are we going to explore the possibilities beyond The Drinks? How are we going to align with The Miracle of Our Circumstances?
By partying our asses off. (ie. Kicking lots of love and laughter.) And, #TOGETHER.
Please check out the landing page here, and preview the program calendar.
This is going to be a crazy-inspiring ride.
This isn’t your Father’s 30-Day Challenge. Unless you are 1 of my 3 children. Then I guess it is.
The New Sobriety is about SO MUCH MORE than that groty Margarita you might have at Chi-Chi’s tonight.
Join us. We’ll be limiting our first program series, so please register today.
You’ll also save $100 for jumping in early.
If you have any questions at all, please email email@example.com
You can also join the conversation on my Facebook Live videos. I’ll do my best to respond to everyone!
Four and a half years ago I asked myself a better question. It had nothing to do with how much I drank, but everything to do with leaving behind outdated habits, and moving toward a higher-plane in my life.
It’s the question I’ll leave you with:
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
We believe in an inspired middle road
between unconscious consumption of The Drinks, and rock-bottom rehab.
We make our own choice when to exit our culture’s Crazy Train,
and when to hop our own Party Bus.
We don’t pursue sobriety as some lame alternative to The Drinks,
but rather as its original definition…
The (capital-V) #VIRTUE of Sobriety: being in complete alignment with the miracle of our circumstances.
Why would we want, or need to escape THAT?
Now, let’s party.
With Zero-Judgment. With Compassion. With Community.