I am going on my 5th month of not drinking and I am noticing all of the small changes in my body and in my life that occur when abstaining from alcohol. I have more motivation if not exactly more energy, (I am 50 after all and perimenopausal). My mind is more focused and clear. I have a great deal less anxiety. My skin looks great! (that could be attributed to the gallon + of water I drink daily) I sleep through the night. I remember my dreams. Any most importantly I am listening to my heart. Which means, I'm doing more things that are more important to me and fewer things that are important to society. And while I still have some fear around following my heart all the time, I have taken some risks and gone out on a limb (liking quitting my full time job) and those actions are reaping their own rewards. I heard a quote today from an artist that spoke to this: "You can't follow your heart until you know your heart". So, I am both reacquainting myself with my heart and following my heart.
I didn't decide to stop drinking for a year because I had a problem with alcohol. I don't. I stopped drinking because I noticed the small yet pervasive ways alcohol was negatively impacting my life. Mostly, I wasn't feeling good. One glass of wine would leave me with a crushing migraine. I wasn't sleeping well and I didn't seem to have the time nor the motivation to do the important things in life, like make art and write and play outside. That's why I chose and am choosing, daily, to spend the year sober. And it's why I'm calling this a journey of mindful sobriety.
Mindful because I've embarked on this road with curiosity and purpose. I want to be awake and present for all of life's gifts and blessings, and enough curiosity to see what those might be. I'm walking this road with the understanding that nothing substantial or of significance will change or that everything will change. And I'm remaining open to all possibilities.
It's a beautiful thing to walk with mindful purpose. For in doing so I am releasing my need for specific outcomes. I am releasing blame and accepting responsibility. I am becoming more generous as I gain wisdom that comes from suffering, sitting through difficulty, and being fully present for joy. And I am more fully open to the mysteries and beauty of life.
So, really, this one small thing - this one small action - really is changing everything; quietly, subtly, and is helping me live the life of my dreams.