If this were a fairytale, this story of my process of how I “broke-up” with WINE would end with something like:
“As the young Lady Chardonnay realized the error of her ways, changed her heart and decided not to drink wine as much anymore, everyone around her was so glad and happy for her transformation that they all just accepted and embraced her new life”
As I mentioned in the introduction to this series in [Part 1} Wine Not?! Marking those Darn Health Changes that affect our social lives”, I pretty plainly pointed out that a LARGE number of my closest relationships, including my husband and my best friends, were intimately tied to this act of drinking wine together.
Today, I am sharing how this personal change was put into PRACTICE socially.
I would be remiss if I lead you to believe that I had all these 4 phases of my personal change were linear and happened one after another exactly. The fact is, with any major change in your life, you learn the most by doing.
I began practicing the act of avoiding drinking before I had fully awakened my Consciousness of Spirit and Surrend’hered to it.
But it was by PRACTICING (and pretty much messing it up a lot) that I actually learned the MOST Spiritually about this decision.
As I reiterated yesterday, until you understand something down to your SOUL, you will struggle time and time again with making a long lasting change.
But you DON’T have to have it all figured out before you start making the change. In fact, as of right now, I don’t think I’ll EVER have it ALL figured out because I’m still struggling in some areas and with some relationships.
I can accept that and even embrace this fact because I learned very early on, by putting this process into PRACTICE I use each experience as a significant learning tool that has deepened my own Spiritual Conviction and connection to my Core Values.
Nevertheless, I have some wonderful key perspectives that I have learned that have allowed me to maintain these valuable relationships in my life. Naturally, I am unwilling to give up just because I am no longer choosing to drink wine as much. But naturally, something had to change in these dynamics.
I have learned some key perspectives allowing me to embrace this change keep my relationships in tact!
KEY PERSPECTIVE #1:
GO IN WITH A PLAN
I don’t just go into any event where I know there is going to be wine and other temptations to just wing it. Also, I don’t go in telling myself “I’m just not going to eat that or drink that.” No, that I’ve learned doesn’t work at all.
The best thing I have learned to do is to go into the event with a plan of what I AM going to do.
- I take the time to decide what it is I AM going to drink for the night, which is usually a bottle of sparkling water (served in a wine glass!) with fresh lime or lemon.
- I’ll also plan what time I’m going to leave an event so as to avoid being around drunk people (that is not fun when you’re sober).
- I also find it helpful to plan ahead things I have to do the next morning that will all reinforce my commitment to my health and my Core Values that I determined (again, if you’re interested in signing up for my Core Values, 6-Step Exercise, click HERE)
KEY PERSPECTIVE #2:
ALLOW OTHERS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR BODY, THEIR PROCESS AND THEIR FEELINGS.
I will go ahead an admit that this is the hardest thing for me to do and I am relearning this step ALL THE TIME!
I can’t control other people.
I can’t control what they are putting in their body, where they are in their own process of making a health change and certainly how my decisions are making them feel.
This is tough detaching from all of these things, especially with my natural tendency to be a people pleaser and to help people (especially in their health).
I seem to consistently learn this perspective the hard way, especially with my husband! Errr…..
If I try to convince them that what they were doing was “wrong” then I sound judgmental. If I tried to tell them how to not feel that way, it made them feel worse and definitely more defensive!
So, while I don’t take responsibly for their stuff, I can empathize with them.
- I understand how they might feel that I’m judging them because I remember feeling that way before too.
- I understand how they might feel ashamed that they don’t have the “will power” to not drink because I remember when it was that I thought I just needed more will power too.
- I can see why my actions are evoking an emotional response from a friend or my husband because I remember how hard I was on myself and how those feelings came out negatively, too.
We all want our loved ones to be on the same “page” as us so that it makes our decisions easier. But the truth is that they’re just NOT. We can’t control their decisions and the more you remind yourself of this fact and hand the responsibility back to them, the more it frees you from this burden!
KEY PERSPECTIVE #3:
I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY OWN BODY, MY OWN PROCESS AND MY OWN FEELINGS.
The worst trouble I get myself into is when I think I have myself “all figured out” and I have it all “under control” or “I’m cured” of the lies.
I get arrogant or something because the next thing I know, my husband orders an impromptu glass of Chardonnay for himself at lunch on the patio and I am jealous and mad. I say things without thinking them through and definitely come off as though I’m judging or nagging him.
But, after a pause and some reflection, I realize exactly where my reaction is coming from. It is stemming from still believing some of the lies in my soul that say things like, “You can’t have fun without wine” or even some other harsh things about how I’m at fault for damaging my body and this is the punishment I deserve for having been so reckless.
I take a breather and gather myself back into that space of Spiritual Consciousness in into God’s care and I see it all more clearly.
I take responsibility and make the choice to see things in their TRUTH, not see things in their lies. Because the TRUTH is that this health choice is NOT about punishing myself—-it is about rewarding myself! Freeing myself from the burden of lies, freeing my body from pain, freeing my mind from negative thinking and overall empowering myself and my health.
I take responsibility for my own body and my own process including any part where I realized I am backsliding and hovering between some of the phases again.
I take responsibility for my words and apologize to any person that I might have sounded judgmental to and I own exactly what my feelings are.
Just the other day, I had to admit to my husband that my negative reaction recently to his health choices was out of jealousy, insecurity and these lies of self-punishment in my head. I realized those feelings were wrong and my reaction to him was wrong. Verbalizing this is an incredible gift to our loved ones and offers great clarity, but is also a gift to ourselves!
Admitting your fault first is not easy all the time, but it is liberating!
KEY PERSPECTIVE #4:
HELP TO CREATE THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT
When it comes to social behaviors like drinking, people are most concerned with having fun. So I have learned that the most important thing I can do to alleviate any backlash or change in the relationship is to focus my energy on creating a fun environment even when I’m not drinking.
But I will take a moment to choose my mood and choose the positive sides of my choices and go into the event much more upbeat. It makes a significant difference!
If my friends see that I’m having fun, enjoying the night, laughing with them and not making the whole topic of conversation about the fact that “I’m not drinking wine” then it has majorly positive impact on their mood, the the night as a whole. They will be less likely to assume you are judging them or have an issue with their life choices.
One solid tip is to really shy away from talking too much about your “diet” or this health choice.
I made the mistake a time or two to explain to people exactly why I wasn’t choosing to drink and I was met with some blank stares and a clear indicator that they considered me “no fun.” Well they were right, who wants to hear that!
People always want to ask you why you’re not drinking and I find that a simple, nonchalant answer is ALWAYS the best call.
“Oh no thanks, I’m good”
If someone presses me further, I try to always tell the truth to these questions (some people will make up a lie, which I find to usually be unnecessary and kind of weak in owning what you’re doing) but will make the truth as light and breezy as possible. The key to doing this is by SMILING when saying it.
–“Oh, I’m just taking not feeling it tonight. I have something early in the morning.”
If they still continue to probe….
-“Yeah, wine has just been making me feel off lately. So I’m taking a hiatus. But it smells delicious! I hope you’re enjoying it!”
Create the environment one of enjoyment and others will not bother you as much!
PRACTICE DOES MAKE PROGRESS!
I won’t say that practice makes perfect because nothing is perfect. But practice definitely makes tremendous progress! Studies have shown that the more you engage in a new habit of change, the more the habit will run into your natural stream of subconsciousness!
Some studies will say that you need to do something 21-days in a row in order for it to be come a reinforced habit. But when it comes to behavior that you don’t engage in every day necessarily, I would say that a solid 30-60 days is a more realistic expectation.
I realize this may sound like a long time, especially for anyone that is struggling in early stages of this change, but it’s not a white a black issue! It’s not as though it’s hard all 60 days and then by some miracle it’s easy on day 61!
It is a PROCESS and the more you practice, the more it will get progressively easier and easier too. You can build momentum in your progress and it helps to reinforce your choices each time.
It is because of these valuable perspectives that I have been able to enjoy being around wine and feeling empowered by my choice to not drink it.
It is because I was able to dive deeply into not just the health of my body, but to the health of having a strong mindset and a strong connection to my Spiritual Alignment that I was able to get to the place of putting this new health choice into action with very little change to my relationships!
I have become more and more confident that this choice is the right one for me the more I put this choice into practice!
I take ownership of my health, my process, my values and my responsibility to improve myself to live my best life!
As I said the other day, this choice can just be one more way that I can be the change I wish to see in the world and to let my light shine before others.
I encourage you to start the process today for whatever new health choice you need to make to do the same thing!!
God will bless your journey!