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  • Teresa Rodden
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    You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay
    My summary from Chapters 9-12

    Right out of the gate, Chapter Nine, If children gave up when they fell, they would never learn to walk, reminded me about how we have to practice doing and being different. It doesn’t mean we fail. It means we need to practice more.
    That’s how I feel about being sober. Sober is NOT about abstinence. Most people measure sober success by whether they drink or not. This is so short-sighted and why so many people struggle.
    If you are truly sober, have a clear mind, an open heart, living with intention, alcohol becomes a nonissue.

    The problem is when you realize you want to change your drinking habit; you start tuning into common messages such as;
    Alcohol is bad.
    Alcohol is the problem.
    When alcohol becomes a problem, it will always be a problem,
    Abstinence is the solution.

    We are told that if we can’t control our drinking, then we are out of control. I believe if we can’t control our drinking, it’s because we aren’t focusing on the right thing. We are thinking about drinking or not drinking, and I’ve written a lot about how the feedback loop in our brain gets activated, and without intercepting that train of thought, simply put, we talk ourselves into drinking. It wasn’t an automatic compulsion; it was a persistent thought that we kept thinking about until we exhausted our willpower and gave in.
    Sounds simple, I know. Simple doesn’t always mean easy. But you CAN change your thoughts and change your life with time, intention, and practice.
    This book reminded me of practices I started back then and helped me understand why I possibly never struggled with alcohol ever again when I stopped drinking in 2003.
    Early in my sobriety, at the close of every journal entry, I would thank God for the ability to breathe, see, touch, walk, love, and have rational and independent thought. I’m not 100% certain this practice came from this book, as I had been abstinent for two months before meeting my sponsor who gifted me, You Can Heal Your Life.
    As I mentioned before in an earlier post, I can see how this book may be responsible for giving me the courage to break with traditional programming and beliefs. Regardless, how resistant I was with much of the content because it rubbed against my then limited understanding of my Christian belief system.

    The ONE THING that did carry me through and has for all these years, especially through heartbreak, and devastation, is knowing I’m not done and there’s still a lot of life to live, and it’s my choice how I live it. I can’t blame anyone when I’m ready to transition from this life to whatever lies ahead for not experiencing a life I wanted to. I have choices, and so do you.
    If you drank when you said you weren’t going to, do not beat the crap out of yourself. Do not think you are damaged or broken. Instead, get curious and explore what led to that choice? Nothing better to do? Feeling blue? Feeling trapped? Feeling frustrated?
    Keep getting up and move forward.
    This is where having intentional thoughts, a list of possibilities, and a compelling vision of why making a different choice serves a greater reward.

    I know it can be overwhelming, and without a constant reminder to think differently and do better, it’s too easy to give in to the urge that keeps ringing the drinking bell.
    I know many of you. I know you can go days, weeks, months without drinking when you are “motivated.” The problem with motivation is it typically isn’t sustainable and always ends.
    What I’m talking about is being inspired to do life differently, to learn to think differently about your habit(s), your life, your partner, your work, your spirituality, YOU!
    This cannot happen in one fell swoop. Mainly because when we feel we need to make this change, we have no idea what we DO want.
    A good question to ask: What do you want that alcohol is getting in the way of?
    Better question: Who would you be if you didn’t drink or rarely drank?
    If you can answer these questions with clarity and conviction, you’re well on your way, but most of us can only say, I don’t want to drink anymore because I feel like crap, it’s not good for me, I can’t lose weight. These are the most common reasons I hear.
    That’s why we only focus on what we don’t want; we don’t want to give up alcohol altogether, we don’t want alcohol to be so prevalent in our lives.
    It takes time, intention, and practice. Along with exploration, experimentation, reflection, and refinement, and stacking one new conscious choice for lasting change on top of another.
    I have so much more that I want to say about all of this, but for now, I’m just going to share what this reading has inspired within me.

    I am offering live support through what I’m calling Momentum Monday’s just for Members.
    The goal is to stream live on our member page every Monday, to help you set your intention for the week and identify little practices that will help you build momentum for the week.
    I am working with my website administrator to get this done as early as this coming Monday, October 25, at 9 am, pacific time.
    If you can’t make it to the live event, it will be recorded. You will be able to leave questions, post your intention, or any other comment in the forum directly associated with the live or recorded message.
    Remember, Sober Freedom Sisterhood is new. I am constantly looking at ways to build more value and be of the greatest service to you. Your ideas, suggestions, and feedback are encouraged and welcomed.
    Keep reading. Keep filling your mind, heart, and body with stuff that supports who you are becoming.
    You are not the same you as you were yesterday, and you can choose who you will be in the future.

    The final chapters are light, and many of the pages consist of “The List.” I’ll write a final summary of my experience of the chapters as I have previously. I do hope that you are reading with an open heart. Consider her words mindfully. I had no idea the seeds that were planted long ago that contributed to my sober success.

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Teresa Rodden.
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