Sober Freedom to Choose Independence Over Limiting Labels, Language, and Beliefs through Pink Cloud Membership.
This is some of what I posted in the Pink Cloud Membership forum. I’ve added content for this blog article.
We have a book to study each month. I ask that you read the book and digest it into chunks. I promise to summarize my experience of the content every Friday and invite our members to join in the conversation and share their questions and thoughts.
The books I choose will never be about alcohol, disease, addiction, or recovery. Focusing on the problem is not my secret to sober freedom success. Many of the books we will read are the books I read from the onset of my journey to reconnect to SELF.
My philosophy is to practice replacing the old undesired patterns and thoughts with intentionality. What do you want? Practice. Who do you want to be? Practice. How do you want to live your life? Practice.
Changing this kind of a habit doesn’t have to be all at once. That’s why most people fail and “relapse.”
Carly drinks and has a bad night. She publicly swears off alcohol expecting this to be an added layer of accountability. As time passes, the event seems less critical and she wonders if maybe she judged too quickly. But when she drinks again and wakes up with all the traditional messaging, that she’s downloaded, it feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy, and so begins the cycle of shame, guilt, and helplessness.
My position is you can’t fail if your focus is to learn and grow. You do this by exploring outside of alcohol, identifying future-oriented desires, and practicing small new activities that build on an expression of your life that excites you. The more you expand into your defined intentional self, the less you feel a need to drink. The more you are willing to consider that it’s not the alcohol driving your decision to drink the closer you are to sober freedom.
This is why I promote books that encourage personal development instead of reinforcing the traditional thought and belief system. The traditional path can help some, but for many, it opens a hole that they fall deeper and deeper into. My husband struggled on the traditional path for almost twenty years before finding sober freedom.
We only know what we know and we don’t know what we don’t know until we learn by reading, listening, and experiencing.
So, the following is part of my experience from the last chapters of You Can Heal Your Life, that I shared in our membership forum with additional comments.
OCTOBER BOOK STUDY CONCLUSION
You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay
Following is the final summary of experience for our October book study, You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay.
How did you experience the book? Did you stop and savor each week tracking with the schedule or press on and gulped it down in a setting or two?
I have never scheduled my reading before, but I don’t think I’ll ever do it differently moving forward. It made me pause and take in what I read and how it resonates with who I was, am, and becoming.
Reading has always been a bit challenging for me. I can hardly remember what I read just a paragraph before. I used to feel like it was a disability and embarrassed how much slower it takes me to read a book when others can read two or three during the same amount of time.
But just as with childhood trauma, domestic violence, alcohol misuse, I found MY way to expand and experience life’s challenges as opportunities.
I have no limitations if my desire is strong enough. That’s the secret to it all. What do you want more than shutting off, numbing out, dumbing down from the day?
There are a few highlights I want to share from this portion of the book.
The List I mentioned in an earlier post is the only thing I have consciously referred to over the years. Why I’ve used it in the past is the same reason I’m sharing it with you now for you to bring it in and mull it over.
About The List…” I’ve learned that there are really just two mental patterns that contribute to dis-ease; fear and anger… Anger can show up as impatience, irritation, frustration, criticism, resentment, jealousy, or bitterness. Fear could be tension, anxiety, nervousness, worry, doubt, insecurity, feeling not good enough, or unworthiness.” Pg. 144
I invite you to be curious and open to if there are feelings or emotions not being expressed. Do any of the feelings mentioned resonate?
THE LIST of Problem, Probable Cause, and New Thought Patterns.
I chose a few to share based on what might be expected in relation to having a drinking habit.
Probable Cause: Running from the self. Fear. Not knowing how to love the self.
New Thought Pattern: I now discover how wonderful I am. I choose to love and enjoy myself.
Probable Cause: What’s the use? Feeling of futility, guilt, inadequacy. Self-rejection.
New Thought Pattern: I live in the now. Each moment is new. I choose to see my self-worth. I love and approve of myself.
Probable Cause: Not trusting the flow and the process of life.
New Thought Pattern: I love and approve of myself, and I trust the process of life. I am safe.
Probable Cause: Anger you feel you do not have a right to have. Hopelessness.
New Thought Pattern: I now go beyond other people’s fears and limitations. I create my life.
Do any of these resonate? Please don’t dismiss immediately. Just sit with the information.
I AM NOT AN ALCOHOLIC
For the record, even though I drank to get drunk nightly, lost nearly every material possession, and had no sense of connection to myself, others, and God, I don’t consider myself an alcoholic. I stopped referring to myself as an alcoholic when I left AA over eighteen years ago. I also reject the incurable disease theory entirely for myself. I believe I never struggled because I got on with my life without labels, language, and limiting beliefs.
I don’t believe in absolutes. That’s why the diagnosis of alcoholic and prognosis of an incurable disease will never sit well with me. Can you see how that could make people feel like what’s the use? And there IS the neuroscience that debunks the disease theory. If you would like more information on that, just let me know.
FUTURE WHY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE PAST
As I’ve said before, I don’t know how much of this book landed in my subconscious. Was it reading these words that gave me the courage and conviction to hop on my pink cloud and leave traditional thinking and beliefs? Did this book plant the seeds of curiosity and questions over the years that made it impossible to ignore speaking up?
Does it matter? Sometimes, instead of looking for why in the past, we are better to understand our why to move forward.
I know my why is to share what I have learned through my experience and focused learning. My why is to provide every woman who faces the question is alcohol the problem or is it me that she has other possibilities to explore. It’s my why to ease her suffering and release her struggle. It is my why to help her experience sober freedom from the limiting labels, language, and beliefs that can feel restrictive and force an unwelcomed identity on her. It is my why to do what I can to help her feel good and hopeful, daydream about what brings her joy and excitement, and experience the exhilaration of becoming a woman she adores and celebrates.
What is your why to move you forward?
Don’t worry if you can’t name it, yet. That’s not uncommon and can be resolved with curiosity, playfulness, and exploration.
That’s it for now.
Our next book is Mindset by Carol Dweck. Next week we will read chapters one and two, and I’ll post my experience of those chapters in the Pink Cloud Membership forum. Please check out our founding member special for a limited time by clicking here!
Much love, Teresa