How I Changed a Habit Without Even Realizing it   1 comment

decisions_universe‘Tis the Season for Resolutions…

by Kandis Twa

738 days; that is how long it has been since my last drink. I know this number-not because I am a recovering alcoholic-but because my ‘last drink’ was a particularly memorable occasion. It was News Years Eve 2011, I was in Paris and the drink was a glass of champagne offered to me by a stranger on the Champs-Élysées. I feel proud that my drinking days ended on such a high note. As a number of my friends embark on a “Sober January”, I thought I would share with you my story of how one month of sobriety turned into many.

I used to really like drinking, I would even tell you I was pretty good at it, so when I decided to stop, it was an unexpected decision for myself and those that know me. I would probably classify my drinking days as fairly average. Average as measured by a relative scale to those around me and my circumstances. Fittingly, university was certainly a peak consumption period in my life, followed of course, by a serious decline rate upon entering the working wold. So after years of being a fairly typical drinker, why did I suddenly make an unusual decision to stop? Honestly, I just didn’t feel like doing it anymore. That’s it. It wasn’t about my health, or the cost, or because I liked it too much-this was not a fear or shame motivated choice. Not at all, I was just finished.

This realization that I didn’t want to drink anymore felt instantaneous, however changing my behavior was not.  In the six months prior to my last drink I probably had in total half a dozen drinks. This was far fewer than I was having prior to my realization that I just didn’t really like to drink anymore. I knew that I felt worse faster when I drank and I had the awareness that it didn’t make me happy, but I did it anyways. Not drinking actually gets a lot of attention at first (especially if you’re female) and I wasn’t comfortable with that. Also, I really didn’t want to make other people uncomfortable by not fitting in. I think this is a pretty universal experience for anyone that decides to show up in a new way, it takes some courage because you’re likely to get some push back.

Here’s the blessing in it: it got easier. I believe that whenever we make a decision that is in alignment with our highest good the universe helps us along, building momentum and support, and in hindsight I can see how all of this unfolded, perfectly and effortlessly for me. On that NYE in Paris I never had the thought ‘this will be my last drink ever’, I didn’t set out to ‘never drink again’, I just heard that voice inside me that said ‘enough, you don’t really want to do this; put it aside for a bit’. That was 738 days ago. Will I ever drink again? Probably not.

This is certainly a time of year when we all think about what we would like to do differently, about how we would like to have positive change show up in our lives. It is a time for making *resolutions*. If you chose to do this, I suggest that you make a decisions from the highest of who you are, and do it because you want to. When you really want to do something you won’t catch yourself saying things like “I should lose weight/exercise more” or “I shouldn’t smoke/drink anymore”. Should is a code word for shame and a decision motivated by shame is going to be hard to sustain. Listen to that voice inside of you that speaks gently to you and make a decision you feel good about.

That’s the trick. If you feel good about it, consider it done. Like starting a rock rolling down a hill, the positive momentum is inevitable!

click here for more posts about making really good decisions

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One response to “How I Changed a Habit Without Even Realizing it

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  1. Yet another thoughtful, well written and timely article. Many thanks for sharing your thoughts and wisdom.

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