100 days sober

Hi Lovelies,

This time last year I would never have imagined I’d be where I am today in terms of my recent ‘divorce’ from alcohol.  Last Friday I reached the magical 100 day mark and to be honest, I feel pretty bloody amazing!!  I thought quitting alcohol was something only alcoholics did but the more I thought about it, the more my gut told me it was for me as well.  It told me and it told me and it told me….. until on 7th June 2017, I finally listened.  About bloody time!  I could hear it whisper to me.  About bloody time. 

I have been blown away by the amount of gorgeous people who have contacted me to ask about my reasoning; my experiences; for my advice or tips; or to simply let me know they have been inspired and connect with what I have been saying.  So I thought it only right to share the down and dirty stages I went through to get to where I have now landed…a place called planet joy.

Stage 1:  Let’s call this the ‘What the fuck am I doing?’ stage.  Because that’s what it felt like at first.  There was definitely a ‘Let’s do this’ positive vibe thing going on but when I found myself in situations my lifestyle includes a lot of; like dining out with others and (like all of us) dealing with a variety of stresses; I felt like I had isolated myself, which was a little uncomfortable.  After all, we all want to feel like we belong and are connected to others don’t we?  Instead, I felt like I was an outsider and an observer and wondered how on earth I was going to get used to that feeling.  I felt highly strung and couldn’t see how I was going to be able to relax without a drink.  On the other hand, the overriding knowledge I’d made a decision for my health stayed with me, so that helped me to persevere through it.  I also did a LOT of reading of blogs / research / other people’s experiences so I could get a feel for what to expect and educate myself on what was happening inside my body and brain.  That was VERY helpful too.  Education (especially when it comes to health) is everything.

Stage 2:  Let’s call this the ‘Calm takes over’ stage.  One month in and I felt a real stillness take over my soul.  When it happened, I described it as a beautiful, clean, sparkling aquamarine ocean on the inside.  It was something I’d never felt before.  With it came a love for early rising and getting outside to spend an hour just for me before my day started, which meant stepping out in the dark and watching the sun rise.  I held meditative thoughts in my mind whilst doing this.  The strange thing about it was the total lack of fear from stepping out in to the pitch black.  After having experienced several occasions of being followed / chased / grabbed by men (in broad daylight) in my earlier years, I have since felt fear associated with being in the dark on my own but suddenly, that was gone and a complete trust in life, the universe and everything had taken over.  It felt like magic and to this day, it has only improved.  I felt like I was being re-born.

I still felt a little weird and isolated in social situations when others were drinking but it was getting easier than in the beginning.

Stage 3:  Let’s call this the ‘Healed’ stage.  38 Days in and on my way back from a morning walk a wave of emotions came over me.  The thought popped in to my head that I had finally healed from all I have been though (and put myself through) in the past.  I didn’t even know this would be my final stage of the healing process until I felt it with every cell of my body.  I cried happy tears and experienced synchronistic signs and validations as this new feeling took over me in the most true and authentic way.  As I told my hubby Jem how I was feeling, the song ‘Green Light’ by Lorde started playing.  It was incredible and still gives me goosebumps thinking about it.  Now I have another chapter to write for my book!

Social situations were becoming more comfortable now too but I still felt like I was on the outside looking in as far as being around other people drinking.

Stage 4:  I am going to call this the ‘Easy’ stage.  67 days in and I noticed it had become easy and effortless.  The feelings of isolation and of being highly strung in situations I’d usually be drinking in in the past were now gone and had been taken over by pride.  I felt I was becoming the person I always wanted to be.  Calm and in control whilst still feeling relaxed and happy.  Being my true self and supremely comfortable in my skin.  It was worth pushing through.

At that point, I didn’t feel any different to how I used to feel when I was with others having a drink any more.  I realised I’d relaxed into it.  And on top of that, I felt extremely peppy, sharp and loving in the company of others.  It felt GREAT!

Stage 5:  I can’t call this anything other than the ‘Joy’ stage.  100 days…the magic number.  My body has changed, my mind has changed and my soul has changed.  I can honestly say I have NEVER felt better in my entire life.  Negative things don’t affect me like they used to and I feel like I am in true alignment.  I have more energy than I have ever felt.  I have more zest for life and feel so damn happy with myself.  I truly feel I have so much more love to give out to the world.  Fear has gone and trust has taken over.  I’ve reached a place where I honestly feel ‘I don’t want to lose any more weight’ for the first time in about 35 years.  From someone who has ALWAYS wanted to be smaller, this is HUGE.  Pun intended.

Check out the difference in my face after 100 days!  The pic on the left was taken a few days before I made the decision to quit and the pic on the right was taken on day 97.  Amazing right?!  I couldn’t believe it when I saw it.  You see yourself everyday, so you don’t notice the big picture until you do a comparison like this.

 

I feel like I’ve given myself the best gift I could have ever chosen to give myself and can only hope to inspire others to make the choice to do the same.  You’ll know in your heart if it is right for you too.  It’s not for everyone, I get that.  My journey is just that.  My journey.

Hit me up if you’d like to know any more!  I’m here for you.

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx

 

Sixty Seven Days

Hi Lovelies,

The last sixty seven days of my life have been SO profound.  The journey my decision to stay sober has taken me on, has been more than I could ever have imagined.   It has taught me an immense amount about myself, life, the universe and everything.  Proceed with caution though.  You might find yourself inspired to join me if you read on.

There has been a lot of shock and surprise, especially from those closest to me.  Hey – I surprised myself too!   I totally get where that comes from though.  I really do.  Enjoying a drink was always such a big part of my life but when people keep asking me if I am still doing this, it feels like they don’t believe in my word, so I’d like to say to them, ‘Yep! I am really still doing this and it feels bloody awesome’.

I have watched many people suddenly become uncomfortable.  That is not the intention of ANYONE who decides to stop drinking.  The discomfort is purely about their own relationship with alcohol and or their health.  If there is discomfort, perhaps there are some changes that need to be made.  After all, our own peace of mind with all of our decisions in life should always be our goal in my opinion.

Friends have expressed fear of ‘losing’ who I have been to them.  My darlings you have not lost me.  In fact, you are gaining someone better than you ever had.  I promise you that.  I am so much more present now than I ever was and I love you all for who you are.  Please don’t think I am judging you for the choices you make either because I’m not .  My decision is for me and me only.  I want to be the best possible version of myself.  I want to be that for me and I want to be that for you.

I have been surprised by how many people have connected with my journey and have reached out to me personally to share of themselves.  When you reveal your truth and don’t let fear get in the way, you give others permission to speak their truth also.  That is a beautiful thing.   To all those who have reached out and felt comfortable enough to share their own inner most thoughts with me, I thank you.  I am blessed to have you in my life and if my journey can help inspire yours, that is a gift in and of itself.  It is more than I could hope for.

Loved ones have taken a look at and changed their own relationship with alcohol due to the decision that I’ve made for me and I see them feeling better about themselves for doing so.  How cool is that?!   Our thoughts and actions truly do have a ripple effect in this world, no matter what they may be.  I can only ever hope to have a positive impact on the lives of others, so when I am told I have done so, it makes my heart sing.  Thank you for allowing me to help you feel like the best version of your self.

Some have even told me they envy my choice.  To you I say this:  If that is truly how you feel, then you owe it to yourself to try it.  A decision is all it takes and the rest is easier than you think.  Making the choice to put every aspect of your health first can only ever be positive.  Drinking alcohol is something most of us started without even thinking about it.  We did it because we came of age and it’s just what people do.  I know that’s how I came to be a drinker.  I never even thought of not drinking.  I never knew any adults that didn’t.  Now I do and my own envy, respect and curiosity  led me to this place I now find myself in.

Personally, there have been a LOT of internal changes going on.  My thoughts are clearer than they have ever been and my mind is a great deal sharper.  I have always felt like I was an ‘on the ball’ person but now I feel that more than ever.

I am sleeping much more soundly and that can’t be underestimated.  The effect it has on every other aspect of my life is incredible.  It amounts to more energy; better digestion; better mood stabilisation; less reaction and more responding.  I have always been told I appeared to be a very calm person but I didn’t always feel that on the inside.  Now I do.

At 45, I had told my self the extra weight I was carrying around my middle section was just the ‘middle aged spread’ we all hear so much about.  I call bullshit on that now!  I have lost 6.3 kilos since the day I decided to stop drinking and a great deal of that has come from my stomach.  I got my waist back.  Nothing else has changed, in fact I eat whatever I want.  It just goes to show you how many extra empty calories (and the depressed metabolism) I was getting from alcohol consumption.  People have told me I look younger too.

I have an early morning ritual most days.  It consist of gratitudinal thoughts, meditation and physical exercise and sets me up to have the BEST day.  I can’t explain how much this makes me feel like I am being the truest and best version of myself.  It leaves me feeling like the ‘me’ I always wanted to be.

I have noticed I FEEL things a lot more intensely because I am giving myself time and consciousness to feel them.  But then they pass.  In years gone by, I have used alcohol to deal with stress a LOT and numbed myself from feeling what needed to be felt.  But that’s not healthy.  Truly feeling is truly living.  It’s surprising how quickly these feelings then move on.  There’s no need to squash them or smother them into a sense of numbness.  This is huge for me because I’ve spent most of my life using food, drugs or alcohol to escape my truth.   Now I am loving my truth.  Every ugly, beautiful bit of it.

Sure, I have thought many times ‘will I ever drink again’ and I can honestly say I don’t know.  Forever is a very long time but I am taking this day by day and so far it feels like it is a forever thing.  I have moved so far forward that deciding to have a drink feels like a huge step backwards right now and Im not one for heading in that direction any more.  When you feel like you have finally found the person you have been looking for your whole life and you truly feel authentically healed from all you’ve put yourself through, there’s no going backwards.

All in all I feel totally in alignment with life.  Angst and fear seem to have fallen away and my true, positive self feels free to just be.  To live and let live.  I can’t tell you how awesome that is.

If you are curious about any part of my journey, please don’t be afraid to hit me up.  I’d really love that.

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx

 

Observe

Hi Lovelies,

This may sound like a weird thing to say and please excuse my french but I fucking love getting older!  It’s the best thing ever.  The word ‘older’ generally denotes a sense of degeneration but in my opinion, the opposite is the truth.  I feel like getting older is getting better in so many ways and given my current state of mind, I wouldn’t go back to my youth for anything.

Why?  Because the older I get, the more I see life though different eyes.  I now see things through the eyes of an observer and I’m not just talking about observing others.  I am talking about observing myself as well.  And that my Lovelies, is what changes everything.

I used to be so caught up in the spin cycle of life and had no sense of the space that exists around our thoughts or the connectedness we all share.  I found myself reacting to this and that with no discernment of perspective or awareness of my unruly thoughts.  My ego ruled my mind and became the motivation for everything.  I wouldn’t call that living.  It was exisiting.  Nothing more and nothing less.

Now I’m far from perfect.  I still get reactive at times and have to slap my ego around occasionally (especially where social media is concerned) but now, more often than not, I can keep myself in check with my sense of self awareness.  I question my motivation before acting and if I can see my ego rearing it’s ugly head, I put it back in it’s box and stop what I’m doing.

At the end of the day, the only ‘likes’ or validations we really need are our own anyway.  What we think of ourselves is what matters the most.  Everything else is simply ego based and in reality, the ego is like a black hole that can never be filled if you don’t think highly enough of yourself.

When I was really ill with bulimarexia, I was totally ruled by the voice in my head and had absolutely no idea that voice was not ‘me’.  It told me I was never enough of this or too much of that and those thoughts were literally killing me.  Then one day, I was given the book ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ by Louise Hay and upon reading it, I suddenly became aware that I could talk back to my thoughts and that voice talking back was the REAL me.  The other voice was what I referred to as  ‘the monster inside my head’.

It is clear a lot of people suffer from uncontrolled thoughts of a similar nature to what I have described and it comes down to low self esteem.  It is like having your very own bully inside your head and the longer it is allowed to control your mind, the stronger it gets.

So many unfortunately never get to the point where they can put space around their thoughts and understand that is not who they are and my heart breaks for them.  Having an awareness of being aware is the real you.

What it all comes down to is a lack of consciousness.  Instead of being mindful, present and here in the now, thoughts run away in to the past or the future and back again as well as in to negative patterns like comparison and criticism.  But, the more you are aware and ‘with’ yourself, the more you can talk to yourself like you would a best friend.  This enables you to also be present with others and relish in the experiences life has to offer.

As Eckhart Tolle so eloquently puts it in his best selling book ‘A New Earth’…if you are not in a state of acceptance, enthusiasm or enjoyment, you are out of alignment and being out of alignment leads to unhappiness not only for yourself but for others too.  That observation has yielded yet another dimension of an improved reality in my world.

Since I read ‘A New Earth’, which I’ll be honest, I started and restarted several times until I was ready to digest the information it gifted, I’ve noticed a real change in myself. Instead of getting shitty at something happening around me, my awareness has been leading me to the thought of ‘acceptance’….and that in and of itself has taken away any negative emotion tied to the experience I was having.  The rest of the time I seem to be in an organic state of acceptance, enjoyment or enthusiasm anyway, so it’s only negative reactions to external stuff that I’ve needed to adjust.  There is always going to be a lot of that however.  We all have loads of stuff happening around us on a daily basis, so this newness has been quite profound.

In the past, I’ve been so caught up in the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ of this world that even my hubby has called me “the everything police” because I’ve always had something to say about stuff going on around me that I felt was wrong.  There is no peace in that now is there?!  Now that I can (more often than not) bring acceptance to those thoughts, they bounce off me like a springbok bouncing through the fields.  And that is a lovely way to be.

Until next time.

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx

 

Respect

Hi Lovelies,

It’s been a while since I sat down to write.  Life has been hectic to say the least and a lot has gone on that has left me well and truly speechless, hence my absence.

Now that I’ve had time to digest some of it,  I feel the need to comment on how fired up society has been lately.  I don’t think I need to mention what about.

Whatever happened to the old social rule that you ‘don’t speak of politics, religion or money’?  It seems to have all but gone out the window of late, particularly when it comes to keyboard warriors on social media and the like.  It has become a free for all and the results are scary.  More segregation, separation and hate energy is spewing forth in to the world with vitriolic words than ever before and reactive, fearful respondents are taking part in a war of words that seem to go no where but downhill fast.

respect

What happened to respect?  If nothing else, don’t we all understand that we are all different?  Isn’t that what makes the world go around?  If we were all the same, we’d be robots instead of human beings having a human and completely individual experience.

As the amazing Anaïs Nin once said “We don’t see things as they are.  We see things as we are”.  There is no truer saying as far as I’m concerned.

And haven’t we all figured out that there is greater power in love and understanding than there is in fear?  I’d like to think that’s still believed by the majority of humans on earth.

The pendulum will always swing, it’s the law of gravity.  There will always be good and evil; truth and lies; day and night.  We need each of these to know, understand and appreciate the other.  One can simply not exist without it’s opposite.  How can we ever know what is right for us unless we know equally what is wrong?

All clichés aside,  I think we need to bring the focus back to ourselves in times of perceived darkness.  We need to love harder and respect others more wholeheartedly.  We need to understand that everyone has just as much right to believe in and stand for what they choose to, as we ourselves do.  It is not our place to try and sway anyone to our view uninvited.  That is merely going against the grain of love, compassion and respect, which in my opinion are the three cornerstones of peaceful living.

peace

Aren’t peace and respect what we all want?

It is simply impossible for anyone to know absolutely everything about the world, therefore there is no human that can be absolutely correct about all things.  It simply can’t be.  There will always be a story told by somebody, somewhere that will make you question what you thought you knew.

Each of us believes what we believe because of the life we have led.  It’s as simple as that.

Call me idealistic and perhaps a little naive, I don’t mind.  I know my nature is to always look on the brighter side of life and I don’t believe that’s a bad thing, it is simply who I am.  I will always make my decisions based on my inherent nature and I’d like to think there are just as many people, if not more, out there like me than otherwise. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate and respect those that err on the other side either.  I understand that without them, I wouldn’t know which side I belonged to.

So, I am hoping the current reactive state I’m witnessing is simply a pendulum swing and that things will start calming down sooner rather than later.  I am hoping respect for our differences will prevail instead of an incessant need to convince others we are right.  Who’s to say who is right and who is wrong in their opinions anyway?  We can only ever say what is right for us.

Many things in life are simply out of our control but how we choose to respond to those things is not.  All we can do is focus on who WE are as humans.  If more of us did that instead of pointing the finger, this world would undoubtedly be a better place.  That’s the kind of world I want to live in.

Love and Light Always,

Yvette xxx

 

 

 

The Fear Foe

Hi Lovelies,

Something happened to me last month that provided me with a huge opportunity for growth and I wanted to share my observations with you.

Without going in to detail, I found myself in a situation that was totally out of my control and affected my life greatly.   I had 2 choices.  I could choose the victim mentality and wallow in the fear associated with finding myself in a new and unexpected situation or I could trust it was all for the best and believe the universe had my back.

When it happened, I felt like someone pulled the ground out from under me and the fear began suffocating me.  I had to fight like crazy to keep my head above water so to speak.  It’s times like these you realise its all up to you.  How you deal with what life throws at you has a ripple effect which can make or break your future.

It was time to practice what I always preach and be gentle with myself.  I had to think about all of the things that make me feel really good and do them, so that I could stay strong and beat the fear foe.

FearQuote1

Fear is such a huge part of most of our lives.  It’s what stops us from doing things we really want to do.  It stops us from being the best version of ourselves.  It stops us from living the life we imagine.  It drives us to make bad decisions and stops us in our tracks sometimes.

It leads us to attract situations into our lives that we don’t want because the focus is on the negative rather than the positive.

Having worked really hard on beating fear in the past (and succeeding), it was concerning to me to be really feeling it again.  I mean really feeling it.  I wasn’t doing myself or anyone around me any favours but I had to sit with it and feel it before I could fight it.  I had to acknowledge what was going on in order to get past it.

One of the most important parts of my lifestyle is exercise, so I took myself outside as often as I could and moved my body.  I walked and I ran and I walked and I ran and I focussed on replacing the fear thoughts with positive chants.  My mind kept returning to the fear but I just had to keep bringing it back to my chant and with each day, the fear thoughts began to disappear.  I replaced them with thoughts of trust and understanding.  I had to believe there was a bigger picture at play.  If you believe it, it will be true for you.

I also saw the situation as an opportunity to not only be kind to myself but also to be kind to others.  I put myself in the shoes of each person involved and asked myself what I would like from the situation if the shoe was on the other foot and did those things.

I understood that everyone is on this earth doing the same thing.  We are all trying to look after ourselves and sometimes that means things not going your way.  At least that’s what it may appear to look like on the surface.  But then I realised, sometimes not getting what you want is a blessing in disguise. If you have faith and surrender to the situation, it certainly can be.

The best way to move forward from it all is to face your fears head on.  If you have thoughts going over and over in your head, get them out.  Say everything you need to say.  As hard as that can be sometimes, it is the only way to stop them from destroying your sense of being and allowing you to move forward with what ‘is’.

fear quote 2

Difficulties are opportunities.  Without them, we can’t grow.  To get comfortable, you must first be uncomfortable, so embrace challenges.  I do.

Now what happened doesn’t hurt me anymore.  It showed me I have great strength and for that, how could I be anything but grateful?

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx

 

 

 

F*#k ups r us

Hi Lovelies,

*Language warning.

You know what?  A long time ago I used to be so hell bent on trying to be perfect that I couldn’t ever admit it when I’d fucked up and the result was crap.  I was only existing.  You couldn’t call that living.  You see, living means that you’re in the moment and you’re connecting with others and that’s just down right impossible when you’re totally caught up in your own head and feel the need to make excuses for this, that and everything else.  It was a shitty way to exist and I wasn’t fooling anyone.  Especially not myself.

It all started when I was a little girl.  A combination of family dynamics and certain events led to me labelling myself subliminally as ‘the good one’.  I learned that if I did well or behaved perfectly, I got the attention I wanted.  It stuck and kind of became who I was.  I tried to be perfect in every way and that led to all sorts of problems, including an eating disorder that I struggled with for a very long time.

One day, that all changed.  Thank fuck for that!

I can’t remember what I did but I do remember how good it felt to admit that I’d made a mistake and genuinely apologise for it.  It was liberating, healing and nourishing to the soul.  It felt good.  Really good.    In fact, it felt so good that I stopped being the person I was and began the journey towards being the person I am now.  I still make loads of mistakes (don’t we all?) but the difference is, now I’m present enough most of the time to pull myself up and give myself a talking to.  A slap on the hand if you will.  I’m much happier being that person.

Ever since then, I’ve become much more of an observer and it’s really interesting watching someone try and keep up their facade because they just don’t have it in them to say that they messed up or apologise.  I know who’s shoes I’d rather be in.

mistake

But, the thing is, when you can’t admit to fault, it doesn’t leave you.  It sticks around like a bad smell and won’t let you move on, unless you’re a psychopath that has no compassion or concern for others.  I guess there are loads of people out there like that.  But, for those of us with a conscience, there’s no faster way to liberate yourself than to say “Oops!  Sorry.  I fucked up”.

It’s how we learn, so in reality, its AWESOME to fuck up!  Isn’t it?!  Sometimes it takes us a while to finally get the message and sometimes we get it at lightening speed.  Either way, it doesn’t matter.  Our journey is ours and ours alone and our mistakes are all ours as well.  Our mistakes teach us what not to do and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.  In fact, it’s all good!

So take ownership of your fuck ups.  Let that shit be liberating rather than suffocating.  The more you do, the more freedom you have to move forward on to the next thing and the next.  It stops you from staying stuck in a really shitty place that isn’t any fun at all.  Trust me, I know.  I was in that place for a long time and the best thing I ever did was acknowledge it.

I see people stuck there and I just want to say “Come on!  You don’t have to be perfect.  Nobody is, so take note of what you did or said and laugh about it.  Leave that shit in the past.”

fuckup04

So celebrate your fuck ups!  They are awesome.  And so are you.

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx

 

 

 

I Am Worthy

Hi Lovelies,

Even though it happens a lot, I still feel like magic is manifesting around me when it does and it happens almost daily.  It is so bazaar.  What am I talking about?  My verifications.

The other day, I was running around the beautiful Lake Monger, when as per usual, I was lost in my thoughts.  I got to thinking about how it has come to my attention that so many of my own issues in the past and those of others that have been shared with me, always seem to come down to a lack of belief in one’s self worth.

As I was having this thought, a young anorexic girl that I see a lot, rode past me and she became my sign that I was on the right track and needed to write about it.

The girl that I am talking about is someone that I have been seeing at the lake since I started writing my book nearly three years ago.  Just as I was experiencing writers block or fear issues, she would ride past me and remind me of why I was writing it in the first place; to help people exactly like her.

So many times I have wanted to talk to her and tell her how she is loved more than she knows, even by a complete stranger and how she has helped me without even having a clue how.  I wish I knew her name so  I could call it out and get her attention, because she is always riding so fast and gone before I can.  Still, I believe I will get to speak with her one of these days and I look forward to that.  In the mean time, I could not be happier that she is still alive.

The serendipitous appearance of my little friend was so symbolic.  As a former long time sufferer of bulimarexia and subsequent addictive behaviours, I now know it all stemmed from my lack of self worth.  That very deep and subconscious belief has come up repeatedly during my kinesiology sessions and is something I have been working very hard to reverse.

As my awareness of this has come to the fore, I have observed it in many others around me.  I see that self destructive behaviours all stem from this very same thing.  It contributes to all sorts of issues including addiction, toxic relationships, and self sabotage patterns however it’s not something most people are in any way conscious of.

worthy

Since January 1st this year, I have made a very concerted effort to repeat the words ‘I am worthy’ to myself every single day.  ‘I am worthy of a fit, healthy body’.  ‘I am worthy of healthy relationships’.  ‘I am worthy of all of the wonderful things that life has to offer’.  ‘I am worthy of financial freedom’ and the list goes on.  Since I have been doing this, a great many wonderful things have happened.

You have to keep repeating it until you really believe it with every inch of your soul.  A lifetime of subconscious thought patterns can’t be reversed overnight, but with constant effort, they can be changed and the ripple effect in your life will surprise you, like magic.

Each and every one of us is worthy.  We are worthy of being here.  We are worthy of love.  We are worthy of living happy and authentic lives.  We are worthy of truly feeling our worth.

If there is something in your life that you feel is holding you back, try repeating variations of your worthiness to yourself every single day and watch what happens.

You are worth it.

Love & Light Always,

Yvette xxx