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When Drinking Becomes A Problem

"The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware." Henry Miller famously said, painting a rosy picture of alcohol as the ultimate life enhancement.

We live in a culture that romanticizes drinking, making it easy to integrate into our lives and normalizing the occasional "hangover."

Drinking often serves as an outlet for stress, an adjunct to a celebration, or a seemingly innocuous habit, like the "glass of wine" at the end of the day. But when does drinking become a problem?

Recently, I was asked to be a guest speaker for Mind The Sip.

This is an Australian-based app that provides resources for mindful drinking.

Talking to Ange Chappel, the founder of Mind The Sip felt like talking to an old friend.

We covered a lot of ground on the health front of adverse alcohol effects. When the conversation turned to mindset, we brought to life some hard truths that transcend alcohol use and extend to other forms of escape that are not doing us any favors.

They all had one thing in common---the desire to be blissfully unaware. This can take on many forms--the entire pint of ice cream, 12 hours worth of a Netflix binge, endless scrolling on socials.

But what if the key is to be aware?

What if Henry Miller had that part right? His autobiographical novel, Tropic of Cancer, is spectacular in a cringe-worthy way.

“I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company.” He writes.

If alcohol dulls our awareness and stops us from feeling deeply, both the good and the bad, can we live as intensely as we proclaim we want to?

Are we afraid to cross the threshold into knowing ourselves? But it's not until we cross this threshold that we can reach complete contentment. Only when we know ourselves and acknowledge our demons and our shame alongside those traits that we are proud of, can we find peace.

To do that, we must first go to the dark places. No mask, no filter, no distraction. No wine buzz to soften the dark stroll into the shadow work.

Once there, we look to the left; we look to the right. We figure out where we are to see where to go next.

What is distracting you from finding your mindset coordinates?

How would your life be different in 6 months without this distraction?

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