It only takes one action to create a ripple effect. That ripple creates another one until we are swimming in a sea of positive change and transformation. When I stopped drinking on January 1st of this year, I was definitely not aware of how sobriety would slowly change my life for the better. I definitely believed in the beginning that life would be eternally boring and that I needed my beloved red wine to grow and transform into the woman I so badly wanted to be.
Throughout most of my adult life, I mostly knew myself under the influence of alcohol as I would enjoy all of the highs and lows in my life by drinking. It soon became very normal to me to assume “this is the way it was–“that growing into an adult was embracing the fact that life is hard and drinking provides an immediate remedy to anything life throws in our direction. Deep down inside, I knew better. I knew drinking actually wasn’t a remedy and it definitely wasn’t good for me. Even though I knew this very well, I continued on, telling myself the same story over and over, stubbornly doing the same thing and expecting different results, or a ripple effect.
When we decide to make one positive change in our lives, it creates the ripple to bring about more change and the cycle continues. When we do the same things that aren’t good for us over and over, we create more of the same experiences sans change. This keeps us stuck in destructive patterns that feel impossible to escape. The process of transformative change doesn’t have to begin with a big change, it just has to be one small step in the direction of the life of your dreams.
My lifelong dream is to work for myself; to design and create a life that I love with the people I love. I knew drinking alcohol was keeping me stuck in old patterns so the ripple effect wasn’t going to happen unless I decided to take the first step. To best describe the ripple effect in action, I will describe my experience and how it has changed my life in the last 4 1/2 months:
When I became a non-drinker, I started to experience better sleep. Not only did I feel more rested, I also became a better person because I was happier overall. Adequate, high quality sleep affects us mentally, emotionally, and physically. So naturally having more sleep gave me more energy to do things I wanted to do. I started working regularly with a personal trainer twice a week and incorporating my own regular cardio , strength, yoga, and meditation practices in my life. Since drinking was also no longer an option, my new options centered around my well-being. I wouldn’t always have the energy to workout after a long day at the office, so I took a close look at what I was eating. I soon discovered that I was eating more refined carbohydrates and sugars throughout the day which I found was the cause of my depleted energy levels. This was ok for me for the first few months of sobriety since I was already cutting out alcohol and I still needed to treat myself with chocolate, Starbucks lattes, kombucha and other treats to keep me from drinking again. I knew soon though, that I would have to change my eating habits for the better. This realization helped me change my eating habits and tune into what my body actually needed. I began working with a nutritionist and I discovered my body thrives on high quality, lean animal proteins, fats, and non-starchy veggies and greens without folate. Vegan diets were not right for my body. Also cutting out refined carbohydrates and sugar was revolutionary for me. My energy levels skyrocketed and I soon had much more energy, even after a long day at work. Knowledge about my health and energy levels became power for me and I felt inspired to share my healing journey and help other people along the way. So I enrolled in Marie Forleo’s Online B School for women entrepreneurs, and will be working with a business coach to help me start my own health coach business part time. I also recently enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to get my health coach certification.
These “ripple effects” have all occurred within the last 4 1/2 months and all began with my choice to stop drinking alcohol. It wasn’t always easy for me but it was SO worth it. It is definitely the best decision I have ever made in my life next to marrying my husband. I am looking forward to see what other ripples come as a result of the small, positive changes and adjustments I make in my daily life. Why not try it for yourself today? Make one small change in your life in the direction of your dreams. You may be surprised what other positive things come your way as a result 🙂
My mom and I on Mother’s Day