Monday, February 20, 2017

I have not come this far to only come this far.

Mantras are a great way to improve our mind and open our hearts. During the first 2 months quitting drinking, I incorporated matras into my daily practice, but lately I haven't been. They were part of my healing process and way to rewire my brain toward healthier thoughts. In the earliest days, I used mantras to fight cravings. It's been over 4 months since I quit drinking. Yay me. I am past craving alcohol, but some days I want to crawl back in a hole and numb out.  There are less physically destructive ways to numb out than drinking: binging on Man in the High Castle, checking Facebook, watching the news . . .

Alcohol free living is a major lifestyle change, which in many ways is big enough on its own. One reason my alcohol use switched from occasional to habitual was my desire to disconnect from painful experiences in my life and to turn off the negative thoughts that swirled in my head because I never fully processed old or day to day problems.

Positive mantras are an antidote to years of automatic negative, self destructive thinking. When I decided to quit drinking alcohol, I wasn't just giving up a beverage. I was choosing to engage with life and process years of stuffed emotion so that I could enjoy ALL life has to offer. Today, I'm reminding myself of my intention to keep going, learning, growing, feeling, loving, and being.

Holly Whitaker and Tammi Salas created The Mantra Project, which features 40 illustrated mantras and some thoughts on the mantra as it relates to sobriety.  Practicing a single mantra throughout the day has positive effects. Doing a mindful practice for 40 days is even more powerful. "I have not come this far to only come this far" is one that Holly shared with us during Hip Sobriety School and is in the mantra project. The image above is mine, but the words come from Holly.