I know, I know, advocating for a clean lifestyle just isn't that "cool." This post is not meant to make you feel bad for drinking beer and smoking weed. This is my story. There are immense social pressures to drink and smoke weed. But my decision to take a year off wasn't for popularity. My decision to take a year off wasn't because I had a problem. I love beer (especially craft IPAs) and weed, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't really helping me do all the things that I want to do in my life.
My decision to take a year off alcohol and weed was strictly to push myself toward my highest potential.
I haven't had a drop of alcohol or a puff of weed in 6 months.
I will continue for at least another 6 months.
The real catalyst for this decision (which I did not take lightly) was based on a realization I had during a floatation session. I make it a practice to ask my highest self and my guides what it is that I need more of, or less of in my life. Frequently, more CLARITY and less DISTRACTION came through. I refer to these sorts of epiphanies as downloads. I receive them while I'm meditating, floating, exercising, daydreaming or floating.
NOTE: All of my best ideas come when I am still. My decision to open a float center came during meditation. My inclination to pursue coaching came through tasking he simple question during a float session on a typical weekday-evening float. I asked..."What is next for me?" The reply was "You'll find out tomorrow." The next day I heard that a friend of a friend was getting great results with a life coach...my sister in law signed up for a training in Mexico, and I saw a VICE article entitled "Why I hired a Millenial Life Coach. So, needless to say, when I get this sort of inspiration, intuition or download, I follow through.
So, I in the case of the information I was getting during my floats, I decided to double down. I sought out the help of my spiritual teacher who is a gifted intuitive or "Spiritual Midwife" as she calls herself. I looked within myself for answers too. I collaborated (and do daily) with my highest self and my guides (who have names and appearances) to get further understanding of how I can be my best. I also sought out the guidance of a powerful Vedic astrologer to add insight to the feelings I was having. My session with her was flooring. She informed me that I was on the verge of very big developments in my karma as it pertained to my life purpose. (MORE ON THAT LATER) BUT...this development would depend on my ability to decide on who I wanted to be. I would need to become more clear on this concept if I wanted to create the rest of my life with intention.
NEW AGE MUMBO JUMBO? Some will say that...but some of you will take a look at the things I have already done and understand that I mean what I say, and I am decisive with the value I bring to this world.
So, after receiving this wisdom from teachers, reinforcing my intuition, I made the decision. If I wanted to give myself the best chance to be my best self...I should take some time off alcohol and weed.
6 months into this process, it's been pretty easy. I was about a 4-8 beer per week drinker per week and almost a daily smoker/vaporizer. I LOVE TO SMOKE WEED AND FLOAT. I believe strongly it's a really powerful and effective way to gain insights about yourself that cannot be accessed through typical daily frames of mind. But, I felt like I was sort of abusing it or not really appreciating my relationship with the powerful herb. I was smoking out of habit, ritual, not for focused use or introspection. I had been lying to myself for years about it's ability to enhance my creativity and sensitivity. It did enhance those things, but doing it every day was missing the point. It was diluting my potency. The weed was dulling my sword and the beer was adding inflammation to my body, mind and awareness.
There have been a few tough moments, don't get me wrong. Vacationing in Hawaii with my extended family...a couple of beers would have been pretty sweet. There have been moments where my body was sore or tired from BJJ or soccer games or hard workouts, where a little hit from the vaporizer would have been very nice, but I have abstained. Meeting up with friends has been awkward at times...and for those of you who know me well, you know that I like to drink a few beers and get loud. But, as a father, boss, business owner, life-coach, mentor and speaker, there's a little less room for shenanigans. And I feel pretty good about my decision.
I'll say, it's brought me closer to myself. We all have vices, caffeine, booze, weed, gambling, tobacco etc, but now that I've had a solid 6 months with out the two things that had the clearest impact on me - I have become more in-tune with my own faculties. I have learned which other, more healthy techniques are better for me when I need to take the edge off. Of course, exercise. Of course, meditation. Of course, floating. Of course intentional breathing. These things have become more integral in my development.
This exercise in abstinence has unlocked my awareness. Intuition is something I think a lot about. I trust it, I put a lot of stock in my own ability to intuitively know the right path. Trusting my gut has worked for me thus far: it helped me connect with the love of my life, opening float centers, coaching, sports, friends etc. The clarity of mind and body has enhanced the energetic flow. As you may imagine, when your body and mind are clear, you are more able to sense when something good is coming. I'll go deeper. When the pathways of awareness are clean and clear, information from outside sources (or inner sources) can come through. I am a believer that we have certain sources of wisdom and guidance. Spirit Guides, connection with our higher selves, Angles, Masters, spirit devas...are all examples of sources of inspiration and wisdom. Our awareness of these sources...our ability to receive download from these sources is reliant on few things: 1. Our openness to receiving 2. Our practice in developing connections 3. Our ability to translate the wisdom. Sure enough, if you're closed off, out of practice and downright resistant to the possibility that this sort of wisdom is available...you'll miss it. Historically, before the advent of modern technology, humans have been more aware of this connection to non-physical collaborators. Shaman, mystics, intuits, sensitives and light workers know it best..that we can access information from non-physical sources. But if our lines of communication are dulled by (in my case) IPAs and vaporized weed - our level of awareness is not capable of receiving effectively.
This exercise in abstinence has unlocked my mental clarity. This one is obvious right? In many ways, I have been able to take a step back and get a clearer picture of what I want in my life. This is the heart of what I preach and coach. BE CLEAR ON WHAT YOU WANT FROM THIS LIFE - AND TAKE ACTION TO GET IT. Our ability to think clearly about the big picture is predicated on foresight. 4-8 beers per week and weed 6-7 times per week just simply wasn't helping me think BIG. Weed helped me tamp down some stress and body pain and beer helped lubricate social situations, but it wasn't going to help me get what I want in the long run. What do I want in the long run? To elevate the consciousness of the planet. I know...grandiose idea right, but why not. I have certain gifts and abilities, and I want to use those to my highest potential to help shift us to a better tomorrow. I've done it for 6 years with Float Seattle and 2 years with Float Bellevue and 14 months as a life coach...and currently I'm working on something even bigger. (I can't wait to share it!) Taking it a step further - there is a part of the brain called the Reticular Activation System - which governs your ability to filter data coming into your brain and identify what's important to you. I could do a whole blog post on this system...and how vision boards are a useful tool in optimizing this or how mantras can reinforce positive decision making within this system but the point is simple. Without beer and weed to foggy up, and fuzzy up my mental states, I'm more focused and more able to respond to important information.
This exercise in abstinence has made me sexier. Not that I'm a particularly sexy guy in general, but put plainly...my body looks and feels better without beer and weed. Duh. Beer is empty calories. There's not a ton of caloric value in beer. Beer is inflammatory. Beer also leads to more beer. And since I'm not the type of guy to mix a cocktail at home, beer was the go-to. When it came to weed, hitting the vaporizer at 8pm most nights, would often lead to ice cream or cookies...late night ice cream and cookies that would not have a chance to burn off, and effect my sleep quality. My body is more youthful, better rested, more energetic, less inflamed, tighter, This one doesn't need much more consideration. You get the point.
So where do I go from here? I stay on course, and try to take as much advantage as I can of this time I've optimized, and lean into my life. Push toward my goals and be engaged with my choices.
What's my life plan with all this? I'm not sure. I'm going to purposefully have a beer at the year-end mark...so that it doesn't become a thing. Weed...not sure. I may continue to abstain beyond the year mark, but we'll see.
NOTE: If you're interested in trying this out - try this. I have done with a few of my clients...which is to abstain for a moon cycle. At the next new moon, set your intentions for what you want to get out of the period of no beer no weed. Is it for mind, body or awareness? Write it down, and put it somewhere safe...then just stop. Try it out. Go without for around 28 days and at the end of the moon cycle...at the full moon, reflect on what you've learned and decide whether it serves your highest self or not. Only you can know whether you're ready for this. And being honest with yourself around this stuff will help you make important decisions about what you want from your life.