Let's Talk About Booze, Baby

Are you ... 

  • Doing Sober January?
  • An Effortless moderate drinker and struggling to understand why some people in your life can't just moderate?
  • Drinking just a couple glasses (daily) to unwind or socialise but feeling a bit achy, tired, underperforming, not 100%?
  • Trying to moderate because you like a drink a bit too much but feeling exhausted from it?
  • Failing to moderate and are sick of the hangovers, the self-loathing, the shame, the secrecy?

This Newsletter is for All Of Us; no matter our attitude towards and relationship and experience with alcohol.

I have been free from alcohol for one year now, after a toxic long-term relationship. I know too well what it is like. I don't preach. I don't judge, shame or try to convert anyone. I use honesty and compassion. I listen, understand, share my truth and accept yours.

Drinking is a very complex topic. Come to the booze talk if you are curious to delve deeper. Otherwise, enjoy the tips and suggestions below. 

Let's Talk about Booze - FREE EVENT/TALK
Benefits of not drinking
It's trigger time
What to read, watch & listen to
Punch Recipe
Chakra Series: Second Chakra
What to do with all that extra time? 

Let's Talk about Booze, Baby

Come and join us for an honest chat about drinking. No matter where you are in your journey, no matter where you want to go. You can share your story or just listen, in a safe space free from judgment. This is a FREE event for everyone wanting to take a break, cut down, quit, support/understand loved ones or is simply curious. We will have snacks and alcohol-free drinks here too!


Benefits of Not Drinking (Too Much)

For all my fellow boozehounds, alcohol-free life has many benefits you may not even think of ...

  • deeper friendships (you won't lose your friends, I promise; your friendships might change, but for the better)
  • more patience as a parent and more time for the kids
  • a healthier body, better hair, better nails, better skin
  • better memory and a clear head and a lot of time for all the things that are important: you can read, learn, grow, revisit old hobbies or find new ones, ...
  • much better sleep
  • a tidier flat/house full of house plants ... well, maybe ... I suddenly felt the urge to declutter and green up the space
  • deeper self-love - which will reflect in everything you do
  • freedom (I know, sounds weird, but come to the workshop and we talk about it)
  • glorious mornings - you smell good, you feel good, you are and look rested, you have energy to actually do stuff
  • confidence, playfulness, being at ease - something that, for me, took time and needed work
  • more money ... Alcohol is so bloody expensive!
  • being better at your job - you will have more energy, more headpsace, be more rested and your cognitive abilities are better too

It's Trigger Time

 What to do when the wine witch calls and you are trying to quit/cut down/have a break? Below a few tips ...

  • Drink some water/tea and eat something 
  • Know your triggers and think of how you can either avoid (can't do that forever) or even better, get through them
  • Be prepared - when going to a pub/bar, know what you are going to order, have an alternative handy, maybe even practice in your head ordering it ... sometimes saying 'i'll have a red wine' is just a reflex
  • TOP TIP: change your mindset and start to question drinking

 How to deal with drink pushers:

  • most people won't notice you not drinking, will happily accept it or don't really drink themselves (that much)
  • have alcohol-free beer or something that LOOKS like G&T to avoid the topic
  • have an excuse (antibiotics, early morning commitment, ...)
  • have compassion: people who don't drink used to make me feel really uncomfortable, because it made me conscious of my own drinking - maybe that is the case here too?
  • be honest: you may not want to confide in everyone but being open will help lift the shame and being a good example (in terms of honesty, not virtuousness) will inspire other people
  • avoid them - protect and surround yourself with supportive people

What to Read:

Allen Carr: The Easy Way to Control Alcohol - the book that made me stop. It's a bit slow and annoying at the beginning but the message got through and I like that they use logic (not willpower, not scaring)

 Clare Pooley: The Sober Diaries - LOVE that book. It's funny, honest, sad and has so many 'YES! Me too!' moments. Most middle-aged regular drinkers who have a few glasses to unwind and mums who got caught in the mummy wine culture will relate and find themselves here.

 Catherine Gray: The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober - a different story: a young professional woman finding her way out of the trap. Again, brutally honest and heart-warming.

William Porter: Alcohol Explained  and Annie Grace: This Naked Mind - I haven't had to read them yet but heard a lot of good things

What to Watch or Listen To:

Dr Chatterjee recently met Any Ramage, the founder of One Year No Beer (they have their own podcast too). Watch or listen to their chat HERE.

 Deliciously Ella interviewed Catherine Gray ('Unexpecetd Joy of Being Sober' author) in this podcast episode HERE.

The wonderful Clare Pooley ('The Sober Diaries' author) in a podcast HERE and in a YouTube VIDEO about how to make sobriety less shameful.

Janey Lee Grace: Alcohol Free Life PODCAST: so many talks to choose from, interviews with the above authors and people in the health industry. Tips, advise and motivation.

Hot Power Punch Recipe

Per serving:
40ml  Senser Power
100ml  Apple Juice
60ml  Pear juice
15ml  Lemon juice
10ml  Apple cider vinegar
Allspice, clove & cinnamon

Place all ingredients (apart from the Senser Spirit) in a pan, heat up and 'stew' for about half an hour, strain. Add the senser spirit into the cup when serving.

Chakra Series Part 2: Svadhistana Chakra / Second Chakra

The Svadhisthana Chakra is centred in the lower abdomen. It is the chakra of emotions and sexuality

How connected are you to your emotions?  What have you been taught about sexuality?  Are you enjoying life? 

In the first chakra, we learned to ground and stabilise. In the second chakra, it’s all about flowing, moving, feeling, letting go.  The first chakra took care of our survival. The second chakra takes care of pleasure. As children, pleasure comes to us though touching and closeness, play and stimulation, validation of our emotional experience.

How was pleasure regarded in your family? Did your family take time for experiences, laugh and play together? How do these attitudes reflect in your own orientation toward pleasure?

In a family where feelings are not expressed, there is no opportunity to learn emotional language. Without emotional literacy, a whole dimension of human experience and connection is lost. Without the ability to read our own needs and feelings and are unable to meet them.

The life circumstances that can block this energy centre during childhood are:

  • lack of loving touch from a mother;
  • denial of a child’s feelings
  • sexual abuse that hits the very core of the second chakra - apart from the obvious forms, sexual abuse includes punishing a child for touching himself, exhibitionism, voyeurism, sexual teasing, invasion of privacy, age-inappropriate sexual language.

When we are deficient in this chakra we can be rigid in our body (stiff joints, rigid movements, little motion in the hips whilst walking) with strict boundaries. We may also be rigid in our attitudes, we may not be open to new ideas, alternative lifestyles, adventures. We may have a feeling of emptiness, a dullness about life, a feeling of being stuck and a sense of isolation.  Sexually, we may feel repressed, numb, have a lack of desire or passion or have a fear of sex or connect it with shame. Our social skills might be poor as they require emotional literacy - intense awkwardness in social situations may make us seems stiff or cold. A deficiency in the second chakra usually results in introversion.

When we are excessive in this chakra we usually feel most alive in excessively strong emotions. We may be excessively sensitive, have emotional dependency or obsessive attachment; poor boundaries, an inability to be alone. We may have an addiction to people and socialising; to immediate gratification, constant stimulation and excitement.   Sexually, an excessive second chakra thrives on intimacy and connection which is good in itself but can in some cases become problematic if it creates sexual addiction.

Alcohol is closely related to a deficient second chakra as it helps to overcome inhibitions: suddenly, we can be spontaneous, share our feelings, be funny and feel alive. But the relief is only temporary and must be repeated over and over again. To break this cycle, we need to reconnect with the sensations of the body, free our emotions, free frozen movements and learn to read and meet our needs.

The physical challenges that inform that there might be an imbalance are disorders of the reproductive organs, urinary system, menstrual difficulties, sexual dysfunction, lower back pain, sciatica.

A balanced second chakra has the capacity for sexual satisfaction, physical pleasure, general enjoyment of life, comfort with intimacy and the ability to accept movement and change gracefully. Balance involved nurturing oneself and others while still maintaining healthy boundaries. 

Healing the second chakra involves thawing the body and freeing up its natural movements.  In an excessive second chakra, balance is found by containment where we don’t act immediately upon a feeling, urge or desire. If we sit with the unpleasant feelings, instead of getting an instant release by having a drink, yelling at someone, constantly snacking, etc.; we might find a different, healthier way to dissolve and release these feelings. To achieve sexual healing, is to engage with life fully on an emotional and sensual level and is not limited to the sexual act itself.

What To Do?

... with all that extra time & energy? You can spend a break (or sobriety) sitting around feeling like you miss out, postpone social engagements and waiting for it to be over. Or you can realise that there is so much more to this wondrous life than waiting for wine o'clock. So many nice things to do with a clear head ...

  1. Kidulting ... heard of that trend? Being silly and playful (without drinking) can be hard but it makes us happier and gets our juices flowing:
    Go Ape, Flip Out, ... some of London's best places for Kidulting and you can do them with the kids too (they will love you for it)
  2. Move | Breathe | Chill Workshop (next one on 15th February) ... playing, breath work, ice bath. I did one in December and it was brilliant, would definitely go again.
  3. Karate or other martial arts to get fit, gain confidence and let off steam ... my friend Gabriel (www.dojovanrel.com) is a kick-ass teacher and he runs adult classes in Dartmouth Park/Kentish Town
  4. Cold Water Swimming ... I know, I keep mentioning it but it just is the most amazing thing, brilliant against anxiety too, snaps you out of any funk and gives you a natural high
  5. Nature, Hiking, Gardening - you can't help but feel better when being in nature
  6. Dancing: Morning Gloryville Rave which I would love to try, or 5 Rhythms for a natural high, Friday evenings in Chalk Farm
  7. Antidode London - playful events for adults at WAC Arts in Belsize Park
  8. Knitting, painting, reading, playing board/card games - not exactly Rock'n'Roll? Calms the mind though
  9. Culture - so much culture in London and lots of it is FREEEEEE
    Somerset House - check out the 24/7 Exhibit about our crazy always switched-on world or the Gingerbread City
    Saatchi Gallery hosting the Tutankhamun Exhibition (not cheap but worth it)
  10. Relax and Restore - Floatworks Floatation Tanks, Gong Baths, Yoga (I know a cool teacher), Meditation, Massage, Spa Day, ...
  11. Enjoy and nurture your pretty face ... you may notice that your skin looks better and why not invest the money you safe in a facial?
    My go-to places:
    Face It in Totteridge and Whetstone - not cheap and miles away but they literally saved my skin
    Caci with Victoria - a lovely local woman who set up her own little treatment room
    FaceGym - intense and amazing face massages and facials (I like the 'yoga face' - duh)
  12. Mindful Drinking Festival - 18th/19th January at the Old Truman Brewery, Free Entry
  13. Life Lessions Festival - 15th/16th February at the Barbican, not cheap and too many interesting talks to choose from 
  14. 'Future Proof' - sober party and dance in a secret Soho location on Thursday, January 23rd
  15. (Re-)Discover what makes your heart sing: what did you enjoy as a kid? is there something you have been wanting to learn?
  16. Self-Development: learning about yourself, your past and what may have caused certain behaviour patterns is a powerful tool. Could be through learning about Chakras, listening to podcasts or reading books (I am trying to tell you about good stuff I find in the newsletters)