Welp. This week certainly has been a rollercoaster of emotions!! As you know from my email on Monday, the shooting in Orlando really hit a tender spot and continued to for the rest of the week.

So many of my friends and community members felt so sad, scared, and some were downright traumatized by this. On the other hand, I saw such an outpouring of love and empathy and gentleness online, which was and is a beautiful thing. I am reminded of how quickly fear and uncertainty and pain triggers our habitual responses of “Help! I just want the thing that will make this bad feeling go away the fastest!!” And even though we know alcohol isn’t the healthiest thing for us in the long term, it sure does work its magic as a short term solution to whatever we might be trying to escape.

I had several powerful conversations with women I hadn’t spoken to before about their visions for a new life for themselves. I heard their conviction and deep desire to show up for themselves differently. More often than not these conversations lasted longer than their allotted 45 minutes. If we haven’t spoken yet – don’t hesitate to schedule a session.

Despite feeling quite down at the beginning of the week, I followed through on my intention to start taking pole dancing classes and zowza…. it’s one of the hardest things I’ve done in a long time!!

As part of the last session for the Drink Less Be More Masterclass, we had to identify what we were going to do to keep taking ACTION on our intentions. One of my intentions that I know is essential to my long term “Drink Less Success” is to allow my inner wild child to come out to play!

Taking pole dancing classes 2x a week and buying a month’s pass to the dance studio so that I will be motivated to take as many dance classes as possible were two of the actions I committed to – because otherwise it’s easy for me to talk myself out on going to class and doing something for MYSELF that ultimately makes me feel so good.

This is a picture of me during the first class, when I could only and after much effort, make it half way up the pole. There was nothing sexy, coordinated or gracefully about my ascent (or descent, for that matter). I huffed and puffed and heaved. My leg swung out too far as I tried to propel myself upwards, I mixed up which hand was supposed to go over top of the next, and half way up the pole I had to cling for dear life because I was slipping to the ground, rather than the “hands free” hold the instructor was helping me achieve. And this was supposed to be the most BASIC ascent. All of the others are based on this one!!

Today’s class didn’t start off that much better. I felt so awkward. I was over-thinking it. I actually found myself getting really frustrated and hard on myself. Do it again, said the instructor. You can do it! Try again!! And again, and again… all the while giving tips on how to coordinate better and subtle adjustments to my movements to make it easier.

All of a sudden, something clicked, and my hands touched the ceiling. Somehow, my body took over, the moves coordinated, and I had reached the top of the pole. And this time, it didn’t feel like as much work. I didn’t have to think about it. My body knew what it was supposed to do. I was then able to try the hands free hold, and add another new move from the top of the pole, called The Señorita: legs crossed daintily, one hand on my hip and the other in a flirtatious salute (next week I’ll try to get a picture of this achievement!)

On the drive home, I felt content, proud of myself, for preserving, and for going out of my comfort zone to try something new. It also made me think of one of the questions I am asked so often about redefining your relationship to alcohol.

“Does this get easier?”

The answer is yes. It does.

In the beginning, it often feels awkward. You might have to overthink things, spend a lot of time planning, understanding triggers, creating boundaries for yourself. You will likely have to try things and situations that aren’t comfortable at first. You will have to learn to push through… because as you and I both know, as long as you stay where it’s safe and comfy, you are less likely to grow and change.

There is where having support can be so helpful. When you can’t figure out what your next move should be, or when you feel discourage and are going to talk yourself out of trying again.

When you find yourself slipping back down that pole and are ready to give on up trying to get up it again (wait, that was me 😉

You see where I’m heading with this?

When I first get on the phone with someone, I hear doubt, fear and uncertainty that things could actually be different. Within several months, the conversations are so different. Sure there may be the odd slip, but the momentum is always upwards. And the support can help you get there that much quicker.

If this sounds like something that would be useful to you, I’d love the chance to connect with you!! I have just two spots for 1-1 coaching available this month!

Either way, think about one big thing you can start doing differently this weekend. Something to shake things up, challenge yourself, help you get out of your comfort zone. A big part of redefining your relationship to alcohol comes from creating new habits AND learning to trust yourself in different situations.

So let me know, what are you going to try that you’ve never tried before?