It was the day my little sister got married. I was one of the bridesmaids, though I had had very little time to focus on the wedding as my daughter had been born 7 weeks earlier.

As we walked into the reception all at 3pm, the waiters were making the rounds with ice cold palomas, a tasty refreshing grapefruit and tequila drink.

OH MAN was I ever tempted to reach for a glass and slug it back before anyone who “knew me” (aka would judge me) noticed.

It had been a long day and I really felt like I’d earned it. 

I was up before dawn to shower and bundle my infant and I into a taxi to the other side of town to get our hair and makeup done. At 9am my sister arrived and we helped her get ready. By just before 12pm we were at the church for the Catholic ceremony.

Then it was photos at my dad’s house in the baking mid-day Mexican heat, then before I even had time to drink half the smoothie my mom had thoughtfully prepared for me, we were rushed to the reception hall to be with my sister as she made her grand entrance.

I was tired and parched. But more than that, I really felt like I deserved a drink. I had been focused on intense healing for almost two months since my daughter’s birth. I had given my body and my life 100% to the birth and nurturing of my baby. Didn’t I deserve to let go a bit, do something fun and what felt like slightly reckless?

The thought even crossed my mind that on an empty stomach I’d get a buzz faster.

What was that all about?? Was I supposed to thank the Universe for yet another opportunity to observe how alcohol was still engrained as my “reward system” as well as my automatic stress reliever and let-loose-er??

I paused and went and stood in front of a fan. I looked at my sister who was radiant – truly beaming positivity and love. I took in the beauty of the room, the details of the decorating. I took a few deep breaths, and ordered a mineral water and grapefruit juice.

It tasted delicious and was obviously even more thirst quenching than the tequila-laden variety.* (see below for an even better alternative)

My angst-ridden moment of “to drink or not to drink” passed. Pitchers of fresh “aguas de sabor” started arriving at our table in refreshing combinations such as pineapple, lime and cucumber.

It took me awhile to realize there was not a single drinker of alcohol at our table, and everyone was having a great time.

At one point in the evening I noticed trays full of whiskies being taken to the tables of the “drinkers.” With no judgement, just simply observing, I watched another group get drunk and remembered the days when that would have been me.

Free booze?? Yes please, I’ll drink as much as I can.

Worried about getting too drunk in front of relatives of my (now ex) partner? No worries, just pop some adderall or do a couple lines.

Back to the present… when the dancing started, I felt some hesitation. I hadn’t danced in what felt like years, though really it was since the beginning of my pregnancy. I felt out of shape and weak. I suddenly was overcome with weird anxieties like, “what if I can’t find the beat.” (For those of you who know me – know that dancing is a huge part of my life and I have spent years teaching dance and helping others find their rhythm). This fear was, of course, ABSURD. 

So again, a couple of deep breaths and the intention of letting go of all of this silly self talk that did not serve me one iota. 

I got out of my head and into my body and soon enough, this happened:

When I first saw the picture I laughed – if I didn’t know me, I would think: “Drunk bridesmaid alert!!”

Then I started thinking – why do we associated vivacious, extroverted, wild abandon with being inebriated?

The truth of the matter is that I embody those qualities, with or without alcohol.

Sometimes I need to get my head out of the way to let my body be guided by my spirit – and when I can do this – well, the photo is proof of what’s possible.

I wanted to share this because IT IS POSSIBLE FOR YOU TOO!

Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, anxious or too much “in your head” – take a few deep breaths, ground yourself and do what you can do get out of your head and into your body.