It's My Birthday And I'll Cry If I Want To

This certainly wasn't always the case on my birthday.

Many are a blur, others ended up in horrific fights or missed days of work the next day that led to shame-filled meltdowns.

6 years ago we received numerous noise complaints at the hotel suite we rented, and the next day had to do the walk of shame, eyes shielded from the hot Cambodian sun and the piercing glare of other hotel guests as they loudly deplored us for "ruining their night"

5 years ago I woke up the day after my birthday with a giant goose egg on my forehead, from taking a head-dive directly onto the concrete

4 years ago I passed out after drinking too much absinthe

And just over 3 years ago, a few weeks before my 32nd birthday, I had that innocent girls night that turned into a wild one, where I woke up the next day and declared "I'm never getting drunk again"

I can't say that the next birthdays were all of a sudden amazing, simply because I wasn't wasted or getting blackout drunk

I was still trying to figure it out

I was also pregnant for one of those birthdays and so in my mind it "doesn't really count"

And now, I just turned 35 years old in in New York City.

Last week, I spent a full day doing health consultations at Ralph Lauren's HQ in Manhattan. I then relaxed in my friend's gorgeous apartment overlooking the east river.

I then headed to a luxe conference called Forefront, which is all about living the Rich Life. Rich in experiences, rich in relationships, rich in quality of life. I was be one of 500 who showed up ready to do the work to live a most fulfilling life. Ready to take charge of our lives and businesses and get clear on what a rich life means.

We met, we discussed and we learned from experts like Ramit Sethi (super online whiz and connector) and Daymond John (NYT bestselling author and one of the Sharks on Shark Tank - whose personal story is so inspiring and gave one of the best talks I’ve ever seen in my life!).

Friday night I danced at an open bar cocktail reception, with only a half glass of wine turned into a spritzer on my actual birthday. There's a video of my fake drunk dancing on Instagram which I think is pretty awesome. And here's a photo of a very bright eyed and satisfied me, back in my hotel room revelling my day.

The next night we were on a boat cruise on the Hudson river the breathtaking view of the Manhattan cityscape and the Lady Liberty beaming down at us. I also danced my ass off on the cruise. I had one gin and soda and after that I was pretty much oblivious to the copious amounts of alcohol flowing from the open bar (the only issue really was that I noticed how drunk other people seemed to need to be in order to allow themselves to have as much fun as I was having sober).

After the conference ended on Sunday, the conversation and connection continued with a lovely Italian dinner where I drank a glass of prosecco. We had planned to go out dancing but everyone seemed more content to spend time with each other in the hotel lobby.

There were definitely moments where I experienced a tad of FOMO (fear of missing out). Both Friday and Saturday night after the reception and boat cruise, the party train continued and I was invited to hop on.

Yet being sober and able to totally listen to my body, I realized how tired I was and that it wasn’t the best choice for me. It wasn’t always easy in the moment to say YES to my best yes, but as soon as I was tucked into bed with my tea and my oils, I was grateful. I certainly was grateful the next day when I bounded out of bed with energy and felt how easy it was to focus on the amazing content of the conference, while others were clearly nursing hangovers and rallying their energy just to be able to concentrate.

So yeah, tears of gratitude are streaming down my face. It is amazing to me how magical my life because once I truly got out of my own way and stopped sabotaging myself. While I had achieved a lot of external success before - I was misaligned and suffering on the inside.

I am so grateful that I have learned that there could be another way. Not only in living my life, but in my relationship to alcohol. Even when my drinking was at its worse, I intuitively knew that a life of total abstinence wasn't for me.

I now have an incredible and fulfilling career as a self-employed entrepreneur, a best-selling book, a house in Mexico and a precious family, and I can enjoy an occasional glass of wine or bubbly without obsessing about more or fear of spiralling out of control... all things that felt like a distant dream 5 years ago, when I literally crashed and burned my way out of my former career and life. This hasn’t all come “easy” - it’s been a ton of work and continues to be - yet as I realized this past week, I am already living a “rich life.”

I love how healthy, strong, clear and present I am now. I wouldn't trade that feeling for anything. I used to party my way through conferences and as a result, everything is a blur. Now I celebrate the quality connections, the energy I have, and most important, how comfortable I feel being me.

I also have tremendous love and compassion for the past Caitlin. The Caitlin that woke up banged and bruised, the Caitlin who loved to be the life of the party and was always the last one to leave, the Caitlin whose pain and shame stayed carefully buried behind booze and false bravado, the Caitlin who wanted to do better for herself but just couldn’t figure out how for so many years.

I love her. She is me and I wouldn’t be here, writing this email to you, if it weren’t for our journey.

I’ve also realized that me of today was always inside past Caitlin. I just wasn’t listening to her. I was afraid of her sometimes, afraid of what might change. Afraid of cracking open and afraid of truly changing.

Your ideal YOU is already inside of you too. You’ve heard her whispering to you. You’ve started listening, which is why you are reading these words right now.

One of the biggest lessons for me from the past few years was that it takes a village. I wouldn’t have been able to do this alone, and neither should you.

It was also one of the key takeaways for me from this weekend. It is so important to have a tribe, a group of people who see you, celebrate you, honour your dreams and desires, support you to keep moving through challenges, learning and growing.

That is why I’ve created the Drink Less Be More Masterclass.

Because if you keep doing the same thing, spending all your time with the same people, and yet expecting different results - well, that’s crazy making.

If you know you are stuck in a demoralizing cycle and you want to interrupt that pattern - this is for you.

If know how much more is possible for you if you could truly honour your ‘best yes’ - this is for you.

If you long for a tribe of women who really see you, love you and are there to lift you up - this is for you.

If you are ready to redefine your relationship to alcohol once and for all - this is definitely for you.

In fact, I know of no other experience like this out there. Which is why I created it. But don't just take it from me, here is some of what the first participants were saying:

“It's beautiful to work through this process in an environment with people who understand, have had their own ups and downs with alcohol and who don't judge.”

“This could be a life changing class for so many people. I loved how real you are Caitlin and the support of listening to the others in the class was priceless”

I am giving you the strategy, systems, community and support I wish I had had access to 5 years ago when I was slip sliding towards bottom, or even 3 years ago when I was finally trying to make some changes but had to figure it all out on my own.

The 6-week Drink Less Be More Masterclass includes the very best of what I’ve learned and implemented for myself and my clients over the past 3 years, including intentions, positive mindset and accountability, solid strategies that work for YOU, healthy habits/healthy impact, relationships/dating and intimacy, implementation and weekly personalized attention, support, and group calls.

This intimate group experience is by application only. Because I am so excited to share this resource with every woman who needs it at this moment in her life, I will be launching more broadly later this week when the sales page goes up. For now, I wanted to make sure you had the info to secure your spot asap.

Will you make this your year? Are you ready? If so, I’d love for you to join us!


Top 5 lessons learned

Happy weekend!

As you may have read in Monday's update, It's been three years since I stopped drinking to get drunk, to escape, disappear, numb out, etc...

Yesterday I recorded a video call that highlight's the top 5 lessons learned from my last 3 years, and they might come as a surprise to you.

Topics I cover include:
- Why I couldn't make any significant change until I created a positive vision for myself
- How mindfulness begets mindlessness (aka why you first need to think more in order to not have to think about alcohol so much in the future)
- It gets harder before it gets easier!! (something that definitely came as a shocker to me)
- Why truly facing the fear is so completely freeing
- I could never have done this alone (and neither should you)
- A special invitation for YOU

The video is only 35 minutes long, and I recommend you watch the whole thing for the lessons I learned along this journey, but in case you are dying to know that the special invitation is - drumroll please....

We are launching our first official Drink Less Be More Group Program!!

I am SO excited.

The reviews from the participants beta course in the spring were amazing, and we all learned a lot.

We've been incorporating the feedback and fine-tuning to make a super valuable, high impact, actionable, and incredibly supportive 6 week program, which will launch in the beginning of November.

As we are putting the finishing touches on the program, I want to hear from YOU!

Are you interested in joining a group program? If yes, what would you like to experience or learn from a group program? What kind of support or information would be helpful to you?

It would be amazing if you could reply to this email and let me know!! I'm really looking forward to your feedback.



How to ride the resistance (or what you can learn when things don't flow)

I've been have asked about the retreat that was planned for this weekend and I realized that I hadn't yet publicly communicated the difficult decision my team and I recently made to put it on hold.

I even went to the venue last month and it was so incredible. I could visualize us there: the space was perfect, the beaches pristine, the sunsets stunning.

It was hard for me to let go of the plan. It was hard for me to accept that eventually I would have to write this update to you, going back on my word.

And yet, I was feeling HUGE resistance. It wasn’t flowing.

I wasn’t following up with those who were interested. Others who had expressed interest suddenly couldn’t attend for whatever reason. I wasn’t promoting the event as much as I needed to to fill the extra spots that had suddenly opened.

I needed to listen to the advice I was given by Lisa Nichols last month.

"A healthy no is as important a half-assed yes."

Or, as another coach friend of mine says, “If it’s not a HELL YES, then it’s a HELL NO.”

I have no doubt in my mind that this retreat in Canada will happen… now is not the right time.

I had to LEAN IN and understand what the resistance was about. Instead of beating myself up about it and forcing through, I learned from it.

As Danielle LaPorte writes:

“Resistance heightens your senses… But if you can embrace the resistance and use it to stay sharp, then you can bypass the swamp of self sabotage. Resistance = good. Self sabotage = bad, very bad.”

Instead of beating yourself for facing resistance, for things not working out exactly as you think they “should,” for procrastinating or feeling blocked or not flowing… ask yourself: “What is this really about?”

If it’s not flowing right NOW, it doesn’t mean it will NEVER. It might just mean not right now. Or, not like this.

By saying “not right now” to this month’s retreat, I was able to:

  • Focus on nurturing our Facebook community and prepping for Supercharge September… which also felt very aligned with my own need for self-care

  • Expanding and onboarding new members of the Drink Less Be More staff team

  • Redirect “retreat planning energy” towards co-creating a retreat planned for March 2017 in Mexico with a dear friend and colleague who lives in my hometown (more details coming very soon!)

  • Enjoy quality time with my Canadian family and friends before heading back to Mexico and spend more time with my daughter, who is in a challenging stage of her development

  • Better prepare and have more energy for attending a conference with 100 other empowered online entrepreneurs

  • Take days  off over the weekend and early this week when I needed to prioritize my health

Sometimes, success comes from taking the counter-intuitive step to DO LESS instead of more.

How can you simplify your way to success? What might your resistance be telling you?

What can you say no to in order to create more expansiveness?



Will You Be Joining 21 Day Challenge?

If you haven't, it might be time to ask yourself... why not?

Why don't I want to make September the new January - and start making the rest of the year as amazing as it can be!?

Why not press reset, right now, and start developing and imprinting the healthier habits that will take you through the rest of the year, and beyond!?

Tomorrow is the kick-off webinar and I'd love if you could join us live! A replay will be available, but only if you've joined the challenge.

All you need to do it hit reply to this email and let me know why you'd like to participate.

I also wanted to give you a heads up that I only have 1 spot available for 1-1 coaching! If you want to Supercharge September (and the rest of the year) but working privately is more your jam - then let's talk! Click here to schedule a time. 


Supercharge September - Let's Do This

For the past two years since launching my business, I've held some variation of a "supercharge September" initiative. Usually, it has been discounted and shorter opportunities to work with me 1-1.

But since my 1-1 roster is still full (I will have a couple of spots opening up later in September, more on that below) - I've decided to try something new this year! This September, I'll be leading a 21-day Supercharge September Challenge.

It's FREE for our community members and starts on September 5th. If you're already a part of our super secret and supportive Facebook community, then you don't need to do a thing.

If you'd like to join, reply to this email and let know why you'd like to supercharge September and what you hope to get out of this challenge.

This will be an opportunity to:
- set clear intentions for September and the rest of the year
- redefine your relationship to alcohol with the support of like-minded women (whatever that looks like to you, you can try a sober September or try moderation - it's totally up to you!!
- get on track with daily habits such as a solid morning and evening routine, a new nutrition plan, better sleep, etc
- meet and share with amazing women - listen to livestreams on relevant topics
- participate in a kick-off webinar Tuesday, September 6th with a Q&A
- and much more!!

Again, all of this is FREE!!

All you need to do is reply to this email and tell me why you want to participate (after all, it all starts with getting clarity on your intentions) and you'll be added to the group.

If you know that you'd also like 1-1 support to create powerful change, I do have a few spots opening up in September. Here's what Eileen said after just 2 months of coaching with me:

"I am really enjoying working with you. You are making me see things in my own behavior that no one else has been able to. I feel less a lot less guilt, too. Your approach about being kinder to myself has been a big win for me. I've noticed my confidence growing and actually WANTING to spend time doing healthier things vs. feeling like I CAN'T drink. It's been a much more positive spin and I don't feel rebellious at all, like I did before. I think I've done everything everyone else thought I should do for my whole life, and now I'm making my own choices. By doing this, I feel much less like I want to escape."

As you know, I love love looooooove my work with 1-1 clients. I wish I could work with EVERYONE who wants this kind of support however, because of the time and energy required to fully show up and help someone make such a massive change in their lives, I can only accept a small number of private clients at a time.

If you are interested in working with me before the New Year, I would encourage you to set up a time to chat to see if it's a good fit for you. Once the 2 spots available are filled, I will not be accepting new clients until next year.

Now there's no excuse to make this month and the rest of the year amazing!!

Don't forget to let me know if you want to join the September Challenge or set up a strategy session to see if we're a good fit for 1-1 work together.


Savary Island Retreat

In this crazy world we are living in, I feel that it is more and more important that we have opportunities to connect, to feel unconditionally loved and supported by people who have your best interest at heart, just as you do theirs.

I participated in several retreats 6-7 years ago that were life-changers for me. Though I’m not in close contact with all of the other participants, I feel that we share a special bond that will always be there.

It has been my dream for many years to host a retreat on Savary Island. Known as one of BC’s hidden gems, this island is a tropical paradise with gleaming white sand beaches just a stone’s throw from the temperate rainforest and with a backdrop of the coastal mountain range.

A little known fact is that Savary Island boasts some of the warmest water North of Mexico thanks to the warm Southern tides!

I have travelled around the world and visited some of the most famous and renowned beaches and I have never encountered anything like quite like Savary Island. It is truly stunning and one of my favourite places on earth.

I have also participated in and taught at several retreats and I know how powerful they are for activation. The impact of being totally immersed in a beautiful, nourishing environment and surrounded by loving support and sisterhood cannot be underestimated!

Imagine: 4 days dedicated to transformation, deep nourishment for mind, body and spirit, connection with each other and yourself, dance and movement, deep relaxation and alignment activation.

Eating delicious and lovingly prepared food with locally sourced ingredients and energizing snacks, the best mocktails you’ve ever tasted, Full Moon rituals on the beach (yes, full moon! I can’t even tell you how excited I was to find out there was a full moon on the weekend we are planning this retreat), sunrise meditations, dance parties, time for writing and reflection, setting powerful intentions, creating deep and lasting bonds, and so much more magic that is waiting to transpire.

The details:
September 15-18th (full moon is on the 16th)
Savary Island, British Columbia

What’s included:
Transportation to Savary Island from Powell River (and support with travel arrangements to get to Powell River)
Accommodation for 3 nights in a gorgeous wood cabin/house (plus a free extra night in transit if needed)
3 gourmet locally sourced meals plus delicious and nutritious snacks
Open bar every evening (make-your-own mocktails + homebrewed kombucha oh my!)
Sunrise meditation
Sunset and Full Moon rituals
3 movement / dance classes
3 sensual stretch / yoga classes
Daily journaling prompt and writing exercises
Powerful Intention setting workshop
Other surprises
A Tribe of amazing sister-friends and lifelong connections

There are three options to choose from in terms of accommodation:
Dorm-style (sleeps 3. I chose the dorm option for several retreats I went to and it was super fun. Like a grown-up sleepover ;) $375 USD*
Double Room (Sleeps 2, each with their own bed) $495 USD*
Private (only 2 available so act fast) $535 USD*

To sweeten the deal even more (WHAT!?!) - I’m offering a payment plan. The first payment (50%) is due before July 31st to hold your spot, and the second payment is due a month after (by August 31st).

I want this to be a no-brainer and for you to have every reason to say YES.

My main intention is to bring together an amazing group of women and to support the growth of our tribe.

Here’s the thing, there’s only 10 spots available. They will go fast. Let me know ASAP if you are interested and we’ll talk details.


* I can accept payment in Canadian $ if made via E-transfer from a Canadian bank. Otherwise all payments will be made via Paypal in USD.

A view of Savary Island, with Indian Point being the nearest point, where the retreat will be hosted

Additional (free!) accommodation for those in transit and who need/would like to spend an extra day

Do you have Social Anxiety?

This will be short and sweet! I'm currently developing a FREE mini course on socializing and networking while drinking less/not at all.

If this is something you've struggled with - I'd love your feedback. I'll be recording the videos this Thursday, so it's a bit time sensitive.

I'd love to hear:

  • What to you need to know to mentally prepare for drinking less in a social event?

  • What would be helpful to you BEFORE you head out?

  • What about when you arrive at the event? What do most struggle with or find challenging?

  • What would be helpful to know in terms of your interactions with other people / friends / dates / significant other?

  • If you have implemented any strategies from my book or blogs, which ones have worked best for you?

  • Anything else you'd like to know / see / share?

Feel free to answer any or all of these questions by hitting reply to this email by 12pm EST on Thursday, March 17th.

As a thank you, we can schedule an "ask me anything" / strategy session next week. This is available to everyone, even if you are a current client :) And of course, the mini-course will be available to you as soon as it's ready (hopefully by the end of the month!)

Slim And Chic

Hi there,

Alcohol isn't the only reason women come to me for support.

Often, they are also struggling with their weight, feeling as though there is never enough time, over-working and under-sleeping, prioritizing other's needs instead of their own.

Does any of this sound familiar?

And while I do my best as a holistic coach to support my clients with these overlapping issues, I can't be all things to all people!

That is why I am so excited to have been invited to participate in an amazing online event that launches TODAY!

This value-packed virtual summit promises to be a real game-changer for busy professional women who always put their work ahead of their own wants and needs.

I’ve been invited to join an already amazing lineup of experts who are coming together to share their knowledge and expertise, and help women like you achieve their life and wellness goals.

Best of all?

I have a stack of tickets to give away and I’d love for you to have one! Grab your ticket here.

The Slim & Chic Corporate Queen Summit is for you if:

Your work has become the number one priority in your life.

You’re always on the go, from the moment you open your eyes and reach for your phone, to the moment you fall asleep with it in your hand at night.

You’ve convinced yourself you just don’t need as much sleep as other people do – at least, that’s what you tell your mom when she calls.

Your busy schedule of back-to-back meetings regularly gets in the way of you eating anything -- until mid-afternoon that is, when you cram as much sugar into your body as possible before you fall over.

Sticking to a healthy diet and exercising right feels next to impossible for you when you’re living out of a suit-carrier in a hotel for a few nights every week.

You only ever open one closet door when you get dressed, because you know that the back of the closet is filled with outfits that no longer fit, thanks to those extra 20lbs you can’t seem to shift.

You’re sick of going to dinner parties, weddings and family functions alone, yet you never seem to have the time or energy to invest in finding your soulmate.

You’ve lost count of the amount of times you’ve cancelled dinner or drink dates because the outfit you were planning on wearing didn’t fit and you had nothing else to wear.

Between over-promising and saying “yes” at work when you really want to say “no”, you have no time to do the things that have been on your Life List for years now.

You’re aware you’re getting older and know you can’t keep putting others’ wants and needs ahead of your own if you’re going to live your best life.

Since we’ve been in each other’s worlds for a while now, I’m positive you know that I want nothing more than to see women like you thrive in every aspect of their lives, not just getting control over alcohol.

That’s where The Slim & Chic Corporate Queen Summit comes in.

With over 25 guest speakers already confirmed and ready to reveal their best tips to help you drop any excess weight you may be carrying, reclaim your time, and banish that feeling of burnout, this event promises to be a complete game-changer!

Discover tips, tricks and strategies that will show you how to:

Drop those extra 20 lbs you’ve been wanting to lose for as long as you can remember.

Survive the unpredictable ups and downs of corporate/professional life and still stay happily on track with your life and health goals.

Improve the quality of your sleep so you wake feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day each morning.

Make the best food choice possible, whatever situation you find yourself in.

Carve much needed time out of your schedule for your own self-care.

Create space in your life for things you love doing “just because”.

If you’ve been waiting for permission to focus on what you want and need for a change, consider it granted.

Don’t let another year of forgotten New Year’s Resolutions pass you by!  You still have time to make them a reality in 2016!

Grab your FREE ticket for The Slim & Chic Corporate Queen Summit and take another important step in moving your life forward with intention.

See you there!


From nightmarish chaos to clarity and calm...

Have you ever had one of those epics dreams, where you are trying to do everything by yourself and nothing works? The phone won’t turn on, then you can’t dial the right numbers, you keep missing the connection with the person you are supposed to meet, you go the wrong way into traffic, you realize you aren’t speaking the same language as the person you are trying to communicate with, you can find the thing you are looking for. And for hours it seems like you are running around trying to complete a task that should only take minutes...

I had one of those dreams last night. I was so relieved when my alarm went off and I could wake up from this exhausting nightmarish saga! I glanced out at the sunrise and immediately felt thankful to have my morning practice ahead of me to help clear this chaotic energy and ground and focus for the day.

I remember quite clearly when this feeling happened in real life, not just in dreams. 

Always feeling rushed, like there was never enough time.

Foggy and unfocused from lack of sleep or being hungover. Quite often both.

Lack of clarity and calm when approaching my day, always feeling like I was forgetting something.

Forgetting something important in the morning, or sleeping in, which snowballed into a day of trying to play catch up.

Making excuses for submitting work super last minute, or needed extensions on deadlines.

Does this sounds familiar at all?

Even though in the end it all got done, (in fact, the overachiever in me often ended up over-delivering), there definitely could have been a better, smoother way.

I used to get sick a lot. I would go go go at this frenetic pace and then crash.

When I finally did burn out completely on my work/career at the time and life in general, I had to take a long hard look at the way I was living. 

I wasn’t even thirty years old yet and I’d tired myself out. 

I set about learning new practices to help me live life in more balance. These practices not only help me stay focused and productive with my external life, perhaps more importantly, they give me inner peace and clarity as well. 

This actually requires quite a bit of organization. Creating systems and rituals that prioritize YOU and your well-being first, so that you can better serve your higher purpose, your loved ones and your external responsibilities.

And here’s the best part.

You don’t have to figure this out all on your own. If fact, it’s better if you don’t try to.

Just like the dream, you could spend hours and days and weeks running around trying to figure it all out on your own, buying into the illusion that you have to.

Or you could ask for help.

I have worked with coaches, therapists, teachers, mentors, spiritual guides, masterminds and accountability partners to get the training and support I needed to shift patterns I had spent a lifetime living.

This kind of support is available to you as soon as you decide that you want it.

One of my clients who just finished a month-intensive put it this way:

“Something inside was telling me to make changes in my life. Something was wrong, and many things negative things kept happening, so it was kind of in a bad way I realized it (the need for change).

I wasn't on the right path of my life. 

Everything started to connect a month ago, when I decided to change. The Universe put people on my way to help me, and I started to see what I could learn from them.”

Setting clear intentions for yourself is one of the key 6 strategies I will be talking about during my free Tele-Class next Tuesday. 

I’m really looking forward to sharing them with all of you... I see how much of an impact they have on my clients life, and how much they changed mine, on a daily basis.

Click here to sign up for the class. Even if you are not sure you can make it, I’ll be sending out a recording :)

I'd love to hear in the comments. What is one intention you'd like to set for yourself for the upcoming month? What kind of support do you need to fulfill this intention? Remember, ask and you shall receive.


Out with the old... in with a new approach to alcohol

There are new models emerging for the treatment of alcoholism and other addictions, and for that I am grateful. We need to move beyond the “one size fits all model” and programs that advocate for abstinence only.

The approach I have developed does not even fit within the mainstream way of viewing a person’s relationship to alcohol or drugs. It is not for people who identify as an addict and it is not a treatment program.

Most of us do not fit into the rigid definitions of what is perceived to be an addiction. Most of us are not daily drinkers, we do not need a drink when we first wake up in order to function, we haven’t lost our house or our job and our lives haven’t been completely derailed by a substance that we can’t live without.

That said, alcohol does affect our lives in significant ways. Sometimes when we go out to “have a few,” we can’t stop. We reach for the bottle of red when we get home after a stressful day at work, and feel like shit the next day. We get into fights with our significant others. We use alcohol as a way of meeting people and then end up with unwanted or regrettable sexual encounters. We are less focused, we have more hungover days that we care to admit, we fall off track with healthy eating habits or exercise, we have less energy than we used to.

Alcohol is the most socially recognized, acceptable and celebrated drug out there. Thousands of us consume it without a second thought, and it is often the unquestioned antidote to stress, loneliness, boredom, the recipe for fun and letting loose.

The traditional models for treating addictions fail our evolving culture and leave many of us out. They fail most women who struggle with the role of alcohol in our lives, yet do not classify ourselves as addicts.

That's why we need a new approach to redefining our relationship to alcohol, that isn’t “all or nothing,” punitive, shaming or didactic.

This approach is for the majority of us that are somewhere in between… we are not at the far reaches of either addict or abstainer.

This approach is for those of us “in-betweeners”... because our culture is evolving and so are we. We deserve a new lens to see ourselves through, we deserve a new option for our healing.

I developed this approach first and foremost for myself and my friends… competent, educated, socially aware women in their 30s who seemed to have it all together… except for this shameful and confusing relationship to alcohol. Since launching the program, it has resonated with both women and men from a diverse set of experiences: college students and recent grads, single or remarried mothers, stockbrokers and finance guys whose fast-pace life is catching up with them, CEOs of companies, musicians and artists, healthcare professionals and more.

Evolve is a program that serves women who want to redefine their relationship to alcohol. After reading the four core principles of the approach you will see why this resonates with such a diverse cross-section of our society in our evolving culture.

Evolve offers Unconditional Support:

You are accepted and celebrates as you are, at any given stage of your journey. Whether you are thriving or in the throws of a set back, you are welcome any time, with open arms. We understand that everyone’s path is different, and we honour and respect that. We know that all of us are living with enough shame and self-blame that the last thing we need is to feel fearful of blaming and shaming from others. With this unconditional support comes the opportunity to be unafraid of being honest about what is really going on. As one participant writes: “I like the positive encouragement to keep trying to make steps - weather they are large or small - rather than 100% never again type of approach. This removes the feelings of ‘failure.’”

Evolve is Self-directed:

It encourages and allows each person the opportunity to define their own goals, and admits that you do have the power to change. Ultimately, you know what you want - I will support you to dig deep and discover the plan that works best for you. The words of two participants explain this best:

“I love it because it's focused on your individual journey and relationship to alcohol and nutrition. For some that may look like turning into a non-drinker for good, for others it could be to cut out for a short time to recalibrate and reassess your relationship of why and how you choose to drink and others to just cut back on the overall quantity.”

“What really stands out for me is the sense of autonomy, or freedom to choose. I hate being told what to do and what I get from our conversations is a strong level of support but also the freedom to make my own choices without guilt or shame.”

Evolve is Holistic:

This program is about much more than what you put into your body. The approach is more holistic than just a treatment or nutrition plan. We work with many parts of your life, including work-life balance, exercise, spirituality, relationships, sexuality and more. I help to identify and address the underlying beliefs around body image, food and self care that lead to issues with alcohol consumption, from a place of experience and compassion.

Evolve is based on Personal and Shared Accountability:

It’s about getting clear about your intentions, for yourself first and foremost. Once you have set clear intentions, we come up with a holistic plan to help you stick to your intentions. Your intentions are you guide, and eliminate the chitter-chatter and grey areas around your wellness plan. Sharing your intentions with your significant other, best friend, “Sip Sister”* or support group is key to helping you stay supported and accountable.

Evolve’s in-depth work is based on a coaching model, designed to help you reach your health and life goals by making step-by-step changes to your relationship to alcohol, diet and lifestyle. Coaching is completely focused on you; starting from where you are in your life now and getting you where you want to go. Your coach acts as your guide, your cheerleader, your BS* detector, your accountability partner, your resident expert, your confidant… helping you gain control of and take responsibility for your body and your life, by redefining your relationship to alcohol. And guess what? You get to enjoy everything even more than you thought possible.

So there you have it… I’d love to hear your thoughts on these guiding principles and whether you can see yourself or someone you know using. Or, was there anything unclear or confusing? That doesn’t quite sit right? These are a work in progress and I’d love your feedback!


*If you'd like to know more about Sip Sisters and how you can get support, click this link to set up a free session with me. Let's chat!