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35 Realizations Since I've Found Freedom

35 things (in honour of turning 35) I have learned or experienced since I stopped drinking/partying and starting living in alignment with my values. Sprinkled within these are some of my favourite quotes or things that ring incredibly true for me in my life. 1. I’ve never woken up and wish I drank last night. I have also never seen anyone say that. Ever. It is a decision that has come with 0 regrets.

2. I have never thought an environment or event would be better if I was drinking.

3. You can break free from the illusion you ‘need’ alcohol. You need yourself, you are enough.

4. I have never heard someone say they wish they waited to stop drinking, but I’ve very often heard “I wish I did this sooner.”

5. The scariest, most uncomfortable conversations are usually the ones you should be having.

6. Fear, stigma and labels keep so many people stuck. Don’t use them if you don’t want to.

7. I don’t believe “am I an alcoholic?” will ever be the right question. Better questions to ask would be: Would my life be better without alcohol? Is alcohol taking more than it is giving? Why do I believe I ‘need’ it?

8. You are worthy. It isn't based on whether or not you drink alcohol or party, it also isn't based on if your partner makes you feel as though you aren't.

9. I always worried about being judged by my choice not to drink. I also worried people who drink would think I am judging them. Safe to say this is a judgement free space and most non drinkers would say the same thing. No judgement. I did enough of that to myself, I’m not here to do it to anyone else. Nor am I worried about what other people think, their thoughts are a reflection of them and not me. I stay in my lane.

10. If you need to drink alcohol to enjoy a person or place, chances are you don’t actually like that person or place.

11. I don’t force things that don’t feel right to me. “The biggest lesson I learned this year is to not force anything: conversations, friendships, relationships, attention, love. Anything forced is just not worth fighting for; whatever flows, flows, whatever crashes, crashes!” - Unknown

12. The only competition to me is being better than who I was yesterday.

13. It can be hard to reflect on every chapter, but it is important to remember it was a chapter and not the whole story. “If you erase all of the mistakes of your past, you would also erase all of the wisdom of your present. Remember the lesson, not the disappointment.” - unknown

14. Don’t settle. Don’t tolerate less than you deserve. Self love first. The relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for every relationship you have.

15. Hold the outcome loosely. With everything. Just because you once thought you’d drink forever, doesn’t mean that has to be true. Just because you thought you would be with someone forever, doesn’t make it true. Once again, life is short. “Sometimes holding on does more damage than letting go” - let go.

16. Shift fear into curiousity. Instead of thinking, “what if things don’t work out?” or “what if i can’t do this?” Shift to - “what if things do work out better than I even imagined?” or “what if I can do this!?” Create possibilities by shifting your thinking.

17. Your people should be your hype squad - which will encourage you to be your own hype squad too. We all have days where self doubt and limiting beliefs come in: that is why your circle matters. They’ll remind you of how capable you are, until you start believing it. I know this is true because my amazing boyfriend + family + friends + peer group + TNM team are those people for me. Which opens up space for opportunities and helps to create new outcomes. “If your circle doesn't inspire you, you’re in a cage.” “If your circle doesn’t clap for you when you win, you need a new circle.” “The sooner you figure out which chairs don’t belong at your table, the more peaceful your meals become.”

“I’d rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies.” Quality > Quantity.

18. Be PATIENT. Not easy, but necessary.

19. Change can SUCK at times, but it is better than being stuck where you no longer belong. That goes for habits, people and places.

20. Trust the process. This can be HARD, but worth it!

21. People come into your life as a blessing, a lesson, for a season or a reason. It is okay to bless and release relationships or habits that are no longer serving you. This does not have to be dramatic, it doesn’t not have to include confrontation, it doesn’t have to come from a place of judgement. We change and evolve, it is only natural that not everything will align with your growth, that is okay.

22. Taking up space can feel unnatural. Give yourself permission to do so. I am a work in progress on this one.

23. Stop saying sorry all of the time. Again, I’m a work in progress and I’m no master... but you don’t have to apologize for existing. Yes, of course apologize when necessary or when you’ve hurt someone. But don’t apologize when you’ve done nothing wrong. Stop it. Again - I am a work in progress here.

24. “I used to come up with excuses for why I couldn’t do what I knew would make me thrive. Deep down, I didn’t believe I deserved it. One day I chose to believe in myself, and when I did, it felt like the whole universe agreed.” Cory Allen

25. Progress is not linear. Some days you’ll feel like a rockstar, other days you might feel like a couch potato. Balance. Ebb and flow. Progress > Perfection.

26. “You will find that the softer you speak from your true self, the louder your voice becomes.” Trudi Jane 27. “Then, one day, it clicks. The pain you had turns into peace as you accept that everything had to happen exactly as it did for you to be exactly who you are now. You hold no blame, bitterness, or resentment toward the experience, person, or yourself. Instead, you see it as the catalyst that led to your change and development. The very storm that shook so much in you also worked to clear your path.” Morgan Richard Olivier

28. “The reason you always win, darling, is because you’re equally grateful for your lessons and blessings. You either overcome or learn from everything and that is your power.” Samira Vivette

29. “I have learned that when sadness comes to visit me, all I can do is say “I see you.” I spend some time with it, get up, and say goodbye. I don’t push it away. I own it. And because I own it, I let it go.” Carolina Zacaria

30. “I don’t base my worth on other people’s perception of me. I don’t need anyone outside of me to build me up, that is a shaky foundation. Because when you feel differently about me, I will still feel the same about myself. How I feel about myself will never be in the hands of someone else, that’s when you lose your power. And if you’ve ever lost your power and reclaimed it, you know not to lose it again.” -Unknown

31. “Sometimes deciding who you are is deciding who you’ll never be again.” Unknown

32. “Everyone is making it up as they go, even if it looks like they have a plan. The sooner you accept that’s true, the sooner you’ll be able to stop second guessing yourself, start trusting in your abilities, and flow into the future with self belief.” Cory Allen

33. “Detachment is power. Release all things that no longer work for you.” Shane Steele

34. “Being mindful of your intentions is a game changer. When we stop wasting bits of energy on things that don’t matter, we can put all of our energy into something that does.” Cory Allen 35. “And she came back one day, a whole new woman, and she told me the story of the darkness that taught her to shine.” Kalen Dion

It doesn’t matter how far you’ve travelled in the wrong direction, you can always turn around.

Whether it is addiction, mental health, a breakup/unhealthy relationship, dysfunctional family dynamic, or any number of things - your story doesn’t define you.

There can be dark chapters in an incredible story.

Where you are at currently, does not have to be your final destination.

It is important to remember that.




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