In RECOVERY MONTH stateside we talk to some of the most brilliant sober voices globally who happen to be women and of course, one man.








Table of Contents

32 34 36 42

04 06

Susan's Welcome Note You are very welcome to the Hola Sober universe, come on inside.

Emotional Eating

Sophie Pelham Burn

Hola Sober Picks

Dear Gee

12 15 18

Blue Polish Team Pick

A chat with Jean McCarthy

Writing Your Recovery Ann Dowsett Johnston

A chat with Travis Akers 48 A chat with Dawn Nickel

Being Sober Out Loud

Maria McKenty

25 21

52 68

Running into Sobriety Emma S.

Resistance Alexandra Hartley-Leonard A chat with Kelsey Moreira

Emma L's Diary



editor's note

September has always been one of my favour i te months of the year and in Madr id, we see fal l ing temperatures and I get to exper ience the joy of needing a cardigan for the evening - i t 's the simple things isn' t i t? I had the joy this month of chatt ing wi th some incredible women who happen to be sober and the pleasure of spending t ime chatt ing wi th our 'one man for the issue. Travis Akers was honest and open as to his struggles wi th alcohol in the past and the joy and grat i tude he feels each day that he doesn' t dr ink. I met wi th the amazing Kelsey Morei ra the Founder Doughp who is an inspi r ing young CEO rocking the business world and has been acknowledged as one of the Forbes 30 under 30. SHE RECOVERS Co-Founder Dawn Nickel was so gracious wi th her t ime and I was thr i l led to hear she has such strong I r ish roots. Who hasn' t l istened to Jean McCarthy of The Bubble Hour fame? She kindly invi ted me into her home for a zoom chat on al l things sober on her journey. As always our contr ibutors and the fabulous team of columnists stepped up to the plate this month wr i t ing flawlessly about what 's on thei r mind this Autumn-Fal l . I am hugely grateful to you the reader for joining me and team Hola Sober on this journey and may September smi le as we look skyward and say not today lady, not today.

Susan Chr ist ina ED I TOR + P U B L I S H E R Susan Christina

the team

Please note this is a FREE magazine designed, created, and produced in Madrid as a passion project. All columnists VOLUNTEER their precious time and talent to ensure your inbox is filled with colour, motivation, inspiration, and education for your sober journey. All the ladies on the team bring their enthusiasm and talent to the project stepping into the arena monthly. I, personally am HUGELY GRATEFUL for such a powerful set of women to have joined me on this journey. Editor + Creative Director + lots of other stuff : Susan Christina (courtesy of carrot cake + tea + a lovely supportive team of boys + one man) Columnists: Ann Dowsett Johnston, Gee, Colette, Sophie Pelham-Burn, Alexandra Hartley-Leonard, Maria McKenty, Linda Redmond, Lisa Wilde, Maria S.,

Submissions + Proof Reader: Linda Redmond + Susan

Contributors: Emma S., Carrie, Emma W, Hola Sober Sisters Photos celebrating Sober Gold. Hola Sober Daily Cheerleaders: My KOBE crew (Gee, MS + Michelle-Google) + Deb + Judith + Irish family

September Pick from Susan

I love these Reusable Face Wipes from Scint i l la - These 100 % organic cot ton make - up wipes are sof t , gent le and the per fect accessory to your cleans ing rout ine . They ' re double - s ided wi th a sof t sweet pea gauze on one s ide and a f luf fy towel l ing on the other . They ' re great for us ing wi th an oi l cleanser to wipe away excess make - up , wi th a l iquid product , l ike our Cleans ing Mi lk , for cleans ing , or just to use to wipe damp skin at the end of your wash . Each pack contains 5 wipes which can be washed up to 40 ° in the washing machine . Depending on how much product you ' re washing of f , we recommend us ing each one for 2 - 3 days before put t ing i t through the wash , just s impl y r inse out and squeeze between each use and I think they are a wonder and the dai sy pat tern would make anyone smi le ! ! L o t s o f l o v e Su s a n https : / /www.wearescint i l la.com/product-page/reusable-make-up-wipes- daisy

September Pick from Colette

My 1000 days of sobr iety are in ear l y October and I want a piece that wi l l be a reminder of my journey thus far f ree f rom the demon that i s wine o ' clock . I love the work of a jewel lery des igner here in Canada and have been onl ine brows ing through mul t iple jewel lery ideas I think i t i s so impor tant to acknowledge our wins on thi s journey as they are dai l y and when we hi t big anni versar ies we should splash out on oursel ves . Hi lary Druxman who has the most wonder ful ethos of gi v ing back to local communi t ies creates jewel lery that i s modern in des ign and funct ion . Handcraf ted in ster l ing s i l ver or gold , Hi lary Druxman col lect ions are t imeless , complementary pieces des igned for every occas ion . Di st inct i ve s impl ici ty of des ign and master craf tsmanship combine to create access ible , ef for t less and elegant jewel lery to express one ’ s own unique , indi v idual sty le ! You should gi ve her work a look over and see can you f ind yoursel f a piece that matches your mood ! ht tps : / / www . hi larydruxman . com / good - works / L o t s o f l o v e Co l e t t e

September Pick fromMaria

thi s " Exot ic Sands " piece I bought a couple of weeks ago . I t ' s a rotat ing window of sand ar t that morphs into a di f ferent landscape when rotated on i ts stand . Very zen - great for quiet ing the mind . Every busy woman should have one on her desk and I love my purchase which br ings me much joy ! These wonder ful pieces are by Wi l l iam Tabar and each sand picture i s craf ted wi th pr i st ine sands sourced f rom around the wor ld including black sand f rom the West Af r ican Coast , powder whi te sand f rom the shores of the Car ibbean , emerald green sand f rom coastal South Amer ica , and coral pink sand f rom Southern Utah . The l iquid used in the pictures i s a highl y guarded , non - tox ic t rade secret solut ion . There i s something real l y special about thi s picture and I couldn ' t recommend i t highl y enough ! Go t reat yoursel f ! ! L o t s o f l o v e Ma r i a

September Pick from Gee

My hai r i s st raight and lacks volume and cur l s so to cheer mysel f up in a busy month , I bought the BaBy l i ss Cur l ing Wand and in an instant brought body and l i fe to my hai r ! I t takes get t ing used to as I am not very good at winding my hai r around the bar rel but a few YOUTUBE v ideos later and my hai r fel t bouncy and f resh ! Des igned wi th a dusky pink bar rel made f rom t i tanium - ceramic , the BaBy l i ss Rose Blush Cur l ing Wand adds a touch of feminini ty to your hai rcare rout ine . I t makes creat ing your look quick and easy and uses Non - s l ip Wrap Cont rol ™ for addi t ional gr ip and cont rol so you can achieve the cur l s of your dreams . The wand features f i ve di f ferent heat set t ings wi th a max imum of 210 ° C . Heat wi l l be constant and even thanks to Advanced Ceramics ™ technology , making sure the shape of your cur l stays in place for longer and br ings a smi le . Treat yoursel f , ladies , i t ' s a wonder ful sel f - care gi f t for September and ear l y Autumn ! L o t s o f l o v e Ge e x x

September Pick from Alexandra

Thi s book has been on my l i st “ to read ” for the last year , and I ’ m so glad that my hand was f inal l y forced when i t was chosen for a sober ladies book group I ’ m in . I l i stened to i t on Audible and then hal fway through i t , I ordered the hard copy because I knew I needed to go back over i t , highl ight ing and marking i t up . I am aware that I tend to use very profus i ve and express i ve language somet imes when I love something , but I think I can honest l y say that thi s might be the best book I ’ ve ever read . I wi sh i t had a di f ferent t i t le because thi s i s not a book just for people recover ing f rom substance abuse . Thi s book taught me more about the brain , chi ldhood development , parent ing , fami l y pat terns , addict ion , and resources to look for in order to make my l i fe happier and more ful f i l led than any s ingle book I ’ ve ever read has . I know we joke in meet ings a lot about buy ing too many books , but I genuinel y think everyone should read thi s . I wi l l go back to i t t ime and t ime again . Lo t s o f l o v e Al e x a n d r a x

September Pick from Linda

My pick of the month i s thi s Aroma di f fuser , Bluetooth speaker and gorgeous lamp in one ! Thi s i s what they cal l an " intel l igent di f fuser " and I am not ent i rel y sure what that means but i t i s a fabulous addi t ion to my home of f ice . I t i s a Bluetooth speaker , easy to instal l and a di f fuser sending fabulous waf t ing waves of scent throughout my space . Us ing di f ferent essent ial oi l s I can l i f t or change the mood in an instant . The colours are fabulous br ight and change automat ical l y sending lovel y shadows around the room . You can cont rol the mi st , the l ight , t iming and your mus ic f rom a smal l remote cont rol dev ice and thoroughl y love i t . I have al so gi ven i t as a gi f t to a sober gi r l f r iend who loves i t as much as I do ! I t i s inexpens i ve and di f ferent and makes my home of f ice a feast of wonder ful aromas and mus ic at the cl ick of a but ton ! Enjoy ladies and remember you are wor th i t .

Lo t s o f l o v e L i n dax


In 2019 Nigella Lawson was asked what product she used at night to make her look so youthful. She revealed she used an inexpensive GOW Prickly Pear Oil nightly. "Put it on at night and you’ll wake up looking as if you’ve been to a spa by the sea, slept 10 hours a night and been off Twitter for a month.” Nigella added: “It’s not just that it moisturises: it seems to heal my skin and make it so much more elastic.” She explained that after realising the benefits it was having to her complexion, she decided to use it on her “reptilian hands” at night too - and it was able to reverse the effects of failing to regularly wear washing up gloves. If there’s any excess, she rubs the ends of her hair with it - often negating the need for conditioner in the shower - and likewise dabs it on rough elbows and cuticles. Her second tip was Nigella also revealed that to maintain her youthful looks she cleanses make-up off every night with a muslin cloth. This has an exfoliating effect, she explains, which gets “rid of old, dead skin cells and keep my complexion bright”.

Garden of Wisdom 100% Pure Prickly Pear Seed Oil is a superb multipurpose oil that restores skin elasticity, calms inflammation in rosacea-prone skin, brightens dark spots and hyperpigmentation and helps prevent acne. Also known as Cactus Oil or Barbary Fig Seed Oil, this is an excellent multi-purpose face oil with superb moisturising properties. Like Argan Oil, Prickly Pear Seed Oil is native to Morocco and India. Yet, unlike Argan Oil, Prickly Pear Oil has the richest source of vitamin E and is full of essential fatty acids as well as antioxidants and polyphenols.



“I love the playlist has been put together by sober women choosing their favourite tunes. I keep trying to decide who chose what!" Ann W. "I am listening to all kinds of music that I would not normally listen to and it brings me joy. One minute I am dancing, the next minute I am reflecting." Lisa B.

Our sober support meetings are closed keeping the groups small and allow relationships be fostered in a sacred space of trust. The host picks a song at the end to dance out and the zoom-room becomes a feast of women dancing in joy and freedom feeling empowered and positive going into their day or week. I started it believing ending a meeting on dance is a fun, liberating thing to do as women together and our SPOTIFY Playlist includes songs we dance to, songs that inspire us, songs that motivate us and bring us joy. The Hola Sober Sisters kindly submitted their favourite songs and we have a wonderfully eclectic mix of tastes and songs for you to enjoy! Please click and enjoy! CLICK https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4jSjY1gUq0T S17yfqzhZ2m

If you would like to work on "Resistance" we have the perfect meditation for you! Alexandra Hartley-Leonard has recorded the most fabulous meditation that goes hand-in-hand with her column this month. Please head over to HUSH on the Hola Sober website, for our new meditation released this month on "Letting Go of Resistance".

We hope this helps to expand your meditation practice."

SOUNDCLOUD or for download. CLICK https://holasober.com/meditations

Heard on ZOOM

"The number of evenings I was just passed out on the sofa or in bed and my kids knew I wasn’t available to them … the joy of knowing I am now is such a huge thing" "The first 30 days were hard work, just readjusting all the constant signals to drink. Then on to 60, 90 and this newfound accountability to myself was satisfying in a way no drink was. Perhaps I could manage 120? Somedays the goal was just to get my head on the pillow sober, whatever that took. My joy the next morning, to add a number, see my total rise gave me the courage to go another day. So if you are like me and count your days, I hope you can find joy and lots of pride today in adding another notch on your sober belt." "Each day we might need something different. Some days it’s a trainer telling us to get down and give em 20. The next day it might be someone telling you to curl up with your blanket and soothe yourself. It’s a long path with lots of tools. And we all need different things at different times. As long as we don’t start making excuses or lying to ourselves.

"Even if your ass is on fire, don't drink.

"I truly appreciate this incredible group of women and the support we give each other. Perhaps it is a women's mindset, but being supported and empowered is the way that I will keep sober, not by attending nightly meetings, because "my addiction is doing pushups in the parking lot" - L.L "To me sober gold is being able to jump in the car and be the family taxi after 7.00 p.m. at night, it never fails to make me feel good about my choice to live AF." S.C.

"So you take ALL the moments to be proud and feel into the strength of your sobriety. Sometimes I’m now on autopilot and I love the reminders that it is a beautiful gift every damn day. " "I have two suggestions for you that work for me when I am feeling overwhelmed : 1) put in a rubbishy movie and sit down for an hour and a half and lose yourself in something 2) put on your rain jacket, put in the earphones with the hola so we Spotify list and take yourself out for a stomp. You are taking charge and that is huge, sounds like it’s well overdue." "Susan mentioned the "forgotten" moments and the icy stares at breakfast after the night priors antics. I find it interesting that I just had a conversation with my boss saying that the very reason I never do/did drugs is because I don't like being out of control. I'd equate not remembering the night before, what I drank (where I hid it... 😳 ) fairly out of control."



T E A M P I C K S F O R F A L L - A U T UMN 2 0 2 1

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Remember that!



Why are we reading if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed? Why are we reading if not in hope that the writer will magnify and dramatize our days, will illuminate and inspire us with wisdom, courage and the possibility of meaningfulness, and will press upon our minds the deepest mysteries, so we may again feel their majesty and power? --Annie Dillard, The Writing Life Writing is a way of making sense of the world. In recovery, I believe that creative writing is an important form of self-discovery. Personally, I often don’t know what I think—not fully—until I write about it. I think memoir-writing can be one of the most profound experiences of the recovery journey in terms of: making sense of what happened, learning how your early years fit into the narrative, how you stumbled and how you recovered, survived, even flourished. What were the demons? Where was the mystery? Was there a spiritual component? Where are you now? Let’s get started with Job One, which is to unearth your life. I want you to gather all the snapshots and old journals, all the raw material you can find to jog your memory on what contributed to your behaving the way you did. Workshops.

This is where you will find the great juiciness of your story. Sometimes, nothing is more evocative than an old ticket stub from a concert, or a prom photo. Who were you close to in childhood? Was there a pivotal incident, perhaps one you’ve forgotten , or haven’t re-examined in the right light? For me, there is an image of me standing with a judge in South Africa. I am 10. I have just won second prize for a singing solo —first for voice, but second for delivery. Overcome with stage fright, I sang the solo with my back to the audience. It was that same self-consciousness that later, I would tamp down with alcohol. It’s important to be the best expert with your own material. Know it backwards. Keep a notebook with you at all times. You have no idea when the breadcrumbs will appear, the ones leading you on the path to those powerful memories, the ones so pivotal to your narrative. Take a minute and think about it. As you begin to isolate those moments, you may begin to see a theme. Becoming a hunter-gatherer. Drag all of the wood out of the river, up onto the shore. Let it dry out, examine it. There are clues.

The next part of the journey is shaping your story. For this, you are going to use stickies or index cards.

CON T d . b y An n Dows e t t J o h n s t o n

Part One is your rock-bottom moment—often what we call the inciting incident. Here is where you will introduce the characters, the conflict and or the problem you were facing. Part Two relates to the time when you began to find your solution to that behavior, in which you explore the challenges. Part Three: you resolve your story, showing change and growth, character development, resolving the problem and answering any unanswered questions. My advice: think about your rock bottom moment. This will prove to be the firm foundation of how you build your story. I have three gradually more ugly images that I included in my book Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol. This gave a full picture of how my alcoholism progressed.

Ann Dowsett Johnston is the bestselling author of Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol. Now a psychotherapist, she also teaches her online memoir-writing course Writing Your Recovery, which starts on Sept. 27. Go to anndowsettjohnston.com, and register under Workshops on the site.

Now, I want you to think about your solution, your recovery, and how you got there.

Finally, I want to share my overarching encouragement to use your best stuff. I once asked the Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Carol Shields if she saved stories for future books, and she said never. Spend whatever you have in your pocket. The truth is: if you spend it, more will appear.

Writing is one of life’s great adventures. I wish you all great pleasure in the process.

being sober out loud

by Maria McKenty (MMK)

I had my last drink on April 10, 1986. I remember it well. I went out with a bit of a fizzle: two beers at noon, by myself, on the beach. I didn’t know it was my last drink. I knew very well that alcohol was “my thing,” and that it had to go from my life. But I didn’t know how to stop drinking or that I was about to embark on an alcohol-free lifestyle. I was starting a four-day retreat later that day on how to get what you want out of life. There were a lot of those floating around in the 1980s. We took a sober pledge on the first night, and then dug into the work of looking at what was and was not working in our lives. I tried as hard as I could to hide that alcohol was the central issue. But as the universe would have it, another sober woman was at that retreat and I swear she had x-ray vision. When she asked me if I thought I had a problem with alcohol, I responded, “I don’t think I have a problem, I know I do!” I haven’t had a sip since. So, how did I do it? I joined an amazing sobriety support group that has sustained me for 35 years. I have been through good years, great years, hard years and terrible years - not one of them alone. I am forever grateful to that group for teaching me how to navigate all that life is, without a sip. My sober practices have evolved over the years to include regular exercise, yoga, meditation, reading, healthy nutrition, regular sleep - all the things! I call it a multimodal approach, and it is. I am very aware that sobriety support meetings are crucial, but I have to take care of my mind, body and spirit to stay on the sober beam. In the last couple of years, before Covid hit, I was going to two meetings a week - women’s meetings only. Why women only? Because that is whom I could help overcome their addiction to alcohol. I’ve always worked with women only. .

When we went into lockdown, one of the women I work with told me about an online meeting that was being hosted by a woman who wrote a book about getting sober. I am an open-minded, curious seeker, so I did not have to be convinced to check it out. It was awesome! Small at first, very raw and in the experience of getting and being sober at the outset of a world-wide pandemic. The host was kind and accepting and knew how to reach people. I bought her book and loved it. In these meetings, I learned that other people had written books about getting sober. I was amazed! How wonderful! I kid you not, I had been reading the same few books, over and over for 35 years. I felt like a kid in a candy score. This “modern” writing was so relatable. I didn’t need to translate anything. And what was significant to me: the ones I was most attracted to were written by women. To be sure, I have been reading some wonderful male authors, mostly poets. But for the first time in my sober life, I was reading what the female experience of alcohol addiction was. I came home again. My sober roots are deep, and I have a strong, daily practice to maintain it. But what I am experiencing in modern recovery has allowed me to deepen my understanding of addiction and embrace the many pathways to sobriety that we walk. I’m now going to upwards of seven meetings a week, in three different sober spaces. It’s beautiful and I am so very grateful. I am feeling super charged to carry the torch of a new generation of sober women, to unveil my face and say out loud that women can choose the path they walk. We can walk different paths, side by side, supporting a lifestyle that does not include drinking alcohol. We can accomplish great things in big and small ways - together


" T h e p e opl e who r ec ov e r ed a ll sh a r ed on e thing in c ommon, no m a tt e r how th e y d i d it:

T h e y d i d n't d o it. T h e y just d i d n't d o it.

Y ou ab solut e ly ca n stop d rinking, right now. T h e qu e stion is only, d o you w a nt to be so be r mor e th a n you w a nt to d rink?" - A ugust e n B urroughs -

Q uestions ?





“Most of us have two lives, the life we live and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” – Steven Pressfield Resistance . For the love of God . It makes me . Completely . Insane . It feels like it ’ s a part of everything , and it can launch such a self - critical shame spiral that makes people even less likely to act because the thing that they are resisting becomes bigger and bigger , and more and more important . The more you resist whatever “it” is, the more you feel like when you finally tackle it, you have to tackle it WELL AND SUCCESSFULLY . Take a look at your life and look at any of the things you are resisting right now . Hold up let me name a few basic ones just in case you think you ’ re someone that doesn ’ t do this : 1 . Calling someone back 2 . Starting a diet or exercise routine 3 . Applying for a new job 4 . Marie Kondo - ing all the junk in your house 5 . Reading that book on your nightstand 6 . Starting a gratitude list general ) 7 . Updating the photos you have around your house 8 . Moving to be closer to ( ahem ! or further from ) family ( or journaling in

Resistance is a beast . And it seems to fluctuate in strength based on the size , importance and effort it will take to do the thing you want to do . In my experience , it walks along the shores of my mind with the other beast in my head , Ego . In my attempt to understand myself , one of the things I ’ ve picked up along the way about this asshole is that Ego is ruled by fear and will do anything it can not disrupt what it knows and to protect me from change . It is not interested in what I ’ d like to stop or start doing . It has a curated story about why things are the way they are and why I am right about all of it . Together , Resistance and Ego plot all kinds of really convincing stories about why I should stay exactly where I am . They know that I am on to them , but they are smart and conniving and they come up with very real and convincing stories about who the enemy actually is . In the past they have convinced me that not only is it not my fault , but it is in fact the fault of the other people or situations around me - my partner , my family , my job , my boss , the city I live in , the neighbours , the president - need I name more ? Basically , the message becomes - If it wasn ’ t for ….. whoever …. then this wouldn ’ t be happening . I am helpless against this all - powerful situation and so I will keep doing this thing that I do because why should * I * do the work when it is the fault of THEM ? Why should * I * be the one to reorganize the drawers when it ’ s my HUSBAND that won ’ t do the laundry ? ( Reason - you having more organized drawers will actually make your brain feel less cluttered every time you open a drawer . For real - Marie knows what she ’ s talking about .) Why should * I * quit drinking when the fucking world is on fire and half the country doesn ’ t even care ? How else am I supposed to calm down when * I can do nothing * about this neighbourhood , this country , my kids ' school ? Not to * mention * that if I stop or start doing that thing on my list - how will I even connect with the people I actually enjoy, who (for example) all like to drink? I have to keep this in my life because if I stop - then I will lose my friends and my only time to take a break from the BURNING WORLD AROUND ME . Do you see where this is going ?

9 . Cleaning your car 10 . Quitting drinking

Obviously , some of the things on this list have more gravity to them than others . Obviously , some ( quitting drinking ) will change your life completely while others ( getting rid of anything that doesn ' t “ spark joy ”) would potentially feel like a chore while doing , but you ’ d be glad to have done it when it ’ s over . Perhaps it could lead to a whole new feeling about home and your possessions !, you think . That ’ s the hope . How could you know unless you start ? And starting is the HARDEST thing to do . Once you have started most things ( as I have now started writing this piece ) you ’ re off and running , thinking “WHY DID IT TAKE ME SO LONG TO START THIS? THIS ISN’T SO BAD AND IN FACT I’M ACTUALLY ENJOYING IT!”


You can see how these stories could change from person to person , place to place , and of course , gather further evidence around you that you are “ not as bad ” as someone else so “ why should you ….?” And the answer is simple - because it will be better for you . Because maybe just maybe a better life lies on the other side . This thing on your “ list ” is there because it is the small voice inside of you that wants more for you , the voice that wants to try , it thinks you deserve an opportunity to live happier , or more organized , or healthier , or more mentally free . It ’ s the voice that understands that there might be hard work at the forefront of whatever you want to do , but that the payoff will be worth it and YOU will be the beneficiary . Stephen Pressfield who wrote ( one of the many books on my nightstand ,) The War of Art : Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles , says “ resistance is a sign that you are dreaming big and that you ’ re on the right track .” Resistance is also connected * directly * to fear . In her book ( that I actually read ! Gold star for me !) Big Magic , Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how when she realized that fear and resistance went hand in hand and she accepted that fear was not permanently removable , she decided to write Fear a letter so that they could both understand the terms on which Fear would always be welcome to join the ride . She wrote , “ Fear : I recognize and respect that you are part of this family , and so I will never exclude you from our activities , but still - your suggestions will NEVER be followed . You ’ re allowed to have a seat and you ’ re allowed to have a voice , but you are not allowed to have a VOTE . You’re not allowed to touch the road maps; you’re not allowed to suggest detours; you’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. DUDE, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely FORBIDDEN to drive

So when you want to scold yourself for being lazy or weak or flaky for not jumping at the opportunity to do something new that you wish you would , remember - it means you ’ re onto something good . It ’ s actually a red flag to “ look over here !”, and just try for a moment , to consider yourself brave . It ’ s scary to face things that ignite fear . However, once you acknowledge that, it can take some of the powerlessness out of the situation . Then you have the opportunity to say - so this is scary ... but I ’ m going to try it anyway . And you can do that…...because you are a badass.

LETTING GO OF RESISTANCE MEDITATION https://holasober.com/meditations

Hopi Indian Chief White Eagle commented a few days ago on the current si tuat ion:

′ ′ This moment humani ty is experiencing can be seen as a door or a hole. The decision to fal l in the hole or walk through the door is up to you. I f you consume the news 24 hours a day, wi th negat ive energy, constant ly nervous, wi th pessimism, you wi l l fal l into this hole. But i f you take the opportuni ty to look at yourself , to rethink l i fe and death, to take care of yourself and others, then you wi l l walk through the portal . Take care of your home, take care of your body. Connect wi th your spiri tual home. When you take care of yourself , you take care of everyone at the same t ime. Do not underest imate the spiri tual dimension of this crisis. Take the perspect ive of an eagle that sees everything from above wi th a broader view. There is a social quest ion in this crisis, but also a spiri tual quest ion. The two go hand in hand. Wi thout the social dimension we fal l into fanat icism. Wi thout the spiri tual dimension, we fal l into pessimism and fut i l i ty. Are you ready to face this crisis. Grab your toolbox and use al l the tools at your disposal . Learn resistance from the example of Indian and African peoples: we have been and are exterminated. But we never stopped singing, dancing, l ight ing a f ire and rejoicing. Don' t feel gui l ty for feel ing blessed in these troubled t imes. Being sad or angry doesn' t help at al l . Resistance is resistance through joy! You have the right to be strong and posi t ive. And there's no other way to do i t than to maintain a beaut i ful , happy, bright posture. Has nothing to do wi th al ienat ion (ignorance of the world). I t 's a resistance strategy. When we cross the threshold, we have a new worldview because we faced our fears and di ff icul t ies. This is al l you can do now: - Sereni ty in the storm - Keep calm, pray every day

- Make a habi t of meet ing the sacred every day. Show resistance through art , joy, trust and love.

(courtesy of B.H. in our chat group whose Mom sent i t to her last week)



I was de l ighted to have the chance to spend t ime wi th the fabulous Ke l sey More i ra , the founder and fear l ess l eader of Doughp thi s month. When I was looking for a CEO or bus iness l eader who 'happened to be sober ' the tal ented Ke l sey jumped out at me , l i sted as a Forbes Top 30 Under 30 and someone who has pi tched her cooki e dough to the sharks on the TV show 'Shark Tank. ' Ke l sey ' s journey f rom a blackout drunk on a bench in Barce lona to the success ful bus inesswoman that s i ts before me i s one that involves , courage , bravery , vi s ion and natural bus iness acumen that in sobr i ety i s soar ing .

She took the l eap i n 201 7 and j umped o f f the corporate Inte l l adder and se t up th i s amaz i ng company tha t i s rock i ng the cook i e space and the r ea l i t y i s tha t none o f th i s wou l d be unf o l d i ng i f Ke l sey had not f ound sobr i e t y . Ke l sey opens the d i scus s i on by be i ng hones t and f rank about the dr i nk i ng year s document i ng he r dr i nk i ng f rom when she was 15 year s o l d expe r iment i ng wi th the pa thway o f be l i ev i ng i t he l ped he r f i nd ba l ance through the i nt ens i t y tha t was a young 16- year -o l d t ech- savvy k i d on a program a t Int e l . She cont i nued a t Int e l through co l l ege (@ Ar i zona S t a t e ) and became a fu l l - t ime emp l oyee a f t e r gradua t i on . Int e l was not the onl y cons t ant , a l coho l was he r cons t ant compan i on and she was tha t k i d tha t the f ami l y wor r i ed about and seemed to say week l y "Oh my gosh, what happened to Ke l sey !" " Ni ght s whe r e my par ent s , f r i ends , or then- boy f r i end wou l d have to rush to my a i de and wor ry about me . I thought dr i nk i ng wou l d make me c oo l . Li t t l e did I know, I would become super f reaking cool once I s topped dr inking . "

Ke l sey ' s boy f r i end and f ami l y we r e cons t ant l y wor ry i ng about the next phone ca l l , the next c ry f or he l p ye t she was comp l e t e l y ob l i v i ous to the f a l l -out f rom he r dr i nk i ng . She wou l d wake up and say "Wha t a f abu l ous n i ght we had l as t n i ght , " to hear "You took of f your shor t s at the concer t and threw them into the crowd, i t was awful . " Drunk wi th no memory o f he r ant i cs she cons t ant l y t r i ed to f i nd a way to keep dr i nk i ng or manage he r dr i nk i ng as she cou l d not imag i ne a wor l d wi thout i t . "I was determined to make a l cohol work and did not want to be that person, I did not want that s t i gma . ' Through co l l ege , she cont i nued apace and a t age 21 year s o l d she t r i ed to g i ve up a l coho l f or the f i r s t t ime wi th a c l ear p l an to s top dr i nk i ng f or 4 months i n anothe r va i n a t t empt to keep a l coho l i n he r l i f e and hoped tha t a f t e r 4 months o f not dr i nk i ng , she wou l d then be ab l e to dr i nk r espons i b l y . He r Nana who i s a powe r fu l ro l e mode l , a l e t t e r wr i t e r and sobe r f or decades wrot e to he r a t the t ime and to l d he r "How awesome i t was to see me sober . " Ke l sey sa i d "The s ad r ea l i t y i s t ha t wi t h a l c oho l i sm you do no t s e e t he hur t you caus e o r t he damage you ar e do i ng t o your f ami l y . I t wa s a lmo s t a s i f e v e r yone i n my l i f e wa s f e e l i ng t ha t e v e r yone ha s t o s av e Ke s l e y aga i n , wa i t i ng f o r t he nex t phone ca l l , t he nex t d i s a s t e r t o happen . " As a young s tudent , she headed to Bar ce l ona on a s tudy-abroad program tha t she was supe r exc i t ed about . She want ed to see a d i f f e r ent c i t y , prac t i se he r Span i sh ( be caus e no one t o l d he r t he y s peak Ca t a l an i n t he Ca t a l on i an c i t y ! ! ) and l i ve a gr ea t expe r i ence . Ent e r s t age l e f t a l coho l who ye t aga i n robbed Ke l sey o f a n i ght wi th f a l l out and consequences tha t cont i nue to th i s day as she works he r way through the Ca t a l on i a hor ror show wi th a the rap i s t . I can p i c tur e a young v i brant , smar t woman ar r i v i ng i n the magn i f i cent c i t y o f Gaud i i n 201 1 br immi ng wi th i deas and hope tot a l l y unawar e tha t add i c t i on had othe r i deas . Tha t n i ght add i c t i on came to town and drank he r se l f i nto ob l i v i on (and who knows wha t was put i n he r dr i nk on tha t even i ng i n ques t i on . . ) onl y to wake up the next morn i ng on a park bench i n the c i t y unawar e o f he r sur round i ngs and memor i es no one want s to wake up wi th . "I f e l t ashamed because I was dr inking and ruined what could have been an amaz ing s tudy abroad exper i ence . " The r ea l i t y i s tha t no woman , drunk or othe rwi se dese rves to have he r sa f e t y i nvaded and when tha t happens , i t i s an o f f ence . One ev i l s t range r does not a c i t y make and she was he l ped by the k i ndnes s o f s t range r s who f ound he r and got he r a l l the he l p she needed tha t day .

Wak i ng up i n a f or e i gn c i t y , compromi sed wi thout the l oca l l anguage wou l d usua l l y be enough to knock some sense i nto a human be i ng but add i c t i on doesn ' t work tha t way and he r dance wi th l i quor cont i nued f or anothe r f our year s . Ul t ima tums f rom he r then-boy f r i end and wor r i ed f ami l y d i d not cause the mi nd sh i f t tha t i s r equ i r ed f or one to embrace sobr i e t y . She was r e l ent l es s i n go i ng f orward keep i ng a l coho l i n he r l i f e . Unt i l . . . . Four year s l a t e r she f ound he r se l f back i n the c i t y o f Bar ce l ona on a work t r i p when she se t out wi th co l l eagues f or a f ew dr i nks on ar r i va l . Ke l sey was i l l - equ i pped to eve r j us t have a ' f ew dr i nks and the n i ght sp i ra l l ed as was he r pa t t e rn i nto anothe r dr i nk i ng f es t tha t f ound he r wak i ng up i n a s t range r s apar tment wi th some random guy she had me t on he r dr i nk- fue l l ed n i ght out . Who knows wha t the un i ve r se cont r i ved i n he r tha t morn i ng but thi s par t i cul ar morning was di f f erent and she vowed she neve r want ed to wake up f ee l i ng l i ke th i s aga i n and made some phone ca l l s . One of the f i rs t ca l l s she made was to her be loved grandmother "I want to get sober . " was probab l y the phone ca l l he r beaut i fu l grandmothe r had wa i t ed year s to r ece i ve and I have no doubt she sa i d a l oud 'Ha l l e l u j ah" when Ke l sey f ound an AA mee t i ng i n Eng l i sh i n the c i t y . Ke l sey spoke wi th a gent l eman ca l l ed Wi l l hos t i ng the mee t i ng by SKYPE and sought the he l p , suppor t and commun i t y she needed to f i nd he r way through tha t god-awfu l day one . She even r ece i ved he r 24Hour co i n i n Bar ce l ona and has i t on he r desk to th i s day wi th he r grandmothe r ' s co i ns . I have no doubt tha t the 12-S t ep mee t i ng saved th i s young woman ' s l i f e tha t morn i ng as wi thout i t , we wou l d not be t a l k i ng and Doughp wou l d not be rock i ng the un i ve r se wi th i t s amaz i ng i n-house cu l tur e o f suppor t f or r ecove ry and ment a l hea l th awar enes s . "AA r ea l l y he l ped me i n the beg i nn i ng , i n those f i r s t s i x months wi th the commun i t y . and connec t i ons because my who l e l i f e had been torn up , my boy f r i end had l e f t and I f ound myse l f l i v i ng i n an apar tment on my own f or the f i r s t t ime . My f r i ends we r e dr i nk i ng budd i es and work co l l eagues , so a l l o f tha t changed f or me and I had a l ot o f t ime on my own wh i ch i s how I ended up back i n the k i t chen . For me , the f i r s t year o f sobr i e t y was a t rans i t i ona l pe r i od and I got i nto yoga , vegan i sm and a l l th i ngs sobe r r ea l l y connec t i ng wi th myse l f . "

. ,

I asked Ke l sey does she now cons i de r he r se l f a 12-S t eppe r or mode rn r ecove ry? "Af t e r s i x months I r e l oca t ed and I f ound myse l f i n a mee t i ng wi th peop l e much o l de r than me and i t wasn ' t the r i ght f i t f or me , a l though I d i d mee t some wonde r fu l peop l e and one man was happ i l y mar r i ed and sobe r and had f ound sobr i e t y a t the same age as me wh i ch was wonde r fu l to see whe r e my sobr i e t y wou l d t ake me . I wou l d go to to a mee t i ng eve ry year on my sobe r ann i ve r sary and have r ecent l y r eached out to some sobe r connec t i ons f rom tha t t ime and have j o i ned some zoom mee t i ngs . I had neve r got a sponsor as I d i dn ' t want to be a burden i n anyone ' s l i f e and hav i ng to l i ve wi th 'Everyone has to save Ke l sey ' - I d i dn ' t want to r epea t tha t wi th someone e l se . I had to addr es s why Ke l sey was dr i nk i ng , yes gene t i cs p l ay a par t but s topp i ng dr i nk i ng i s one func t i ona l ac t i on dea l i ng wi th a l l the why you we r e dr i nk i ng was the b i g p i ece f or me . I had to make sur e tha t s t ar t i ng th i s company was not j us t anothe r sh i e l d f or me , " Sobe r Ke l sey f i r i ng on a l l cy l i nde r s was a new phenomenon tha t was bak i ng cons t ant l y r ed i scove r i ng he r pas s i on f or des se r t s . The k i t chen became he r happy p l ace us i ng bak i ng as a f orm o f med i t a t i on . She r ea l i sed he r cook i e dough r ec i pes we r e good enough to ea t and hav i ng expe r iment ed they we r e a l so saf e- to-eat raw be ing egg- f ree . That to any g i r l i s a winning combinat ion so af ter a decade wi th Inte l she qui t her job and set up "Doughp to make the wor ld a l i t t l e sweeter !" Hav i ng been on the j ourney tha t l i f e had t aken he r , the r e was no way thi s f l edg l ing idea was EVER going to be jus t another ent repreneur exerc i se as l i f e had t aught he r a th i ng or two and be l i ev i ng tha t he r ph i l osophy was impor t ant to he r own we l l be i ng . She has succes s fu l l y bu i l t a mi s s i on-dr i ven brand tha t i s about shar i ng raw dough and r ea l conve r sa t i ons tha t f eed the sou l put t i ng r ecove ry and ment a l hea l th upf ront and cent ra l to the cor e va l ues o f the brand . DoughP dona t es thousands o f do l l ar s f or ment a l hea l th nonpro f i t s , a p l a t f orm to i nf l uence and i nsp i r e wi th the #Doughp4Hope and a l l because she f ound sobr i e t y , the supe rpowe r tha t l ays wi th i n each sou l tha t put s down the g l as s . S t ar t i ng out wi th a br i cks + mor t ar mode l wi th s tor e f ront s i n San Franc i sco ' s a t P i e r 39 and i ns i de Orac l e Park and a spot - on on the f amed Las Vegas s t r i p wi th mu l t i p l e r evenue s t r eams v i a who l esa l e , ca t e r i ng and a sma l l onl i ne pr esence , Doughp bu i l t momentum. A key conve r sa t i on i n 2019 wi th he r now-husband I s rae l who i s Co-CEO and a br i l l i ant numbe r s and s t ra t egy guy l ed the company to f ocus on the i r onl i ne s tore resul t ing in a growth spike

tha t was o f f the char t s i n a pandemi c tha t saw bus i nes ses g l oba l l y f a l t e r and shut the i r door s . Opt i ng to c l ose the i r s tor e f ront s and f ocus i ng on E-Comme r ce was a s t roke o f gen i us tha t has c r ea t ed growth tha t i s s t agge r i ng . "Doughp recorded a 209% growth wi th onl ine sa l es going f rom 50K in 2019 to 2 . 5Mi l l ion of our 2 . 7Mi l l ion turnover in 2020. " Thi s in Ke l sey ' s own words i s "i s mad crazy , wi ld. " E-Comme r ce has been a r i p- roar i ng succes s and cont i nues to grow and th i s year the i r eye i s on r e t a i l wi th Harmons in Utah about to s t ar t se l l i ng the i r produc t and Wa lmar t i n the p i c tur e f or 250 s tor es be f or e the end o f 2021 . Thi s bus iness i s going in onl y one di rect ion whi ch i s UP and Doughp i s ramping up the i r in- s tore presence , targeted market ing and have over 200Mi l l ion impress ions onl ine . Ke l sey and I s rae l , he r Braz i l i an husband know the oppor tun i t y f or sca l e i s mas s i ve i n the r e t a i l space and ar e f i rml y f ocused on th i s ro l l out c runch i ng numbe r s and c l ear i ng the way i ns i de the company f or cons t ant growth . "Wha t i s wonde r fu l about Doughp i s tha t i t i s a c l ear mes sage on the pack i ng about ment a l hea l th and add i c t i on r ecove ry wh i ch put s i t i n the consume r ' s hands bu i l d i ng awar enes s and an unbe l i evab l e l oya l t y base . I ’ ve bui l t i t into a mi ss ion-dr i ven desser t company that ra i ses awareness around menta l hea l th & addi ct ion recovery ; through fundra i s ing ( 1% of every purchase i s donated) , soc i a l advocacy , and menta l hea l th pol i c i es in the company i t se l f . I love shar ing my message publ i c l y in hopes of inspi r ing others to overcome advers i ty . " Why menta l hea l th? " My a l coho l i sm and anx i e t y i s sues we r e not un i que to me ; 1 i n 2 Ame r i cans wi l l be d i agnosed wi th a ment a l hea l th d i sorde r i n the i r l i f e t ime . We are NOT a lone i n th i s , so why not t a l k about i t ? " Wi thin the company what measures have you ins t i tuted that ensure your team have a l l the suppor t they need around menta l hea l th and recovery? " I am supe r proud o f our r ecent des i gna t ed s t a tus as a Cer t i f i ed Recovery Fr i endl y Workplace . I t i s pr esent l y be i ng run ac ros s 25 s t a t es educa t i ng management i n t ra i n i ng programs . The r ea l i t y i s tha t one i n t en peop l e suf f e r f rom a ment a l i l l nes s and i f you have mor e than t en emp l oyees you be t t e r be equ i pped to dea l wi th them. We a t Doughp ar e a l l about de- s t i gma t i s i ng r ecove ry and ment a l hea l th i s sues and our company i s not j us t t a l k i ng about i t and dona t i ng to non-pro f i t s we ar e f ocused i nt e rna l l y on c r ea t i ng a cu l tur e tha t suppor t s a l l our emp l oyees . "

Ke l sey comes a l i ve t a l k i ng about he r mee t i ng wi th The Secretary of Labour i n a b i d to progr es s the Ce r t i f i ca t i on ac ros s a l l S t a t es ensur i ng a l l workp l aces i n the USA beg i n to unde r s t and ment a l hea l th and r ecove ry br i ng i ng r ea l change to the work i ng l i ves o f mi l l i ons o f peop l e who turn up da i l y , ye t s t rugg l e i n ways tha t ar e not obv i ous to the naked eye . She c i t e s t he ca s e o f Chr i s Ant hony o f Sa l e sFo r c e who on announc i ng h i s f i f t e ent h y ear o f s ob r i e t y wa s i nunda t ed wi t h ema i l s f r om s t a f f s e ek i ng suppo r t o r t e l l i ng t hem t he i r s t o r y i n s ob r i e t y . He wa s s o b l own away by t he r e s pons e t o h i s L i nked i n po s t t ha t i t b r ough t abou t t he f o rma t i on o f ' Sobe r Fo r c e ' wh i ch Ke l s e y ' s s e e s a s a c l ear demons t ra t i on o f wha t can happen i n a c ompany when you t a l k abou t t ough sub j e c t s and admi t t ha t you ne ed suppo r t . The Ce r t i f i ca t i on f or Doughp as a bus i nes s tha t i s open and suppor t i ve o f a l l those who may s t rugg l e i s a rea l indi ctment of thi s young woman' s v i s ion for her company . She i s r eso l ut e and s t rong , speak i ng up , us i ng he r space to ensur e those who do turn up f or work a t Doughp f ee l heard and seen and work i ng hard to make th i s pos s i b l e f or a l l emp l oyees ac ros s a l l sec tor s o f bus i nes s and i ndus t ry . Imag i ne a bus i nes s l andscape i n wh i ch compan i es cont i nue to wa t ch the bot tom l i ne numbe r s wh i l s t ensur i ng ment a l hea l th i s prot ec t ed and cons i de r ed? They say game change r s come a l ong once i n a gene ra t i on and f or me , th i s young woman ' s spark l e and j oy i n he r sobr i e t y and gra t e fu l nes s go beyond the usua l corpora t e- speak whe r e she prac t i ses i t wi th i n he r work i ng day ensur i ng a l l those who work s i de by s i de wi th he r ar e hea l thy and we l l on the i r j ourney . I took away many th i ngs f rom my conve r sa t i on wi th the ve ry . br i l l i ant Ke l sey , Doughp i s the k i nd o f company th i s wor l d needs wi th l eade r sh i p tha t i s both v i s i onary and change-mak i ng . I t i s not the t ype o f l eade r sh i p tha t he ra l ds l o f t y bus i nes s schoo l i deas i ns t ead she ge t s down and d i r t y i n the t r enches t e l l i ng he r t ruth i n a b i d to move the conve r sa t i on f orward . I am not i n the l eas t b i t surpr i sed tha t a young woman who s t ar t ed out a t 16 year s o l d i n an Int e l program, r ead beaut i fu l l e t t e r s f rom he r grandmothe r a f t e r she woke up on a dark morn i ng i n Bar ce l ona , f ound a man ca l l ed Wi l l who gave he r the f i r s t 24 Sobr i e t y co i n made he r way a l l the way to Forbes Top 30 unde r 30 ; I suspec t th i s i s j us t the beg i nn i ng o f the r i se o f the s t ar tha t i s sobe r Ke l sey . He r e ' s the t ruth whe r e I 'm s i t t i ng , n o one has t o save Ke l s ey anymore , she has darn we l l gone and done that her s e l f . She ac cept ed her t ruth, reached out f or he lp and f ought her way through the l one l ine s s that i s a l i f e s t r ipped back and bare . She s t ood in a ki t chen and reconnec t ed wi th her chi ldhood l ove o f baking and wrapped i t al l up in #Douhp4Hope . I f you ar e s i t t i ng r ead i ng th i s and want i ng a sobe r t r ea t , do your se l f and your hear t a f avour , l og on and buy some o f the mag i c tha t i s Ke l sey i n a tub . Suppor t one o f the marve l s tha t i s sobr i e t y i n mot i on and I f or one , am gra t e fu l beyond words to tha t man i n Bar ce l ona who answe r ed h i s SKYPE ca l l tha t morn i ng . p . s . My pe r sona l goa l ? To t ake Ke l sey back to my husband ' s home c i t y o f Bar ce l ona and wa l k the s t r ee t s r ec l a imi ng he r space i n a c i t y tha t someday maybe a r e t a i l space f or DOUGHP send i ng he r l i ght skyward ensur i ng tha t the darknes s o f tha t Bar ce l ona bench i s ended f or eve r . How wonde r fu l wou l d tha t be ? Fu l l c i r c l e . . . Do your se l f a f avour today and go onl i ne and s t ar t shopp i ng DOUGHP !

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