Hola Sober April 2024

Natalie S.

hola sober reflections

Many of you know that I was raised on an apple farm in Massachusetts. Growing up on that farm influenced my life in many ways. I see life through the seasons and have a strong habit of planning my life month by month. The absolute best time to prune dormant apple trees is in the dead of winter. So every January, while the rest of us were skiing, making snow angels or hunkered down in front of our fireplaces, my father would don his overalls, his red cap and insulated winter snow boots, and traipse out into the orchard in knee deep snow to prune from dawn until dusk. He would trim back each of the dead branches, shaping the trees without harming them, while they were in their dormant winter stage. This way, the tree’s limbs would stay healthy and strong so that they could bear bigger and better apples when harvest time arrived the following autumn. January symbolizes new beginnings and a fresh start, as many make renewed commitments for better health. It’s the time when many of us set goals and seek new opportunities for personal growth. It is also a time for reflection, to prune some of those branches that no longer serve us from our lives. This allows us to grow stronger and promote growth that leads to a more purposeful life. When we make the commitment to stop drinking alcohol, we need to learn to love ourselves, to set personal boundaries and find balance while meeting our own needs. We learn to deal with resentments and let go of past regrets, and free ourselves from limiting beliefs. These are all part of the growth that makes sustainable sobriety attainable. Sustained Sobriety requires a plan, just like our drinking careers did. Alcohol didn’t just magically appear on our tables - we shopped, we planned our drinking, we romanticized it and embraced it. Here at Hola Sober we have the tools to guide us through the orchards of sobriety. We can participate in Camino, Pledge and The Covenant.

We are a community of like-minded women who support each other through our meetings and programs. We must do the work on ourselves as it is so deeply personal. It is truly a world of discovery and truth that starts with SELF-LOVE. As a wise woman once said, “Your opinion of YOU, matters.” So how do we get to a place of self-love and forgiveness? That inner critic can keep us trapped in low self-esteem and negative self- images. Fear of change can keep us in that pattern of negative self as well. Alcohol is not a coping tool, and we need to be courageous in our lives as we embrace The Change, because life is change. Growth is possible if we choose wisely and prune the disempowering messages from our minds and replace them with new branches. “I am what I think” - shifting thoughts and daily practices enables planting, growth and cultivation of balance and well-being. James Clear says it perfectly: The wedding is an event, love is a practice. The graduation is an event, education is a practice.

The race is an event, fitness is a practice.

The heart, mind, and body are endless pursuits. I say, sobriety is a lifestyle, not drinking is a practice. January is full of new beginnings, and here in this sacred space of Hola Sober we can invest in ourselves and prune away the dead wood of the past. We shall grow and flourish and become the beautiful women we are all meant to be, bearing the fruits of our sobriety: self- love, family peace, better relationships, good health and insight. We prune and we grow. Here’s to new beginnings!

- Journal Thoughts January 2024 -

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