This morning I got this message on Twitter:
“You’ve inspired me to have an AFD today! #Gottastartsomewhere”
Though being an inspiration for others to cut down on drinking alcohol wasn’t the goal of starting this blog (I’m assuming AFD means ‘Alcohol Free Day’), I’ve gotta say it is kind of nice knowing what you’re doing is having a positive affect on someone, somewhere, sometime.
I also recently discovered another blogger had been inspired by this blog too, having taken to including a joke in the same format as I do on my posts here on her blog (Obsolescence Project). She even gave me credit in a couple of posts, something I think was very kind considering I was, no doubt, inspired by someone else, somewhere, sometime to write the Little Booze Jokes in the way I do. And along with the Tweet it was another great reminder to me of something I think is true yet don’t always remember:
We each affect the other.
Positively and negatively. And so it goes on down the domino line.
As much as I believe in free-will and self-determination I know from my own life how others have changed me. And one of the most profound ways I have been changed is from things I have read, in particularly some great non-fiction.
While this blog post is DIRECTLY inspired by my two new social media friends (SMF’s?) mentioned above I’m not just talkin’ Twitter and blogs here. I’m talkin’ paper-made books too.
Over the years I’ve read a lot of self-help and human development books. From Louise Hay’s ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ to Stuart Wilde’s ‘Miracles’ I’ve read scores of different authors takes on how to live in the moment with complete acceptance of what you have created and what you are capable of creating (pretty much anything you concentrate on).
And while even if I don’t love each book or author in the same way, or to the same degree, I have always benefited from a new perspective. I’ve always taken away something positive from every good book I’ve read (and some of the bad).
But it’s not just non-fiction that has helped me. Fiction too has given me great insight into human behaviour, and therefore, my own habits, idiosyncrasies and hang ups. In this way I guess even the great classics like ‘Robinson Crusoe’, ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘1984’ could be seen as ‘self-help’ in that by putting myself in the hero’s shoes I learn how I might act under similar circumstances and how I might better my lot, by becoming more aware of my own and other’s human nature.
What wisdom did Shakespeare share about alcohol?
“O God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains!” William Shakespeare, Othello
Then there is poetry too.
Though I don’t own much, I do value the few books of poetry I have. Most of them are by Rumi. Often, when feeling a certain wistfulness or quiet melancholy I turn to Rumi for solace. He always comes up with the goods
Here’s one of my favourite Rumi snippets, one I think relates nicely to anyone thinking about taking a break from boozin hard.
“Diminish what you give your physical self, your spiritual eye will begin to open.” RUMI
Today, right now, I am concentrating on my spirit—or ‘soul’ if you prefer. I am open to experiencing more clarity and depth in my spiritual life and that is why I am diminishing what I give my physical self.
And as I said at the beginning of this post it’s not just the great authors and poets who inspire me, every message of support and comment from readers sharing something about their journey with alcohol and self-control spurs me on and inspires me with the knowledge this is a blog worth doing.
For a year at least. Maybe longer?
Today is Day 208 of my YOLS (Year Of Living Sober).
Little Booze Joke
A poet walks into a bar and the bartender says “What do you feel like today?” and the poet says, “A shipwrecked vessel battered by storms off the very rocks which stranded me.” The bartender stabs his own hand with a cocktail stick. The End.