Giving up drinking for a year wasn’t all my idea.
For years I’ve read self-help and spiritual books expressing the concept that self-discipline (of thought, action and particularly of ‘habit’) is vital to lasting happiness. Eventually, those suggestions, combined with my inner voice, led to me making a new commitment to myself:
For one year I wouldn’t drink any alcohol.
For some that wouldn’t be difficult. For alcoholics, or binge drinkers or habitual drinkers like myself however, it is a real challenge. But like a fourteen-year-old boy who’s accidentally swallowed a Viagra pill, I’m totally up for it. And, like a donut perched upon an obese man’s tummy I’m on a roll too.
Budda bing, badda boom!!
Yesterday was Day 62 of my Year Of Living Sober (today is Day 63—but it’s not finished yet!). And though I’m going fine (except for the occasional craving) I haven’t got this far alone. I’ve already received lots of encouragement from complete strangers, people who read this little blog and kindly decide to leave a comment or send me an email.
My YOLS (Year of Living Sober) guru is at once invisible and multi-faced; nowhere and everywhere; inside me and out.
I love my Guru.
In fact I love all gurus. I love them but I don’t worship them; I try not to put any living being (or dead character) on a pedestal: gazing up that way just gives me a crook neck. I am, however, grateful for anyone who shares an enlightening idea with me.
And, in 2012, when seeking divine peace, relationship harmony or the keys to a new Lamborghini, who are the guru’s average folk like me are meant to turn to anyway? Who are the big gun gurus? And how many are there?
These days it seems like there are hundreds. And I’ve been ‘touched’ by many of them; I’ve read at least one book by all of these spiritual G.U.R.U.’s:
Shakti Gawain, Dan Millman, James Redfield, Neale Donald Walsch, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Eckhart Tolle, Dr Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra,The Dalai Lama, Anthony Robbins (THE guru of wealth/happiness manifestation for everyone from car-salesmen to politicians—two professions of not dissimilar breed) and Stuart Wilde.
Mr Wilde (or ‘Stuie’, as he’s known to regular readers) is probably my favourite spritual-self-help author, one who is often described as a ‘metaphysical guru’. Now, I love Stuie, and he has some brilliant ideas and perceptive insights to share, but he is not my guru.
Or is he?
Maybe. Or maybe all those metaphysical writers/philosophers are my guru’s?
Because as it is defined in my computer’s dictionary (and isn’t that all anyone really needs to understand the deep meanings in all things) a guru is simply:
‘a spiritual teacher, especially one who imparts initiation.’
And in some way they have all initiated me into a new part of myself: the non-drinking, clearer-thinking, fun part? An idea here, a new thought there—they, as well as many others, have all helped me on my road to self-discovery: a journey of unmasking, unveiling and revealing my omniscient, all-loving centre.
That’s a bit of guru talk!
How ’bout tellin’ us how you FEEL, Ben?
I feel like…who am I to offer advice to anyone.
But then, near the end of writing this post, as this self-doubt of my self-worth crept up, I clicked on my open Twitter account tab and saw this Tweet:
“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” ~Mother Teresa
Now, perhaps the person who quoted Mamma ‘Tess’ Teresa would like to be seen as a guru herself, or maybe she just wants to spread some love? Whichever it is, I agree with her (and Mamma Tess) in what I’ll expand upon by saying:
we are each the other’s guru when we speak kindly, with encouragement and the simple truth.
And that’s something worth doing.
The truth for me at the moment is even when I really feel like a drink sometimes, I don’t have one. And I won’t. Not for another 303 days.
But don’t get me wrong. I’m not telling anyone else what to do. I didn’t write this blog to set myself up as the ‘Guru of Booze Abstinence’ (even if my ramblings happen to inspire the odd reader to break some habit of their own); I’m just a guy going 12 months without a drink. I chose to share my little exercise in self-discipline for two reasons:
1) To make my commitment so public I couldn’t possibly retreat (into a bottle)
2) In case anyone else might enjoy reading about it.
Little Booze Joke 62:
A Buddhist monk walks into a bar and the barman says, “Sorry, guy no gurus allowed,” and the Buddhist monk says, “No problem, I was looking for Nirvana but I can see it’s not in HERE.”