Julie K

Love cats, everything vintage, a good read, deep conversations, and peace and quiet.

Posts by Julie K

The missing link to a balanced lifestyle

Many of us really strive to achieve a balanced lifestyle , such as healthy diet, doing some exercise and seeking a good balance between working life, family and friends. Even having a few drinks, once in a while seems okay.

What if there is no reason?

But, what if the frequency and the amount of those drinks start to increase considerably for no apparent reason? When drinking starts to become something we look forward to more and more, maybe is a good idea to stay mindful and try to understand what is causing it.

Behind every excess there is something lacking

There is a saying:

Behind every excess there is something lacking’.

Sometimes we get into a spiralling drinking habit without even noticing it. It’s not by chance. We all know that alcohol alters chemicals in the brain which produce temporary and artificial relief. It also may feel like a de-stressor, and it can be tempting to turn to it. Perhaps, it would be a good start to ask ourselves if we are trying to compensate for something. Or what would be the missing link to our goal of a balanced lifestyle.

Drinking takes over self-reflection

When drinking takes over self-reflection, we miss a wonderful opportunity to get to know ourselves more and to get in touch with our needs. If we don’t address them, often a knock-on effect happens in other areas of our lives. Things can become so entangled in a pattern of behaviour that finding the root cause will require a real loving and committed effort. The good news is, it can be done.

Find the missing link

It’s worth working towards finding that missing link. It can be some pattern from childhood or something that happened recently, it doesn’t matter. Whatever it is, it is calling for your love and care. Why not try to look inside for the real answers? You might be surprised.

Editor’s Note

The Irish parenting culture from past generations did not encourage looking at or understanding our feelings. This can lead to real problems leading a balanced lifestyle as adults. The research shows behind every problem alcohol use there is a cause or reason. It can be trauma, grief, anxiety or adverse childhood experiences. For more information click here.

Baby steps help find your way back home

Recognising all our baby steps towards managing our drinking is essential. We focus on the blow out we had, rather than on all the baby steps of progress we’ve made. What if I say you are a wonderful person? Would you believe me? There is so much going on in our lives that we usually underestimate how well we are doing.

It’s easy to blame ourselves

When it comes to alcohol misuse, it is easy to be harsh on ourselves. We live in a culture where excessive alcohol consumption is often related to celebration and fun, which disguises the real danger of it.

(Editor’s Note, Just see Grandmother takes her first brandy for a good example of media bias towards alcohol).

A quick fix habit

The same toxic culture where alcohol is often used to cope as well. Then, it turns into a ‘quick fix’ habit.

The bad news is that with time, the essence of who you are, becomes diluted in it and it gets harder to find yourself again.

The road back can feel scary

The road back to yourself can feel scary. New skills are required. Keeping ourselves with what feels ‘familiar’ might give us the illusion of safe predictability. However, when we choose to turn back to ourselves again, we give ourselves another chance to reconnect with our thoughts and feelings. Accepting, learning and healing them is huge. It is an act of self-love.

We all struggle

We all struggle, and misstep quite a lot. But we also do great things. Each one of us has our unique learning journey and we all do the best we can. Rediscovering yourself is key. After all, when we try to numb or block painful thoughts and feelings, they keep coming back.

Alcohol blocks all feelings

We need to learn their lesson. Also, alcohol does not come with a ‘sense of discrimination’, so when you block painful feelings you also block all joy.

Yes, pain is real and so is joy. But, when you allow your experiences to flow without any blockages, whatever they might be, you start to find out the real you. By taking baby steps, being gentle to yourself with self-compassion, you will find your way back home.

Editors Note

For more tips on managing feelings or just feeling numb, click here

Is there a message in the bottle?

Maybe one of most precious things we can cultivate in life is self-awareness and the message in the bottle does not help self awareness. Knowing why we are choosing to live in a certain way or (re)acting to something is priceless, and we owe that to ourselves if we are committed to a happy and fulfilling life.

Hard to spot

It is amazing how we human beings, can easily get caught up with old habits and patterns. Once they become ingrained in our everyday life, it can be hard to spot them because we identify ourselves with them. These difficulties can be quite avoidable, if we are able to cultivate self-awareness.

Use lots of kindness and self-love

However, self-awareness must be cultivated with kindness and self-love. This way, we can make sure that we fully understand why some types of behaviour have a grip on us, accept and work with them. But it must be done always with kindness, self-acceptance and self-respect.

Self-awareness is not self-criticism

Self-awareness has nothing to do with destructive self-criticism, which is harmful and counterproductive. We need to connect with our truth and be aware of our self-talk.

Life is a continuously evolving process and whatever we learn to be true will help us move forward or hold us back in life. What messages is life sending to us? Can we understand them?

Are these messages in the bottle really part of us?

It is important to read those messages, knowing where they are coming from and if they are really part of us or just a learned behaviour. When it comes to the habit of alcohol consumption, for example, it pays to be aware what it is trying to tell us about ourselves.

What if we could read the message in the bottle?

When we do that work, it is easy to stop on the surface rather than diving deep. It can be challenging and scary at times. What if we think that there is a message in the bottle, waiting to be read and understood?

Editor’s Note

There are many ways to develop self-awareness, some of which we list below.

  1. Meditation can be very useful. Click here for more details

2. Understanding how your childhood is affecting your thinking can also help. Click here for more details.