“You can’t solve a problem with the same mindset that created it.” -Albert Einstein
In this episode, we explore how mindfulness and intentional thinking can help us become more aware of our automatic thoughts and make more purposeful decisions about our relationship with alcohol. We'll discuss how to create a mindset that supports the vision of a life without drinking, and how to ultimately reach a point where not drinking is not even a thought. Tune in to learn more about how to fact check your mind and take control of your relationship with alcohol.
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Do you ever feel like you're outgrowing alcohol, that you are longing for a deeper connection to life? If alcohol is keeping you playing small and feels like the one area, you just can't figure out you are in the right place. Hi, my name is Mary Wagstaff. I'm a Holistic alcohol coach who ended a 20 year relationship to alcohol without labels, counting days or ever making excuses. Now I help powerful women just like you eliminate their desire to drink on their own terms. In this podcast, we will explore the revolutionary approach of my proven five shifts process that gets alcohol out of your way by breaking all of the rules, and the profound experience that it is to rediscover who you are on the other side of alcohol. I am so thrilled to be your guide. Welcome to your journey of awakening. Welcome back to the show my beautiful listeners, thank you so much for being here. As I reflected on my own journey. As I do, one of the things I think is so important with the new year is not just to plan the future. But to take a moment to presents everything we've done with facts, it's like we have to fact check our mind. And that's what we're going to talk about today, how to fact check your own mind. It's like there's this journey of awakening this awakening to consciousness that's happening simultaneously like with more and more information coming into our brain. And I'm going on three years of the show, and, you know, as you grow, and as I've gotten alcohol out of my way, alcohol is no longer one of the things on like my top 10 list of what happens right like this, the the success there was there's no more efforting put in, and it really hasn't been for the last at least couple of years. And that's what you have to look forward to were being alcohol free, is the is maybe like the has become the root. But like, of why you've been able to grow so much. And especially through this process of the journey of awakening. You learn how to be mindful, and you learn how to create a new mindset. So that's why it's actually such a gift to go through the journey of awakening with alcohol, because this can happen with anything with alcohol as the starting point or the anchor calling you in. But really, it's just getting you back to baseline of who you innately are. And, you know, so you can learn these skills without ever having, you know, to get alcohol out of your way. And you could learn them partially with alcohol in your way. But you don't have full access to your really to reality, right? Because there's always this diluted part of the alcohol being somewhere important in your brain and trying to figure it out. And it just takes up space where you could be doing more, there's an efforting. Right. So getting to the place where there's literally no efforting. And I mean, that happens really quickly, you might have more prevalent thoughts where you have to fact check your mind. So the difference between automatic thinking, and intentional thinking is what we're going to talk about today. But that was one of the things that showed up for me, because I see this a lot with, you know, in a lot of sober communities and celebrate yourself however you need to write. But what I find with my clients and with the five chefs process is that there isn't that same efforting. And that's the whole point, right? It's like we want to get alcohol out of our way and move on. And I think that that's the best thing like sobriety isn't hard, right? Like initially there's a threshold you have to walk yourself through, there's a grace period. But the thought that sobriety is hard, is not useful, in my opinion, right. And it hasn't been useful for my clients that have major success. They really want that's like the whole thing is you want to you have to intentionally decide on that thought that sobriety is not going to be a challenge for me. I'm going to go through a process and I'm going to learn it. And that's the difference between automatic thinking and habitual thinking like how like who decides that sobriety is hard, right? And what is hard about sobriety? All it is is your willingness to feel the sensations in your body. So anything like we think it's the circumstance that creates our emotions, but it's our thoughts about it. And if you haven't yet signed up for a one on one coaching call with me For the month of January, girl, I don't know what you're doing. Because this is an amazing, amazing opportunity to actually have a transformation in a really short amount of time this offer is never going to be here again, $23 for a one on one coaching call. And that way you can experience the power of coaching, I don't think before I started coaching myself and having a coach, I didn't know the power of what was possible, when two people come from a neutral place ready to solve problems, like, you have to be willing to like, Yeah, this is where my mind is, and not take it seriously not make it a big deal, not take it personal, right, like I had a huge breakthrough in a half hour with my coach today. And this person, I'm in a program where I get a different one on one coach every week. So this person doesn't even really like know me. And it's fine, because I'm at a level where I don't need that and where my clients are coming into me creating the safe and sacred container to be vulnerable. And something like I don't want to undermine ever anyone's emotions, because I've been there, right. And I want to create the safe and sacred container for us to explore. And then when we move into the portion of the program that is through written communication, I already know you in a really deep and intimate level, I mean, I'm pretty friendly with all of my clients, you can imagine. That's why most people are here, because they, you know, I'm easy to get along with them easy to listen to. And, and so there's the safety in like the vulnerability, right? And being honest, where like, a lot of people can't even do that in therapy. And we laugh and we celebrate. And you know, I'm holding space to guide you through the emotions that sense those things that you're resisting so much. And then your willingness to see like, oh, yeah, I have this thought not useful, right? Like, oh, if I'm not doing, you know, one of my thoughts today was like, unless I'm on a coaching call, like I'm not creating value, unless I'm coaching my client. And it's like, so then that using my the ETA process, it's like, the actions I take from that place, are fueled with lack and scarcity and panic, rather than value. Right. So I, we create based on the thoughts that we're thinking, and that's why you have to fact check your mind. And the difference is not just in in retrospect, saying, you know, oh, I know what I could have done differently. Or I was making a big deal out of nothing or anything like that, like this morning, I sat down, and I have the intention this year and to be to really work on the places in my life where I have the most reactivity, right where I spin out, like the circumstances that I think are creating an emotion for me, I want to intentionally from a very neutral place know what those are, experienced the emotions in my body ahead of time. So when they start to show up in my real life, and I'm just going on habitual reaction, right, I can take, I can recognize it quicker and slow it down. Matthew and I, at the end of the year just joined a what's called the marriage upgrade. And it's so amazing. And we haven't even started coaching with this with this coach yet, Dr. Shavon. She's amazing. She's very, like, just straightforward, simple and profound. And before the program officially starts, there was kind of this primer program called the 21. Day sprint was a very short audio, followed by some questions. And Matthew and I have been listening to this audio, we've been switching the way that we spend our time to intentionally decide we want to create a different result in our relationship, we want to upgrade our relationship, we want to be more conscious of the things that aren't working, we don't want to just say that like, because you do this, this is how I respond, right? Our intentions are peace, joy and adventure. And just by making this intention together and sitting down and doing this, it's slowing down the time where we have maybe a natural reaction, like one of my things is to tell him how to feel like, you know, in a moment where he's not feeling. And the thing that I really want to do is to just say I understand, it's okay is to validate him, let him have his own experience and then come back like especially if it's not really affecting me, right. So the the whole act of bringing something and this is the beauty of coaching, bringing something into your awareness intentionally when your nervous system is online. And you are feeling really good is okay, now I'm going to go and check and I'm going to see what are the thoughts what are the emotions I haven't been willing to feel right because the circumstance isn't really a problem if it didn't create that emotion for you and how we know that is because everyone responds to a set of circumstances differently. Right. So now all the circumstances that you know you have Have a resistance to when it comes to alcohol. That's not my experience. That's not my clients experience. Right and there, it's going to be different for everyone. Some people have a lot of resistance to being home alone by themselves. Some people can go out and be social and never drink, but it's when they're by themselves. Some people could never go out and be social, right? That's what they're telling themselves. So the circumstance doesn't dictate how you're experiencing it, it is your thought about it. So if that emotion wasn't a problem, if you were willing to feel that emotion first, you could experience the resistance, and then go in willing to find new evidence. Okay, so what Dr. Shavon calls, this is the thought makeover, right. And I'm calling like fact check your mind. So in addition to not escaping feeling and emotion in your body, calling out your habitual mind is a skill that you need to have, like Matthew will say something that he has information about from like 15 years ago. And I have to like call BS on him, right. And this is what you have to do with your brain from in a really loving neutral, like, you can kind of laugh about it a little bit. It's, it's the time when you're in the heightened emotion that it's hard to, you know, your take yourself so seriously. And that's the thing, you got to stop taking your habitual thoughts seriously, all of the thoughts that are creating your results about alcohol are not true, they are not true. And you have to stop taking them. So personally, you have to start investigating what they are and wanting to and willing to find the opposite and create intentional thinking. Sobriety is not hard, sobriety is a piece of a breeze. Because what happens when you think sobriety is a breeze, you get to love the results that it's giving you instead of thinking about how hard it is. And you get to love your reasons why when you bring awareness to the thoughts that have you in deprivation, or scared or anxious to even take a break or thinking about the future, you have to examine them with curiosity, your automatic thoughts are make everything so personal, right? Because you feel it in your body and that is your lived experience. And if we do not learn how to be in relationship to our body, Elena Brower today, I took a class that said belonging to yourself, what is it like to belong to yourself? To to make decisions based on not the past you when you belong to yourself? You're making decisions on this moment, right? But you also have to know that automatic thoughts aren't a problem. This is part of the human This is how we learn. So there's really good reasons to have automatic thoughts. But you also just need to know are they serving me or not? Because I have the automatic thought the sobriety is a piece of cake, like there's no efforting in it, right? That thought I want to keep around forever, right? Like I don't even think about sobriety like this is just my life right? Like not drinking is is so easy for me. And it is. So you want to you want to fill this is the work right is we we bridge the gap we bridge the gap to sobriety is hard to sobriety is a piece of cake, and all of the thoughts that you need to think in in the meat in between time. So your opinions are based on what you have believed all of that in interpretation, all of that socialized conditioning, but you got to call BS on them and a really loving way. And you can, it's just that shift of perspective, right? And it takes practice, it is a muscle that you build. And one of the easiest ways I learned how to do this really early on was saying to myself, that's just a thought. Or, you know, that's not true for me anymore. I don't want that to be true for me anymore. I don't want that to be my that's not my story anymore. So just write that down. That's not a thought. That's not my story anymore. Right? That was my story. When I was in college. That was my story when I was 16. And I was so awkward. And I was so shy. And I would go to those keg parties. And I had a couple beers. And I was like, now I wanted to talk to everyone. That's not my story anymore. Because I'm a 41 year old woman with a business with a kid with a house with a you know, having to do all these adult things and working and like that's not my story anymore. I know how to interact with people without, you know, maybe there's some things that aren't natural to me, but I but I can learn anything, right? So you'd like the willingness to like, explore, that's not my story anymore. You're not that person anymore. You're the person you are today. You're not the person you even were two days ago or a year ago, right? Like I know when I made such a huge transition. I mean, I was partying hard you guys like before I met was born and then the like there was a couple of times that I partied and I was like this is like bit This is not what I want to do and I was leading up To that, but I was just like, oh, this is thank God, thank God, I get the choice, right? I choose to not stay here anymore. Because I know there's so much more for me, right? And so you and then you got to bring your mind there again and again and again. And that is the piece of the accountability of like, I don't want you to have to wait to do this. Because what happens, right? Like, I intentionally and I've got skills, right, so I like I've got these skills, and I do it every day. But it's still hard for me, I will never not have a coach like, this woman helped me see such a different perspective, I came to her with this ideas like I want to explore this a little bit. And she took me into a completely different direction that like really simplified it for me. Just because based on like my own limitations, and she's got this neutral, objective perspective, that's so was so amazing. And I was like, yeah, like, I just get to see, your body is telling you, your body is telling you when it's time to pause. And that is when you have a heightened emotion your body is telling you when it's time to call BS on your thoughts. Right, but the embodiment piece is another episode because it's the both it's the both and so you have like, that's just a thought, right? Like even about your partner or whatever. Like they don't care, right? That's just a thought, What do you want to believe? Right? Because if your mind like that was the in the marriage upgrade, like that was is like Dr. Shavon is like, Where does your brain keep going? That's not supporting your marriage? Like, where do you want it to go like, and what has happened in this in this relate this so far, is it's drawn out all of these strengths that we already have, right? Because her like one of her philosophies is like you already have an amazing marriage. You just can't see that. But I can. And that's how I believe about you, as you already have an amazing life. And like there's nothing about you that needs to change. You just need to shift your perspective I can I already know that. I already know how amazing you are. And that there's that you can really enjoy your life without alcohol. I already know that's possible for you. And so with that belief, I come to the table, right? Like I know, like, I feel so much in my bones like that Dr. Shavon believes that for for Matthew and I so much that it's building my belief right in myself. And there has been like, what, what am I going to do? Right? So we don't rely on the external to decide for us, we get to decide on the internal. So there's these thoughts like, everyone will think it's strange, if I'm not drinking, it's normal, I'll be missing out. I'm awkward. It's too hard life will be boring, right? The absolute pleasure of not drinking and all the reasons that you are aware of right now like you know how good you feel when you wake up after a morning of not drinking. And the ones that you are completely unaware of like I'm telling you, you have no clue is when you use the five shifts process of how transformative your life will become in every single area. But all of those thoughts, all of your automatic thoughts are taking away the pleasure of not drinking, because you believe that those thoughts are true. And they're just going unexamined. So there's two main steps in the process of this, which is mindfulness. Mindfulness is becoming aware of the thoughts from a neutral place the witness, taking a step back behind yourself, and seeing this from a neutral perspective. And now, this is challenging for a lot of us, because we've got opinions about everything. We've got opinions about other people's thoughts, too. So to really step into this place of seeing something from a neutral perspective, without a charged emotion. But do it when you're feeling in alignment, right examine this stuff, so that it's in the forefront of your brain. Don't just brush over it. And that's why we that's why one of the big myths is I want to distract myself, I need to know what to do when I have a craving. No, you don't know what to know what else to do. When you have a craving, you need to know the different perspective to take when you have a craving Oh, there's my craving. Right? I'm going to witness this as an experience. This is actually the cue for me to examine how I feel, right? I'm having resistance. What's the what's the thought creating the end like if I'm willing to feel the resistance and I moved through that? Well, now that's the only problem. The only reason you're drinking is because you don't want to feel the resistance. Right and but there was but what you don't realize is that the resistance goes away when you stopped drinking. And when you're willing to feel it so you don't want like, I want you to do all the things you're naturally going to have more time like yes, go to yoga, like do all the things but don't turn away just shift your perspective, shift your perspective to curiosity and compassion, and everything else will change. So when we're you're seeing it an objective without an opinion, right? And then the mindset piece is you now me you deciding what attitude and opinion you want to have about yourself in relationship to alcohol. And that is the other downfall of traditional sobriety programs is that there is a lot of shame, a lot of comparison, and a lot of this idea that it's going to be hard forever, right? And it's just not useful. Because you get to decide that's a thought, it's going to be hard forever. And so is it's not going to be hard forever, right? Or alcohol is poison, or any thought that doesn't create, like a feeling of pleasure and empowerment and confidence in your body. So we want to go from neutral to positive, right? Like, oh, like, it's like, I just want you know, and I see this too, with people where they start to, they start to reduce their desire or the efforting. It's taking to say no, and, and then that that does change like that they're able to, they feel like they're more in control, and that they can have like one or two because they've controlled part of it. But what happens is that the mindset of that is still making alcohol important. And what is happening in your body, when you say no to that one or two. And how long does that last? For how long? Do you want to be having the conversation about alcohol in your life? What are you putting off today, tomorrow, a year from now, five years from now? Because you're making space for alcohol? Right? So what I want to take all my clients doing, there's no, you get to decide for you, right? And like people have tried, they've tried to go back to drinking after a year and very quickly realized. It's the same, right? But now they have the tools, right? Like they've tried it and now they have the tools to be like, Oh, no, I'm getting like I'm going back. Right? curious minds want to know. But it's not a problem when you can, when you tap back into mindfulness, about it, where I want all my clients to go where I want you to go is that you feel when you say no, do it no to a drink, there is no resistance. If use if there is any circumstance, when saying no to a drink creates resistance, you know that alcohol still you has a tether to you? Right? And that is different for everyone. But it's expedited when you put yourself in circumstances and you learn how to feel resistance, then it's less the next time. And when you create the mindset of Who do I want to decide to be what attitude and opinion do I want to have about myself in relationship to alcohol, I don't have like, I've got my own opinions about alcohol, but I don't have opinions about other people who drink, right? Like, I don't care what they like, I care what you do, because I know that you want to change, but like my, like, I'm not like wasting my time with other things, I want to help you get the results that you want, which is experiencing what it feels like to have no resistance to saying no to alcohol, but then like you're not really saying no, you just don't drink. So it's you know, there's like some nuance there, right. And then you keep thinking those thoughts again, and again. And again, until they become your reality, just like the thoughts that you thought about alcohol. Except this is the bonus, it doesn't take 20 or 30 years and like you have these other natural chemicals that are going to support you in your body that have no negative consequence. Okay, so we're not substituting, we're not avoiding, we're not counting days, there's no rules or bargaining, right. And you are in alignment with the woman who you are deciding to become like, it's amazing, you just get to decide, it's really as simple as that. It really is as simple as that. But you got to learn these skills, right? You got to learn the skills of observation, you got to learn the skills of evaluation, and the accountability is the only way to get there. Because you only have so much bandwidth to do something new. And that's why when we talk about like, like if you wanted to become a doctor, like studying on your own would be really really hard right? And it just takes the process so much longer. And that's why the accountability of coaching is just so powerful. And using you know, they say when you read when you speak when you write you learn quicker, right and so that is what the my my private one on one program is all about is it gives you all of these opportunities to engage in the work from different areas of your brain, and then you and I are talking on a weekly basis, so you're there's like a teaching and experiential component of it because you're sharing with me your new awarenesses. So it's like you get to teach me we get to have these conversations you're in, like, you might be starting to talk about it with your family and your friends. And you're going out and making a plan to with curiosity to implement the new tools that you're learning, and then you're coming back and reporting, right. So it's a very active learning experience. And that that really is the difference besides just not drinking, and then talking about your story of all the things that you did or how hard it is like. So then you're like learning a new skill set that's in law in alignment with the woman that you're becoming, who also can solve the all of the other problems, who also is going to fact check her brain about all of the other limitations, right, in a loving way. And you get to have a relationship with yourself, your relationship to alcohol will end when you begin a new relationship with yourself. And this is where this becomes so much more powerful and kind of bigger than yourself. And I do think sometimes for a lot of people taking personal responsibility, once they know this is scary and can like they it's like, okay, well now I know, I have no one to blame, and then that's like another layer of it. But for most of you listening, you're ready to take responsibility for your life because you're a baller. I know you I know the people that I hang out with, right? So it's like, what do I want? The attitude to be what attitude do I want? And then you think the thoughts to be in line with that attitude? And what if I fell in love with the idea of getting closer to myself and becoming a woman who belongs to herself? What would she think? How does a woman who belongs to herself respond to her emotions? She doesn't pour a bunch of booze on top of it, say like, yeah, I better get out of here. Right? She might inquire like, Hey, what's going on? What is this all about? How does she respond to other people's opinions about her? Right? She doesn't flip them off and say Screw you. Right? She she can sense that there's a reflection, right? That other people's opinions are about us are usually some, you know, insecurity that they have, right, we can kind of know this. So take this fact checking. And start with the mindfulness piece of examining your automatic thoughts when you feel a triggered emotion. And we're going to learn how to feel the trigger emotions first. That's why I always say stop at the E stop at the emotion. And then the mindset is creating intentional thoughts about who you get to decide to be in your attitude and your opinions in relationship to alcohol. If you only started here, you would make huge, huge headway. But here's the here's the trick, right? It's not just one and done. As you know, our mind is habitual. So you're gonna keep coming back. I mean, shit, they're stuff I'm working on this year that I've been working on for a few years. And that's why I was like, Okay, I'm gonna nip this in the bud, I really want to pull this out, I really want to get some, like, that's why Matthew and I are doing the coaching, we've been talking about changing our reactions, and making sure we're in the most peaceful environment all the time. Like, we just want to be in a peaceful environment all the time. And we want to be the best example of how emotional intelligence for our kids, right? And, you know, I'm human, but there's times where it's like embarrassing. Sometimes, like the way that I'll naturally react to something, and then I have to hold space for myself and know that I'm human, and it's okay. But if there's a slowing down, and then an intentional, like, this is why, right? This is what I want. And this is why. And so that is something else that you can ask yourself, I want to be happier without alcohol. I want to fall in love with an alcohol free life. And this is why because I don't want this shit taking up my brain anymore, right? So imagine in one year from now, but like not efforting like resistance and gritting your teeth, right? The ease fulness of like, just like being in the pleasure of all of the things that you feel when alcohol is not taking up all of your brain space, and a year from now, not deciding like there's literally no effort, right? But the biggest biggest shift happens in the first three weeks and then in the first 12 weeks. And so I want you to know that when you put your when you commit, not quit when you commit to learning a new way and applying the five show If that is the trajectory, right, that is the trajectory of what will happen with a willingness to be open with a willingness to be open, because you're not going to solve the problem with alcohol with the same mind that got you there. And that's why you have to fact check your mind. I can't wait to talk to you soon. Have an amazing week. Hi, it's Mary Wagstaff. I want to personally invite you to spend one hour with me one on one. Because you deserve to know what's holding you back is your time, alcohol has had its fair share. We're going to talk about possibilities about how to align your thoughts and actions with your dreams and what matters most to you about why alcohol is no longer suited for the life you want to live. How you can get on the fast track to freedom from alcohol and stay there without deprivation. Follow the link in the show notes or on my website Mary Wagstaff coached.com To schedule your complimentary call and get a new perspective on an old habit.