Loving Life Takes Practice – Living Joyfully in Year 3 Sober

Woman in Dance pose representing Sober Practice and Loving Life alcohol free in year 3

What does it feel like to live sober long term and joyfully, rather than simply taking the usual 30-day alcohol detox that many people find difficult to endure? Have you considered staying sober after Dry January? How do people enjoy life without at least the occasional drink, for a year, or two, or more?

Sober forever?


My Why is to refind true Joy. To live in True Joy. That is foundational. Once that connection is fully reestablished, I can try and recover/transform everything else.

Joy – Freedom – Peace of Mind – Ease – Authenticity – Living life alcohol-free is all about choosing a lifestyle, but more than that, it also seems to be about taking on a practice. To have a wonderful sober life filled with joy is not always effortless – at least not for me. I need to put in guideposts, goals, and intentionally find ways of being in the world that are new. This takes practice for sure, but these behaviors also are practices. I can learn about these practices by reading or listening to other sober bad ass warriors (super helpful), pushing myself to try new things, and being more intentional in the world.  Like the best relationships based on love, building a good relationship with yourself as a person living sober takes practice.

“You don’t need to justify your love, you don’t need to explain your love, you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master.”

― Don Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship

Sobriety is a practice.

My sober practice right now, in beginning my third year alcohol-free, has to be flexible, agile, moving, but intentional and centered around harmony, truth, and authenticity. And that’s the thing for me about thinking about sobriety as a ‘sober practice’. The sobriety itself is NOT the end goal. The sober practice provides the foundations for a rich and authentic life. I know – people in AA have been saying this in a different way for almost 100 years – but for me, thinking about it this way is revolutionary! Sobriety is NOT the end goal, It’s the foundation. And for me, it is the foundation of a Sober Practice – practicing how I want to be in the world and of the world without substances clouding my way. 

There are three things I’m working really hard on right now in my sober practice that I think will be transformative if I can master. 

1. Silence: Practicing NOT always needing to speak my mind or my truth, but letting others have space to speak theirs. Being thoughtful about when and how I speak as opposed to just needing to get it out there. This is not about silencing myself. But about being in the world, and learning from what is going on around me, leaning in when it can and should make a difference, not dominating every space simply because I can. 

2. Patience and Space: I have zero patience. God, I wanted to text my boss at 5:15 am this morning about some new news that came down the pipe late in the evening last night (I did not). I have this incredible urge to respond, take charge, be in the middle of everything. But patience and space (literal and metaphorical) give me room to assess, formulate and see if response or action is necessary. When I meditate in the morning (I can only do twelve minutes and those twelve minutes are hard won!) I literally think of it as putting a block of space between myself and the day ahead. A block of space just to be myself, feel my strength, feel myself being and allow that to flow through the rest of my day. 

3. Leaning in with humility: The current events in my home country and the current pandemic have made it so obvious, so incredibly clear that there is so much yet I do not understand, so much about others’ experience that is not clear to me, and so much about the world that requires a spirit of humble forgiveness as opposed to brash and angry judgment. I take this lesson with me and try to lean into problems and conflict with an intentional humility and a spirit of discovery. 

Lest anyone believe I am a zen master know that I am total crap at all three of these things. Thus the practice part. But right now they are at the center of my sober practice. I am hoping they will help me continue to live my life Alcohol Free and enhance the joy and connection I feel out here in the Land of the Feels. 

If you’re ready to start looking more critically at the role alcohol plays in your life, come join us in the BOOM Rethink the Drink Community and start your sober practice. I am a year sober next month amnd I like the idea of sobriety as a foundation for everything else. That has been my “why”. If I want all these other things in my life, I have to be sober first. It is the building block.My friend asked me just yesterday, out of the blue,

“How in god’s name have you managed to be sober all this time?”

I laughed at the sudden change of subject and question… and later realized that

My Why is to refind true Joy. To live in True Joy. That is foundational. Once that connection is fully reestablished, I can try and recover/transform everything else.

This sobriety is a miracle. Like…. seriously …..miraculous awesome shit! 

More by this Author :

Where’s my Miracle?

6 Reasons I’m Staying Sober – Perspective from 6 months Alcohol Free

Have You Stumbled on Your Sobriety Pledge? Don’t Give Up !

Once Upon a Real Life

Sober I am no Longer the Victim in the Tragedy of my own Making

If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us. 
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“Love and magic have a great deal in common. they enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice.”

Nora Roberts

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