Ep. 86 Embracing Empty: Creating Space for Clarity and Balance

Space:
noun

1.
a continuous area or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied:

I have been thinking a lot about space lately. And, the more I think about it the more I share these thoughts in my coaching groups and with my clients and then the more I think about it; anyone else?

As I continue to evolve as a human and as a coach, I think about why removing alcohol from my life was such a game changer. And, I also think about how and why I was successful in my first attempt to stop drinking forever. Yep, I said it: forever. I had one previous attempt where I was planning to stop for one year. I remember telling one person and she was really supportive. I also remember making it to about 3 weeks and then drinking while on vacation. The next time I decided to stop was just one year later (ironic in a way) and this time I did stop and I haven’t had a drink in 2775 days, roughly 7 years and 7 months. One difference that I can identify is that I changed ‘taking a break from drinking’ to stopping. For me, I needed to create the space to do the work.

And, I think this is a key part of any change. I share a story in this week’s podcast about a client who was having her garage floor refinished. She shared that they had to move everything out of the garage, even the cupboards, in order to have the floors done properly. It reminded me of working on alcohol freedom. We often want to ‘refinish the floors’ without moving anything out of the way. When we try and do the work without first creating space we are going to have a mess and chances are things won’t turn out the way we wanted. Imagine the difference between trying to work on eating less while the fridge is stocked with your favorite unhealthy snacks. Can we do it? Maybe, but it’s a lot easier when we remove the snacks and stock the fridge with good food.

There are 3 kinds of space I share about:

Physical
Mental
Emotional

For me, when I was drinking I really struggled with my mental chatter. My brain was filled with thoughts of drinking, thoughts of not drinking and with beating myself up. There was no free space. When I put alcohol aside, I created so much mental space! No longer did I have to think about how much I could drink, or try and calculate how much I had drank. There was no decision making when it came to the random Tuesday night. Suddenly, there was space. Space that allowed me to ask my brain a different question: what’s next?

For many clients, it is important to create more physical space. This can be boxing up all the wine paraphernalia in your house (who knew we had this much?) or giving away the martini and margarita glasses. For anyone who had had to box up a loved one’s belongings, you know how the space feels very empty after. This is similar to the feeling we are going for. When we create space we can fill it with a new espresso machine, or a host of sparkling waters and fresh fruit. Imagine having your bar area, a space that was previously filled with cocktail fixings suddenly alive with a candle, a plant and a mocktail recipe guide? This is the kind of physical space we can create to help change our thoughts and habits.

Emotional space is a biggie. This one can feel a bit harder to explain but if you have taken a break from alcohol or no longer drink, I am certain you know what I am talking about. This is where we let go of some of our ‘go to’ emotions, the ones that had us reaching for a cold one to self-soothe, and create space to ask ‘what am I really feeling?’. This takes time. We often have no space in our lives to process our emotions. We fill our days with responsibilities and deadlines and then wonder why we fill so flat and depleted… Creating emotional space allows us to pause and respond vs. react. This is a space we will want to keep creating for ourselves over and over again. This is where the real change happens.

Whatever you choose, taking it one day at a time or setting a firm decision, I hope you will consider this idea of creating space. I use the word ‘create’ or ‘creating’ intentionally because it is an action word. This process involves your participation and your willingness to explore a new way of being.

 

To hear more inspirational stories like these, hit subscribe so you never miss out!

Latest Episodes

Ep 143: Is it Time For An Intervention? With Dr. Brian Licuanan

Ep 143: Is it Time For An Intervention? With Dr. Brian Licuanan

Over 50% of families deal with addiction. If you have a family member who struggles, it can be challenging to walk the line between compassion and tough love, enabling and offering support. And, the closer the family member, the more challenging it can be to set...

Ep 142: Why We Romanticize Alcohol

Ep 142: Why We Romanticize Alcohol

For most of us, our relationship with alcohol, whether we are drinking or not, is complicated. When we find ourselves 'romanticizing' alcohol, it can feel confusing.For most of us, our relationship with alcohol, whether we are drinking or not, is complicated. When we...

Ep 141: Not Another Self-Help Episode!

Ep 141: Not Another Self-Help Episode!

While I love a good ‘self help’ book, I was completely fascinated by the title of my guests’ book: “Not Another Self Help Book”. How could I resist having her on the podcast to share her unique perspective on how to show up in the world when life is hard? Lindsey Kane...

Ep 140 A Groovy, Juicy Life with Constance Todd Smith

Ep 140 A Groovy, Juicy Life with Constance Todd Smith

  A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a new friend. Constance Todd Smith is an alignment coach (I love this!) who has been on her own journey of exploration, that started with sobriety, for 38 years. As we began to chat, I realized that part of the...

Ep 139 Big Growth: Making Room For More

Ep 139 Big Growth: Making Room For More

How do you define abundance? It might be having more, or it might be desiring less. When it comes to creating space, having an abundant mindset can be key. Creating space can manifest in many different ways; being open to opportunities means almost anything is...

Ep 138 How Storytelling Can Save Your Life with Jessica Dueñas

Ep 138 How Storytelling Can Save Your Life with Jessica Dueñas

"Everyone has a story or a struggle that will break your heart. And if we’re really paying attention, most people have a story that will bring us to our knees".  Brene Brown shared this quote in a 2018 article. The other part of this truth is that sharing our stories...

Ep: 137 4 Tips to Beat Recovery Fatigue

Ep: 137 4 Tips to Beat Recovery Fatigue

If you have every felt tired of 'doing the work' (of getting sober, bettering yourself, growing as a human...) you are not alone. "Working a program"; "doing the work", "we're all recovering from something" are all well-meaning sentiments and they can be helpful - to...

Ep 136: My Life In Hiding with author Laura Cathcart Robbins

Ep 136: My Life In Hiding with author Laura Cathcart Robbins

  This is an extra special episode of The Sober Edge Podcast - we are inviting ALL of you to meet author Laura Cathcart Robbins. First, you will meet Laura in this special podcast episode. Robbins is the author of Stash: My Life In Hiding. This powerful book...

Ep 135 This Creative Life with Tawny Lara

Ep 135 This Creative Life with Tawny Lara

When we stop drinking and over drinking we have so many possibilities. For me, exploring those possibilities looked like going back to school and becoming a nutritionist. It looked like becoming certified as a life coach and helping people discover how to drink less...

Looking for more?

Let’s connect on Social Media!