THE MINDFUL DRINKING CHALLENGE IS AN ONLINE INTERACTIVE SYSTEM THAT HELPS YOU TO TAKE THE BREAK FROM ALCOHOL YOUR BODY AND MIND HAVE BEEN BEGGING YOU FOR. YOU WILL CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO DIG DEEP AND DISCOVER THE REAL REASONS YOU DRINK AND YOU WILL HAVE THE OPTION TO REINTRODUCE ALCOHOL BACK INTO YOUR LIFE SAFELY SO THAT YOU DON’T GO RIGHT BACK AND START HEAVY DRINKING AGAIN!
Alcohol is just a drug. A legal drug that is offered to you at nearly every social event you attend and one that if you are not careful, can have horrible affects your health and your life.
It seems you have already decided you need to cut back or you wouldn’t be reading this right now. You probably don’t want to have to go to Alcoholics Anonymous and refer to yourself as an alcoholic for the rest of your life and most likely don’t relate to any of the horrific stories that are told in those rooms.
It’s possible you found Moderation Management which is an excellent place to start and also provides the community support you need to aid you in your goals. However, just deciding to do something isn’t enough especially when dealing with a powerful addictive substance that in all reality has the potential to destroy your life.
You can read all the books you want on ways to cut back and reasons to cut back but without a step by step program that helps you understand the root cause your drinking, chances of reaching your goals will likely take YEARS!
That won’t be after many embarrassing drunken mistakes that hopefully aren’t so horrific that you wind up in the hospital, or jail and eventually an AA room telling the same stories you once weren’t able to relate to.
You might be thinking… “It's hopeless and you won't ever find relief to gain control of your life again”. That hitting rock bottom and potentially losing everything is the only way...
FORTUNATELY, THERE IS A SOLUTION
I'm Lauren Center, and I'd like to introduce you to The Mindful Drinking Challenge
At first glance, this is just a challenge to not drink for a little while, and that’s true.
It is also a challenge to dive deep into yourself and discover the hidden reason you drink to begin with. This is the REAL challenge!
To be honest, it might be scary. The things you uncover, that you have been masking with alcohol aren’t going to be pretty. If they were, you wouldn’t be hiding them to begin with.
However, if you don’t figure out what you are hiding and somehow find successful abstinence alone, whatever it is will show up in another way, causing you to choose another unhealthy way to escape or more likely turn right back to alcohol for its temporary quick fix.
I 100% believe that alcohol abuse is not the main issue, it is just the issue that is the most prominent and causes the most trouble.
As my dad always says, “If you take the alcohol out of a fruit cake, you still have a fruit cake”
The coolest thing about this challenge is that it isn’t a 30-day program where you are “spun dry” as they say and then thrown back into the world alone unprepared for life without alcohol.
This is a 2 -month challenge that allows time for you to ease back into regular living… not even $30,000 rehab programs offer that!
At the end of 30 days sober, you will have the choice to continuing to stay abstinent or you can slowly and healthily reintroduce alcohol back into your life.
Whatever you choose, you will end the challenge with the tools you need to deal with stress, anxiety, and depression without the use of alcohol. You will also discover ways to learn from overindulgences when they inevitably happen making them blessings and powerful experiences to make your life better, rather than something to be ashamed and embarrassed about.
As they say, relapse is part of recovery but this is only true if you learn from the experience. If you don’t know how to learn from it, it is just a wasted opportunity to make improvements in your life.
I’m Lauren Center, I joined a group called, Moderation Management back in 2014 when I my mom nearly died from cirrhosis of the liver. I knew then that I had to pay more attention to my drinking. I loved the community that Moderation Management provided, and the idea that total abstinence wasn't the whole way. However, I needed help staying sober for 30 days, learning how to drink normally and why I was drinking to begin with. I needed it, couldn’t find it, so I created it for myself. It has been a long road and lots of work getting here, but I did it!
So how did this happen? Well…
After first finding Moderation Management and learning what healthy drinking looked like, my drinking slowed incredibly. I lost a bunch of weight, and once again remembered my goals in life. I enrolled in grad school and studied to be a therapist. I had a child and was living a great life. Every once in a while, when we had a babysitter or when I was with coworkers, I would once again drink too much. I was always reassured by other members that this was normal and that my drinking would one day be totally under control.
Then, my older sister died from liver cirrhosis and esophageal varices due to the heavy drinking she did her entire life. My relationship with alcohol changed after that. Now when I drank, I became incredibly guilty and anxious. The anxiety I dealt with my whole life was also getting worse in general and I began looking for a solution that was nowhere to be found. I was even attending graduate school and learning about the different modalities of therapy searching for the answer to what creates real change. I loved it but deep down I didn’t believe that any of these therapies could really help myself or anyone else.
My little brother had also started drinking more and more and I became desperate to find a solution. I started researching and discovered something called, Ayahuasca. This is a plant medicine that has been taken in the Amazon for many years. I learned that drinking Ayahuasca could be compared to 10 years of therapy in one night and could help people stop drinking and using drugs. I signed my brother and myself up for a retreat in Peru immediately and couldn’t wait to go!
After signing up, I was sent an email that explained the Ayahuasca diet that we needed to be on for the medicine to work. It told me we could only eat organic foods, couldn’t have red meat, and I couldn’t take drugs including sugar, Tylenol, or alcohol for a month. We were also instructed to practice yoga and meditate at least once a day. Although it wasn’t easy, I was able to do this; my brother was not. Since my brother wasn’t able to complete 30 days sober he couldn’t come to Peru. I was successful but It would have been much easier for me if I had support. This was when I first came up with the idea that would one day be my first program, The Mindful Drinking Challenge.
During those 3O days, I was feverishly writing and researching. I was losing sleep because the ideas for the challenge would come to me in the middle of the night. I probably drove my family and friends crazy because I couldn’t stop talking about this idea that I had! I then flew off to Peru alone in hopes that this plant medicine would cure my anxiety and I could finally move on in life and pursue my dreams.
While I did have an amazing experience and learned a lot about myself, Ayahuasca wasn’t the miracle cure for my anxiety that I hoped it would be. Actually, it had gotten worse. One weekend when my friends came to visit, we drank more alcohol than had in a very long time. Afterward, my anxiety was unbearable and I did something horribly scary and extremely dangerous to make it go away, I had a drink. My anxiety was so bad and I was desperate for relief. I remembered my sister telling me that if drank when I had anxiety it would go away, unfortunately, she was right. Now my drinking had gone from a fun thing I overdid once in a while to self-medication. I knew this was a dangerous slippery slope that would land me in the hospital just like my sister or my mother if I didn’t stop.
This fact terrified me, but what could I do? I had already been prescribed anxiety medication that didn’t work, I didn’t only have a therapist but I had studied the modalities in depth myself without finding the answer, and I had traveled to another part of the world to drink plant medicine that didn’t do the job. It seemed nothing worked, what was I going to do?
Then, by some miracle, I found the solution in a hot yoga class I know sounds silly but hear me out…
One day, hungover and having an internal battle about how to help myself get over this incredible anxiety I was living with, I decided to try a yoga class. I didn’t know anything about hot yoga and to be honest I didn’t think it would really do anything for me, I was very wrong! The room was extremely hot and positions so intense that I easily slipped into deep meditation. I left the room that day, lighter and happier than I had felt in a very long time! What the hell was this?
I went home and once again started researching and discovered mindfulness. I enrolled in several courses and the concepts blew my mind! It was so simple yet I was never taught any of this, not even in the the graduate school that had put me $80,000 in debt. If I had, my life would have been very different. I realized that meditation and mindfulness is what I needed to be both teaching and practicing!
Her is the thing though.... After ALL of this, I was still drinking too much! WHY???
I finally learned how to healthy deal with my emotions, I was a very active, prominent member of Moderation Management, following their guidelines. Then it hit me... maybe Moderation Management was the problem!
It is pretty well known that the founder, Audrey Kishline wasn't successful with the program she created but I didn't know why. I bought all of her books and began learning everything I could about her. I uncovered her horrible story, drinking destroyed her life and the lives of several others. When Audrey realized MM didn't work, she joined AA and then drove her truck on the wrong side of the road crashing into the car of a man and his 12 year old daughter, Audrey was the only one who survived the crash. She was sentenced to 2 years in jail and when she got out she still couldn't stop drinking so she ended up committing suicide!
Learning this stopped scared me to death! We had so much in common, what if I followed in her foot steps? I announced to Moderation Management. that the program didn't work and for doing so, I was actually kicked out.
I was once again, lost. I didn't
BY JOINING THE MINDFUL DRINKING CHALLENGE, YOU WILL:
- Get a proven system that will teach you healthy and affective ways to handle anxiety, stress and depression that often leads to drinking.
- Learn to stop dwelling on the past or worrying about the future so that you are free to enjoy present moment to the fullest
- Become aware of unhealthy and unhelpful behaviors that perpetuate your struggle with alcohol
- Stop judging yourself and your situation so you can live a happy more fulfilling life
- Not only forgive your flaws and past mistakes but also learn from them, creating a more functional relationship with yourself
- Become aware of the story you tell about yourself and make sure it is one that tells of a happy, healthy, strong, and confident person
- Get community support from people who understand what you are dealing with and who are going through this process with you
- Get to keep all of this FOREVER, meaning when shit inevitably happens in life and is out of your control, you will have a place to go and system to use to help you get through it without turning to alcohol for help!
I guess you could say that the The Mindful Drinking Challenge is like going to group therapy only you come armed with the tools and knowledge you need to take back control of your life AND so does everybody else!
Get started now!
"This AF (alcohol free) stretch [was] completely different from any other I've done in the past. I am much more self aware, reflective, and mindful this time, and is certainly thanks to your program. It has been a long, sometimes dark, path I've stumbled down to get here, but I can say genuinely that this experience is changing the relationship I have with alcohol in a way that feels real and lasting.
Thank you for your support! Your tone and style throughout all of your facilitating is really supportive and uplifting, and I really appreciate that!"
- Leah Ramsey, San Francisco, California