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600 Days Sober

I woke up this morning in Bali (surprise!) to celebrate my 600th day sober. Quitting drinking continues to be the greatest journey of my life.

In practice today, I had a sobering moment, and it caused me to pause on the meaning of the word sober. Sure, it means to abstain from drinking, but it also means much more.

To be sober is to be humbled. It’s a quieting. It requires patience. And I’m continually surprised at the ways that this new life of mine has created new moments of sobriety — and not because of any struggle I have with alcohol. To be sober is to be intentional and present, unwavering in the journey despite the struggles it presents.

Like the English Professor I am, here are some Oxford English Dictionary definitions of sober that resonated with me

Again, I’m not even talking about alcohol anymore. The universe has such a strange way of showing us synchronistic messages. One theme in an area of life reverberates through the others.

Today, in practice, I was asked to stop my practice and finish in a pose that is barely halfway through my regular practice. I’m studying with a new teacher here in Bali and every teacher runs their Mysore room differently. Do I struggle with this pose? Sure. But in my head, it’s usually just a speed bump through to some poses that I am really strong at.

To be asked to stop and not complete my favorite (and most exciting) part of my practice was… sobering. My first instinct was to be frustrated and complain. Seriously?! Just let me practice my practice! But I’m being asked to stop, I’m reflecting on how I often just rush through this pose because it IS a huge struggle for me. I’m reflecting on how much my ego loves the poses I’m good and strong at. I’m reflecting on what the purpose of this practice even is, if not to help us confront that ego and quiet the internal self.

Is the practice of yoga sobering? Definitely.

Here’s to 600 days, and to 6000 more.

Okay, off to explore Bali

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