How to Build a Sobriety Toolbox

This post by Holly Whitaker is full of useful tips on how to build a sobriety toolbox.

I have been on a journey of cutting down on alcohol for a good year now and Kava tea has really helped me substitute that glass of wine at night.

I also started tracking days where I didn’t drink any alcohol at all to have a visual reminder of how I am shifting my habits. I use an app called DONE for that. Besides ‘not drinking’ I track when I meditate, do something physical, dance, didn’t eat sugar.

My goal is not to cut drinking alcohol all together but to be more aware why I am drinking. When I am with friends and I am having a good time, I totally want to enjoy a glass of wine. When I am home alone and want to “numb” with alcohol, I now stop myself. I replace that glass of wine with tea, meditation, a bath, etc. Small steps.

Giving Space in Love

“I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

Receiving

“It’s so very hard, receiving. When you give something, you’re in much greater control. But when you receive something, you’re so vulnerable.”

The Mister Rogers No One Saw, By Jeanne Marie Laskas

A Definition of Love by Esther Perel

“It’s a verb. It’s an active engagement with all kinds of feelings—positive ones and primitive ones and loathsome ones. But it’s a very active verb. And it’s often surprising how it can kind of ebb and flow. It’s like the moon. We think it’s disappeared, and suddenly it shows up again. It’s not a permanent state of enthusiasm.”

Full article: Love is not a permanent state of enthusiasm

Marriage

“Marriage is an aggregate of multiple narratives. It belongs to the people who are in it, but it also belongs to the people who are supporting it and living around it: family, friends, community. As I once said, and it became a kind of a saying for me, when you pick a partner, you pick a story, and then you find yourself in a play you never auditioned for. And that is when the narratives clash.”
— Esther Perel

Full article: Love is not a permanent state of enthusiasm

Forgive, Forgive, Forgive

“In any bond of depth and significance, forgive, forgive, forgive. And then forgive again. The richest relationships are lifeboats, but they are also submarines that descend to the darkest and most disquieting places, to the unfathomed trenches of the soul where our deepest shames and foibles and vulnerabilities live, where we are less than we would like to be. Forgiveness is the alchemy by which the shame transforms into the honor and privilege of being invited into another’s darkness and having them witness your own with the undimmed light of love, of sympathy, of nonjudgmental understanding. Forgiveness is the engine of buoyancy that keeps the submarine rising again and again toward the light, so that it may become a lifeboat once more.”

13 Life-Learnings from 13 Years of Brain Pickings. Happy blog-birthday Maria!

Consequences Of The Little Choices

“People should think about the consequences of the little choices they make each day. What do you buy? Where did it come from? Where was it made? Did it harm the environment? Did it lead to cruelty to animals? Was it cheap because of child slave labor?”
Jane Godall

More in this article.

How (Not) To Grow Old

“The best way to overcome it [the fear of death]—so at least it seems to me—is to make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life. An individual human existence should be like a river: small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being. The man who, in old age, can see his life in this way, will not suffer from the fear of death, since the things he cares for will continue. And if, with the decay of vitality, weariness increases, the thought of rest will not be unwelcome. I should wish to die while still at work, knowing that others will carry on what I can no longer do and content in the thought that what was possible has been done.”
— Bertrand Russell

The Technology of Kindness

“People’s ability to connect is the glue that holds our culture together. By thinning out our interactions and splintering our media landscape, the Internet has taken away the common ground we need to understand one another. Each of us is becoming more confident about our own world just as it drifts farther from the worlds of others. Empathy requires us to understand that even people who disagree with us have a lived experience as deep as our own. But in the fractured landscape of social media, we have little choice but to see the other side as obtuse, dishonest or both. Unless we reverse this trend and revive empathy, we have little chance of mending the tears in our social fabric.”

The Technology of Kindness, by Jamil Zaki

Overcoming The Need to Be Exceptional

“It’s a rather simple question that quickly gets to the core of someone’s sense of well-being and legitimacy: did your childhood leave you feeling that you were – on balance – OK as you were? Or did you somewhere along the way derive an impression that you needed to be extraordinary in order to deserve a place on the earth?”

Overcoming the Need to Be Exceptional

Speaking Advice

“Don’t memorize your talk. Memorize your stories. Ten stories make a talk. Write yourself a simple cue card to remember each story’s name. Then tell us ten stories.”

If there is one person I would take speaking advice from, it’s Seth Godin.

Team Human

“We have to spend time with each other that is not digital. Civic organizations, libraries and social institutions that pre-date consumerism are all viable alternatives. If we reacquaint ourselves without digital crutches, I believe we’ll be less afraid of each other. Turn off the TV and go outside and start talking to people and then people who are inside will want to come out and see what’s going on. That is a type of influence that is sorely needed. It is peer-to-peer influence and it is an innately human social order.”

Douglas Rushkoff, Fighting for #TeamHuman

Shift vs Support Response

“Shift responses are a hallmark of conversational narcissism. They help you turn the focus constantly back to yourself. But a support response encourages the other person to continue their story. These days, I try to be more aware of my instinct to share stories and talk about myself. I try to ask questions that encourage the other person to continue. I’ve also made a conscious effort to listen more and talk less.”

Shift Response
Mary: I’m so busy right now.
Tim: Me too. I’m totally overwhelmed.

Support Response

Mary: I’m so busy right now.
Tim: Why? What do you have to get done?

The Mistake I Made With My Grieving Friend

Opportunities are Attached to People

“Every opportunity is attached to a person. Opportunities do not float like clouds in the sky. They’re attached to people. If you’re looking for an opportunity — including one that has a financial payoff — you’re really looking for a person.”
Ben Casnocha

(via)

Brick Mode

“When my phone is in Brick™ Mode and I’m completely disconnected from the internet (at dinner with a friend, on a hike, or reading a book) anyone who texts me will get an automatic reply saying that I’m off my phone and I’ll get back to them when I’ve reconnected. This simple auto-reply relieves my “always on” pressure because I know that anyone who texts knows I haven’t seen the message yet.”

How I Hacked My iPhone’s “Do Not Disturb While Driving” Function and Significantly Improved My Life

(via Jocelyn)

The Value of Ritual in Your Workday

“What if every performance review began with a short thought about the importance of clear and open communication? If every time we worked on a spreadsheet someone else created for us, we paused to acknowledge the complexity of the work she did and the attention to detail she brought to it? If at the beginning of the day we paused to honor the work we are about to do and the people with whom we are about to do it?”

The Value of Ritual in Your Workday

Advice For My Younger Self:

“When I was younger, I worried that every decision I made would send me down that path for LIFE. Every time I faced a choice of whether to accept a new job, move to a different city or stay in a relationship, I built it up as a definitive, forever-life-altering moment. And while that was true on some level — all the little choices do, in fact, add up to the life that you end up living — I wish I could go back in time and whisper in my own ear, ‘Let this decision just be this decision, not a loaded choice about the rest of your days on earth. You can always reroute.’”
— Ann Friedman

What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self?

Community

“Community is a feeling that you’re part of something that uplifts you and allows you to see eye-to-eye with different people from different backgrounds. A community holds you to a higher standard; it encourages you to focus on possibility, not fear.”
Paul Jun

The Moral Peril of Meritocracy

“Many of the people I admire lead lives that have a two-mountain shape.

If the first mountain is about building up the ego and defining the self, the second is about shedding the ego and dissolving the self. If the first mountain is about acquisition, the second mountain is about contribution.

Over the past few decades the individual, the self, has been at the center. The second-mountain people are leading us toward a culture that puts relationships at the center. They ask us to measure our lives by the quality of our attachments, to see that life is a qualitative endeavor, not a quantitative one. They ask us to see others at their full depths, and not just as a stereotype, and to have the courage to lead with vulnerability. These second-mountain people are leading us into a new culture. Culture change happens when a small group of people find a better way to live and the rest of us copy them. These second-mountain people have found it.”

This article by David Brooks took my breath away. Please take a few minutes to read.

Morning Routines

“Don’t check your social media or email until after your 3 hours of deep work. Your morning time should be spent on output, not input.”

Interesting read on morning routines.

A Simple Practice to Describe What Work You Do

George Kao is sharing helpful questions to figure out how to describe what work you do.

Hot to Ditch my Phone

My name is Tina, and I have a phone problem.

One of my big goals for 2019 is to change my phone habits. I am an addict.

To help this problem, I am considering buying an Apple Watch, so that I can leave my phone behind, can still receive phone calls and texts from my kids and close family, but can’t get sucked into any apps. I have asked on Instagram story today if anyone had success with that method, and looks like a lot of folks did. (I know, it seems counter intuitive to solve a technology addiction problem with more technology.)

Do you have a healthy relationship with your phone? Do you have any advice?

One of my followers shared this helpful article on the topic: Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain

Workism

“What is workism? It is the belief that work is not only necessary to economic production, but also the centerpiece of one’s identity and life’s purpose; and the belief that any policy to promote human welfare must always encourage more work.”

Workism is making Americans miserable, by Derek Thompson

(via Hurry Slowly)

Serious Leisure

“A hobby is an activity undertaken purely for its own sake, but technology attempts to monetize it. A friend used to make beautiful earrings occasionally. Almost ritualistically, she would buy the beads, and carefully craft the small, colored jewels in a quiet workspace. Then came Etsy. Now she makes beautiful earrings and sells them, ships them and manages this business along with a full-time job and a family. What was leisure became labor.”

Who killed the weekend?

(via Jocelyn)