Sunday, January 19

Volume Control

It's been hard and interesting to understand how a guy with a pretty good career, three wonderful kids, would be inclined to drink into oblivion and give up on life.

I had been unhappy for a long time in my life. I never 'accepted' the things I could not change and moved on. I had trouble focusing on the positive elements in life, being grateful for what I had.

My stress management tool kit, it was small. Mostly a medication I took often, but in modest doses all along my life journey for decades. It is called alcohol. When life was good, and stress was not so bad, it fit well, I functioned well. When things got bad in my head, every day, every month, every year... the need for more medication arose.

So in traveling down the life highway, I suddenly find myself sideswiped by the (metaphorical) alcohol truck. Major losses, almost dead, stunned ... asking 'what the hell just happened"?

Spirituality and inner peace were missing in my life. Human beings strive towards some greater being, it's in our nature. When that is missing, we thrive on self ego and material items. We feed our cravings and dopamine addictions in so many bad ways. In doing this, we lose site of helping others, and feeling the warm rush of natural Oxytocin - that feeling of warmth when you hug someone you love. A great video on this here.

So into action,  with this new knowledge, I sprang out Bills Blend Coffee, which will keep me distributing recovery books that promote this healing spirituality, dealing with the past and removing resentments and coping with today. Great for me personally, my shot of Oyytocin in every book. It will hopefully helps many others in a small way, the one percent of the population already affected.

But what about the other 99% of the world, "not affected"?

Well -  they ARE in fact affected. Alcohol abuse costs every American on average about $700 a year. A $224 Billion dollar annual problem in the US alone. Over 80,000 people die every year from alcohol, personally affecting countless millions of people.

On a more local level, we see the pervasiveness. On any given Sunday afternoon, in my home town, there are more than two dozen places to get your alcohol fix. Liquor stores in my life are now open more that twice as long in a given week. We are addicted to alcohol, the state government is addicted to money. It's a perfect symbiosis.

Time to turn down the volume a bit?

I created Sober to help educate. To consistently push that message about turning down the volume of consumption; leveraging the music community who is deeply affected by this disease.

I have a vision - beyond all the individual reports and groups and raising my hand and saying more overall... "Hey, can we turn down the volume" a bit on consumption?

No new legislation, no new laws, o new labeling. Just an awareness so that when we choose to consume the legal liquid narcotic called alcohol, with the intentions of getting that buzz so many of us enjoy, we do so respectfully. We do so intentionally, carefully and with our own measured doses, the same as any other drug we take. Watch your own volume levels. Be aware of them.

You can help - be aware of your personal volume. Get educated. Like us on FACEBOOK.

Please share this -  you could save a life.

Friday, January 10

Mental Rental

A guy in his early twenties, I will call him Mitch, wise beyond his years, shared this story.

He said he was at work, and arguing with another person. Mitch was getting visibly upset over what seemed to be a senseless engagement, The first person just seemed to like to push Mitch's buttons and get him riled up. After it was over, another co-worker of Mitch's came up and asked him a question....

"How much rent is he paying you?"
Mitch looked puzzled and said only "huh"?
His friend expanded the question fully...
"How much rent is he paying you for all that space he is taking up in your head?"

In an instant, Mitch knew what he was talking about. He had been consumed with this person, they were always on his mind, always under his skin, and for no reason.
All of the arguments were pointless, the topics were meaningless. the other person was engaging Mitch, only because he took the bait and engaged back. He was able to torment him continually, arguing with him about senseless things, get him all riled up... and leave.

This is a hard concept, but a great one...
If someone is upsetting you... ask first: What is wrong with me?

- Do I need to engage with this person?
- Will they affect my career / family / goals?
- Why am I arguing in the first place?
- So what if I let them be right? Does my ego need to win?
If you are strong in your own mind about what your convictions are, what you are doing is right, that you are doing the right thing, that if you stay the course, others will eventually see the truth... then the suggestion is to not engage.

Do not let others tormented in their own worlds, become an influence in yours. Deal with any situations that arise with grace, poise, character and facts. If you start letting resentments towards another creep in, then the facts get clouded with fear, anger, frustration, envy and so many other emotions.

Sometimes you get in situations where the person has direct influence on you, and will impact you in a negative way, I treat those like a minor car accident in the road of life that was not your fault. Assess the damage, repair what you can, and get back on the highway, saying a prayer for the other driver, that they do no more harm. If you can, smile, wave and toot your horn on they way, they will wonder where you are going that you are so happy after just being in an accident. :-)

Remove that "For Rent" sign on your forehead. Be strong in your own head, make it a nice place to live. Smile nicely and politely close the door when others try to enter into your space and engage you with banter. You will find that they will quickly leave you alone and move on to the next mental rental.