Just Dance

“We loosen our anxieties with the help of deafening sounds in a temple of fragmentation. These assaults on our senses all have one purpose: to smash the separateness of everyone present; to expose feeling and break through thinking; to make us live, in the phrase of Alan Watts, ‘a perpetual uncalculated life in the present’; a sort of electronic Buddhism in place of sequential perception.” – Alan Harrington, 1969.

This quote tastes even sweeter when you are broke, have to work all weekend, have no ticket for the festival but somehow manage to make it to the music temple to dance and play with all your old and new pals.

J1 in Galway, summer of 2010. 7 girls take over a small 5 bedroom house near the Roisin Dubh. Carnage ensued. I was working in a bar as per usual, as were a few of the girls. Funds were non existent because rent, alcohol, cigs and Dunnes stores euro pies took all of our moneys. Out every night meant no festivals which didn’t really sit well with me as summers to me meant at least one over packed party in a field. I guess in hindsight, that whole summer was one long festival.

It was the eve of Oxegen Music festival. One of the girls were sitting at the bar I was working at, contemplating how we could make Oxegen happen for us. We both had the same boss, different locations. Both of us were supposed to be working all weekend. We devised a plan to text said boss and say she won tickets to said festival and she is taking me as her lucky plus one. Right, fuck it. We were going. No lift, no money, no tickets. There and then, the decision was made, full commitment given, Oxegen 2010, lets be having ya! The law of attraction works by deciding what you want, asking for it, really feeling it and believing you will receive it with pure faith. Ask and you shall receive.

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” – Paulo Coelho

The next morning, I woke up with a text from an old collage friend that. He wanted to come visit. I told him we were going to Oxegen today but he should definitely visit soon. He asked how I was getting there, which I did not know at that point. Then he offered a lift. I refused as he would be back tracking on himself but he insisted. Wow. The cavalry was coming. This plan was well in motion. Off to Dunnes to spend our last few bob on vodka, tobacco and wellies. We rock up to the shuttle buses for Oxegen late that evening after a car ride of catch ups. The cavalry decided to retire for the night to their home and planned to try and sneak in in the morning. I decided to get out and have a look around. It was the year the rain fell and fell so hard that the floor was water (thank god for wellies!). I saw a guy sitting on steps surrounded by bags… and water. “Are you waiting for the shuttle? How’s it going? I’m so excited.” “..eh no. It’s an absolute washout. I’m headed back home to my dry bed. Do you want my band?” And just like that, an absolute stranger gave me a festival band for the weekend, for free. He was happy to pass it on he said. The law of attraction magic in action. Trust and believe. I grabbed my friend from the car and said thanks to the lads, bought some super glue from Centra with my last few coins (bless their random stuff stands) and jumped on the shuttle bus to Oxegen. I sat down beside a fellow festival goer and told him the story from conception of operation Oxegen with zero budget and zero tickets, to receiving the lift from an old college friend to just receiving the weekend wrist band a few moments before from a lovely kind stranger. He smiled and said; “I just upgraded my band, here have my old one.” And just like that, we got a second band for the weekend for free. Wow. Trust and believe. We seamlessly managed to find my friends campsite and had the best weekend. All of which seeding from the belief that this was going to happen, that we were going to make the magic happen. Trust and believe 🙂 

As festivals are in the distant future, why don’t you try to bring the free flowing dance happy feels into your home. I have been doing this 22 minutes of Bliss ecstatic dance almost daily. I feel loose, open, free, more creative, lighter and so much happier after I do it. Thank you to a beautiful friend for the recommendation and thank you Ronja Sebastian for bringing this movement meditation into my life so easily.

https://ecstaticawakeningretreat.com/22minsofbliss

Also, be fearless with your manifesting. You can make the magic happen. Dance yourself into a place of bliss and send some messages to the universe. Lots of Love x

No Need For The Cure Anymore

Update: I originally wrote and published this piece in April 2016 on a different blog I left in the blog graveyard. At that point in time I remained sober for 16 months in total. I then decided that I was avoiding rather than working with alcohol and my relationship with it, and in truth I was missing the craic, the social aspect of it, so I reintroduced it back into my life. My relationship with it definitely changed over the years since. Relearning to dance sober, who am I in a social setting without drink, learning and accepting that it is not my job to be the trick pony, learning that fun didn’t mean not remembering the night. Learning space and time away from things is valuable in order to properly reflect.

Nowadays I take time off it every so often, as I believe breaks and breathers are always good. I recommend anyone who is trying to find answers in their life to take a break and a breather from booze and you will experience a different perspective on things as the waters are less muddy and the moods tend to settle more in clearer spaces within your mind, body and soul. Hey no harm in trying these things? Here’s the piece I wrote 6 months in.

At over six months gratefully alcohol free I think its time to share a piece of my story.

I rediscovered some major elements about myself when boxing came into my life. I remembered how infectious inspiring people can be to me. I remembered how necessary it is for me to challenge myself physically, pushing my body further than my mind tells it to go, conquering that voice that says no more. I remembered how focusing on a particular outcome, working hard and spending time and energy on it, eventually reaps a beautiful, fruitful reward.

Thus it came to my attention how this is also apparent in all aspects of my life. I need to be constantly working towards personal growth and striving for betterment. Cultivating my potential so that in turn I can pass on the benefits like those inspirational people did to me. This opened up the world to me again and I looked at everything with fresh eyes. I had a new lease of life. Anything was possible. I decided to ask myself what was the one challenge I could take on right now that I would find extremely tough but incredibly rewarding? The answer, giving up booze.

When I moved to Canada I thought the Canadians were lacking in the drunken debauchery department. Until I realized no, coming from my Irish drinking culture, I just drank far too much in comparison and considered those that drank less, of lesser fun. This caused me to become more aware of my relationship to alcohol and I began to see my drinking as sometimes damaging rather than all fun and games.

The good old Irish FEAR (crippling anxiety thinking about what antics may or may not have taken place the night before) hit me hard too many times and I began to question was it really worth it? Maybe the Canadians were onto something here. Maybe, just maybe drinking less is a good idea. For those 8 out of 10 super fun times, was it really worth it to deal with the repercussions of the 2 Russian roulette not so good, sometimes fatal occasions?

I was often Jekyll and Hyde like when I drank, using alcohol as my inhibition free pass to act upon whatever notion entered my head in my drunken state. This would cause many out of character incidents to transpire leaving those that know the sober me a little bemused, crazily amused or on the horribly unfortunate occasions, very offended or confused. And those that just met me thinking I was one intriguing or crazy human. Visits to Black Out City could frequently occur which would enhance the fear enormously. I am entering my late 20’s, is this really tolerable anymore?

I decided to contemplate the challenge my soul was putting forth and consider resigning from my 10 year booze career. 

I had spent the previous 2 years toying with the idea of giving up booze. Taking 1 to 3 month booze career brakes allowed me to discover how challenging sobriety was for me. During these periods I caught glimpses of an old dear friend I once knew so well. Me.

I recognized this quiet, shy, somewhat socially awkward young teenager that seemed to have now transformed into this angry, lonely, sad, unaware, afraid, insecure, hesitant women carrying a ton of over-sized emotional baggage. I was her and she was me but somewhere in between we lost touch and she was broken. My heart hurt for her. My nurturing nature was in shock at how I could have allowed this to happen. The reality was I did. I was too busy having fun, chasing tail, preoccupied with socializing under the influence to pay any attention to the aftermath I now saw before me.

I could chose to ignore this side of me some more, keep the party going, its been adequately working until now or try something new. Enough was enough. Time to stop with the anesthetic. Time to live sober. Time to heal this wounded lady and unpack all this baggage she’s been dragging around.

As I began to unpack my years of emotional baggage, I discovered that for a long time I was searching for clarity in my life, in my decision making. I had the usual decision making battles between my heart and my head but through my sobriety I became aware of a third contributor, the Feral Pirate.

The Feral Pirate was my drunken alter ego that lingered around like a bad smell long after the hangover was gone. Essentially over the years of drinking, we spent so much time together that he unbeknownst to me became apart of my persona. The only things that mattered to the Feral Pirate were anything that provided instant gratification.

This carefree, impulsive, obsessive, obnoxious, fun loving pirate had been giving his input into my major and minor life decisions for a decade now. He was in fact an impostor in my cognitive functioning, a stowaway planted by the alcohol gods like a cuckoo plants the eggs of her offspring in the nest of unsuspecting birds. The Feral Pirate was the hatched cuckoo bird in my brain and like those unsuspicious bird parents I had claimed the Feral Pirate as my own. Fully supporting him sailing my physical ship to whoever and whatever he deemed as treasure rarely with future foresight involved. Following Instant gratification for me, all in the quest to fill this void I was clearing feeling. Finding distractions to ignore years of built up emotions and frustrations in my life that I chose to suppress through liaising with this pirate.

Dealing with this build up of hoarded emotions meant I had to feel it and feeling it meant I had to do something about it. Avoidance through alcohol and relationships had become my survival techniques. As I caught glimpses of the broken me it was clear that this technique was not working below the surface and alas the pirate had to go. Thus began my road to clarity.

By taking drinking out of my life, I was starving the pirate of his life giving force. Over the next few months he died. R.I.P. Feral Pirate. I often find myself getting nostalgic over this personality trait. There was many, many fantastic times. Overall though, for me to properly heal, our partnership had to end.

I began to look at my life with this new found decisiveness. Instant gratification and avoidance no longer leading the game. Healthy choices became easy to make. Life became much simpler, emotional, but simpler. I now saw the mountain of self work that lay before me and was filled with this new-fangled clarity and burning desire to accomplish it. The broken lady was mending, I was becoming whole again. I met me and I am going to nurture her with the love and attention she rightly deserves and needs, bringing her back home to myself.

DISCLAIMER: I do not take away any onus for any actions or behaviors that occurred over the years by pawning them off on the Feral Pirate. It is simply my way of explaining.