This page of Resources has been immensely helpful in my continuous journey of personal evolution. What started as a website for living alcohol free has slowly morphed into an overall wellness platform aimed at sharing my experiences, struggles & triumphs within living a healthy life. Making a strong connection within my body-mind-spirit, and ultimately to a power greater than me.
Yes, this includes removing alcohol from the equation, but also diving head first into my physical/mental/spiritual health, as well as communication, compassion, acceptance, action & love.
These next few pages are a collection of Resources and even recommendations that have worked and continue to work specifically for me and my journey of evolution. They are broken down really as overall Natural Resources, Ayurvedic Resources & Alcohol Free Resources. I highly recommend you try and put together an inventory of resources yourself to fall back on when life get tough. And it will. Tools you can refer to when needing that extra guidance. These are unique to me and my experience, but I thought I would share in case some of you could perhaps find some solace in them too.
Knowledge is power. READ, READ, READ. Read about addiction & sobriety. Read about depression & anxiety and their cause and effects. Read if you are curious, read if it scares you. Or don't.
I can’t tell you how much reading and researching have led me to where I am right now. Without diving further into how not only the brain operates on a general basis, but how it also manifests depression, anxiety, dependency, etc, I wouldn’t have understood the ins and outs of what I’ve been through on a daily basis for most of my adult life. The liberty and relief I’ve felt putting a name to symptoms, thoughts and feelings has been a definite turning point.
Good thing for us women, there are plenty of resources including books, articles, podcasts, TedTalks etc, available to us as a guide or reference through this turbulent rise called life. Here is a list that I’ve found extremely useful (will be adding to it all the time!)
A Mind of Your Own - By: Kelly Brogan, MD
I can't say enough about this woman! You may not agree with her studies and writing, and that's totally your call, but I could re-read this book over and over. It's especially insightful for women struggling with depression and anxiety. She writes about the myths of antidepressants and that when taken over time, are most likely doing more harm than good. I completely relate to this. I went on antidepressants twice in my life - once in my early twenty's and once in my early thirty's. Both times lasted less than 3 months. They made me foggy, aggressive, drained and not myself - kind of like alcohol. Not only is there fantastic research and studies to back up her words, there are also great tips and recipes to follow as well.
Sane New World - By: Ruby Wax
This really gets into the guts of depression and anxiety. Ruby inundates her book with stories of her struggle with mental illness, and doesn't shy away from her truth. She's real and honest in a super refreshing way. She also adds humour to this "taboo" subject which gives the book a little extra kick. Her studies and training brought her to the conclusion that Mindfulness is key to ease depression and anxiety. Ruby breaks down brain function, development and Mindful Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) in a simple way that most anyone can relate to and understand.
Awakening The Brain - Dr. Charlotte A. Tomaino
Be prepared to get into the science of how your brain works. The ins and outs, the guts of it all. It can feel a little overwhelming, but there are some really great insights into how the brain operates. For example, the author states that the repetition of a thought or action eventually makes it an automatic reaction of the brain - good or bad. So for someone who turns to alcohol to placate a stressful situation, that repetitious action is creating a set behaviour in the brain. Hence addiction. Change your thoughts, change your life!
The Four Agreements (Companion Book) - don Miguel Ruiz
Ugh, it's like this guy was reading my mind! Have you ever heard of the Four Agreements according to don Miguel Ruiz? These are the agreements you make with yourself, every day of your life. I've learnt bits and pieces of each along my personal evolution, but have never found one space where they were all listed as The Four Agreements. They include ; "Be Impeccable with your Word." "Don't take Anything Personally." "Don't Make Assumptions". "Always Do your Best." I devoured this book, although it the 'comparison book' to the original. This version includes many way to uncover beliefs of others which have been cast upon us through their perceptions. It also includes detailed journaling exercises to see where you may be stuck in your life. I take some of what he says with a grain of salt, but overall, a very eye opening book for me and such a curious time for it to enter into my life.
PodCasts have changed my life. I listen to them working out, while commuting long hours in the car, when I go for a walk, I listen to them at every opportunity I get. They are like a library & encyclopedia at your fingertips, and cost next to nothing.
There are thousands of podcasts out there. I guess you can break them down into themes/subjects - Health & Wellness, Lifestyle, Meditation, Interview Style, Pop Culture, etc, and my personal favourite - True Crime - Muah. I won't be chatting about that here, but here's a list that include some of my go-to Health & Wellness podcasts that have really had and continue to have an awesome effect on me.
The Ultimate Health Podcast - Dr. Jesse Chaps & Marni Wasserman
This really is THE Ultimate Health Podcast. They interview some of the best and brightest in the field of health & wellness. The first episode I listened to was an interview with Dr. Kelly Brogan. Sound familiar? Her book is top on my list of recommended reading!
They also get into wonderful tips and tricks for women's health, food for thought & healthy eating, focusing on yourself and trusting your intuition, and so so much more. They have over 200 episodes recorded, so I suggest you get started as soon as you can.
Under The Skin - Russell Brand
What can I say about Russell Brand. This guy is actually a genius, much to his own detriment I think. If you don't know about Russell, he is a recovering addict. You name it, he was addicted to it - Food, Sex, Alcohol, Drugs. I think he's around 13 years sober, and doing quite well for himself these days. Not that it's been easy, or continues to be. He'll always be a "work in progress." Nowadays, he fills his time with stand-up gigs, touring to promote his new book "Recovery" (I saw him in Calgary at the Jub, Brilliant), tons of mediation, and also this podcast. Again, one of the first episodes I listened to was with Ruby Wax, who's book I recommended reading as well. He also has guests from all walks of life on his show - Politicians, Scientists, Advocates, Doctors. The subject matter can really open and expand your mind. Best to take in small doses though, he can be a little overwhelming.
Love this man. Aubrey Marcus is originally the creator of ONNIT. He's a super driven dude, with an amazing voice that sucks me in every time I listen to him. And he's not sore on the eyes either. Aubrey interviews some pretty amazing people and entertains some awesomely interesting topics. One of the first podcasts I listened to was about "Humans & Psychedelics with Hamilton Morris". As you can imagine, they talked about the various plants medicines & psychedelics out there, and what purposes they can serve for humans, namely healing. Crazy interesting subject matter. He's very open about his life and where it takes him, from his open relationship that has since come to an end, to his most recent retreat to Poland with Wim Hof and 7 nights sitting in a cell in the Czech known as "Dark Therapy."
This podcast is at the very top of my playlist. Luke's motto is "Living life at the highest level of human potential." This means bringing on some of the leading experts in health, wellness, spirituality, biohacking, just to name a few. Episode after episode, I am blown away by the content, the questions, the broad range of topics covered. This is actually where I first heard of Ayurveda, through one of the guests he had on back in the Spring 2019. Luke also is living alcohol free, having not touched the poison for over 22 years. And has most recently begun his trek into the world of healing via psychedelics & plant medicine - right up my alley.
I've been listening to Juliet Allen for a while now. Her subject matter, experience, POV and communication around sex, the female solo & in relationship, and even a better understanding of men, how to better serve in relationship & their masculinity, are subjects I believe we should all be taking more into consideration in our everyday lives. She doesn't sugar coat the topic of sex, but really makes sure there is much respect as it pertains to life. She has amazing tips and tools, and the topics she chooses to speak to are ones that had never generally crossed my mind. I have learnt an immense amount about myself through her podcast, and enjoy putting it to great use in my life ;)
Two of my favourite idiots. I feel in love with Will Arnett and Jason Bateman on Arrested Development. Do yourself a favour, if you have a sarcastic - and humorous - bone in your body, first watch Arrested Development, next listen to Smartless. Sean Hayes acts like the buffer between these two guys, like a back and forth ping pong game of insults. All of that kind of settles down when the show start and one of the guys invites a surprise guest that the others don't know about. Guests have included surprisingly Stacey Abrams, Kamala Harris, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bryan Cranston, Martin Short, and not surprisingly Jennifer Anniston, Reese Witherspoon, Ricky Gervais, Sarah Silverman, Seth Rogan, and mucho more.
I just started introducing Armchair Expert into my podcast rotation daily because I saw that he interviewed Sean Penn, and if you can interview Sean Penn, you can interview anyone. Dax Shepard, I didn't realize until I heard Simon the Smartless Podcast, was in recovery for something like 16 years - pretty epic. He includes some really thoughtful and interesting guests, and engages incredibly well with them. My favourite so far is an interview by filmmaker David Farrier from New Zealand, who loves to debunk conspiracy theories. A great way to pass the time in the car.