Brush my teeth how?

We’ve decided to make some life changes. 

We struggle brushing our teeth with the opposite hand (last week’s post). This four minutes a day, how challenging could it be? But it is. It’s becomes inconvenient, too hard, we forget, it’s not comfortable, it’s awkward, it’s just not working, it doesn’t “feel” right, this can’t be the answer, this is stupid, blah, blah, blah.

Yet we embark on redirecting our life (get/remain sober) and we resist four minutes a day of conscious thought.

This isn’t about our teeth. This is about the power of the subconscious mind. It’s about the fact that we are deeply rooted in doing life/things the exact same way—every day.  It’s about busting this notion that change is easy … that change is comfortable … that change is thoughtless.

Let’s blow the lid off this:

Deciding to get sober is (almost) the easy part compared to the confrontation of actually being sober for any amount of “quality” time.

We’ve believed the issue is about abstaining or controlling our drinking.


Guess again. People with “quality” sobriety have spent a massive amount of time getting to know them-self  They’ve felt feelings they swore they didn’t have, vocalized words they never imagined whispering, admitted truths better left in a locked journal. And they’ve done this year after year.

Sobriety, if it’s working, is confrontational. How can it not be?

Getting to know self can hurt. It doesn’t hurt forever (otherwise no one would do it) but it does hurt.

Sober means we can no longer turn to the all-inclusive answer of alcohol …drinking for celebration, isolation, and everything in between. We need to find a completely NEW WAY to manage our fear.

When given the choice we might contemplate the following:

  1. Continuing drinking = predictable mayhem, difficulty level 10
  2. Stopping drinking = unpredictable mayhem, difficulty level 9.7

We want a sober life to feel like a two. It doesn’t! It can’t! It won’t! (At least not at the beginning.) 

It feels like a 9.7 and we step in anyway.

Until our fear of staying the same is greater than our fear of change we sadly remain imprisoned.

As long as we are afraid to step in life remains the same. Whatever we are facing today in our sobriety welcome it. Let it talk to us. It’s there for a reason. Write … let that emotion/thought express itself. Ignoring feelings is like ignoring a fire, it gets louder, bigger, and more destructive.

Don’t run away from the discomfort. Feeling the discomfort is the way out. There is no other way … unless you are willing to give up your sobriety.

For me this is no longer an option. Today, I find a way to face the feeling. It can’t prevail if I don’t let it.


There is a solution for every problem we face. We have to want it. We must make the first move. Today I’m starting with my teeth … that I can do.

Believe in you.

(It’s so cliche we don’t even think about what it means anymore.)

Believe in you.


No Responses to “Brush my teeth how?

  • Love this way of increasing mindfulness by changing a simple daily routine–and finding how hard it is, how ingrained the pattern is. It gives you a clue about how hard it is to beat the daily drinking habit and why, once the novelty of sobriety wears off, it’s so easy to fall back into it.

    • Yes, it’s almost shocking how ingrained our behavior has become. It’s no mystery why we go back to drinking. We have “conveniently” forgotten the horrors of what drinking was for us. I am so grateful to my newly sober blogger friends. They keep it fresh for me. My life has not always been so good. I am reminded of this when I read “drinker’s” posts. I never want to forget. Thanks for coming by SSWL it means a lot to me to see you here.
      with love, lisa

  • Lisa, I love your blogs, the way in which you approach sobriety, and how you are able to show perception in such a way that makes it so easy to identify with. Thank you

    • Sweet, sweet Angel … thank you for commenting. It means the world to me. You write with much passion, such intensity. I love that we all have our own style and that we all learn from one another. I am always pleased to hear that I have connected. (I never, ever get tired of these replies. The “you’re so full-of-s**t,” replies I can do without … LOL) My love to you and your work down under. Please stay close. I like when you’re around.
      xox Lisa

  • Sobriety does hurt, but it also can feel so so good! It’s a turmoil we get into, don’t you think? From now on, I am choosing to believe in me. And all thanks to your teachings. Thanks for unselfishly sharing your gift!!! If many people realised all of this, the world would be a better place. I am definitely thankful for having had a problem with addiction to food; it is allowing me to open to so many wonderful things!! I am one lucky recovering being (aren’t we all?).
    Thank you so!

  • I love this post, Lisa. My favorite part: “Until our fear of staying the same is greater than our fear of change we sadly remain imprisoned.” That is exactly what got me sober, put into words. Thank you!

    • I was just reading your comment before a coaching call and your words helped me. She was wanting the “fear” to stop feeling like a 10 … so she could communicate with her boss today. I said step in anyway. It’s never going to be a two. I too get to use these words to step into my day.
      ps. We start with the no tv today. Will let you know how it goes.

  • TV … The first day was tough … but definitely worth it. On to day two. BTW … Homework was finished by 4:30 … what a dreamy evening for me.

    Regarding your “ps”… was it stir in a good way or a not so good way? Stir with anxiety or excitement? Stir with curiosity or contempt? My suggestion: Dig into your “stir” it has something to say 🙂 I love when you come by and comment. thank you for your support and friendship. L

    • Awesome! Yes, the first day is rough. 😛 Isn’t that with anything? lol
      Yes, a good stir I think. Just causing me to be unsettled and it does have me digging. But so far I have not been able to find what I am looking for. Knowing myself, I need something structured. Anything I find is not right timing or too unstructured. I’m not good with the “correspondence on your own time” thing. I’m just trying to trust God — I know the “stir” comes from Him and I will trust that He knows what I want and where He wants me, that the right thing is out there.
      Your option intrigues me, but I’m unsure if it is a little more free form than I need. Or do you have an actual program put together?

      • Lisa Neumann
        12 years ago

        Yes, I have an actual program. May I ask you a question? What does working with a life skills coach mean for you? What would you hope to gain? What’s the ‘perk’ so to speak? When we explore the un-asked and un-answered questions we can narrow our search. I’m biased, however. I’ve done therapy, counseling, groups, school etc I see my best results from working with my coach. She tailors it to me because she is incredibly intuitive and spirit centered. We flourish when placed in the proper environment with a source we trust to guide us. Otherwise we don’t take the leap of faith. We are too scared. This is how and why we stay stuck. Find a resource you resonate with. Someone/something you trust on a spiritual level. When the trust is present (& mutual) … the desired outcome happens naturally. Please feel free to reply via email You’ll find your answers and your way. I sense you are too resilient not to. Happy to have a call with you about coaching if you are interested in working with me.

  • I am not yet a Sober person yet your posts seem to resonate with me…..I don’t yet have the physical cravings while deprived for a time (but the mental ones) and so I think your blog will (and has) help me tremendously with how to deal with the mental breakthrough. I was not always this person who sought solace in a bottle and have had a great deal of successful trials and tribulations under my belt without it-it is hard to recognize that when you “gave up” and looked for solace this manner, you lose a big part of your natural resilience. Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts….you are helping me work through a great deal! Keep on posting!!! Please!!

    • You warm my heart. This is my life’s work and I have no desire to stop. Please get my book if it is within your financial means. It journeys a drinking alcoholic through the processes I now teach. This recovery thing is so doable. My love to you as you find you. She is a beautiful woman waiting to be born. As always, I am available on a personal level. Find me on FB or send me an email. I care. with love, Lisa
      ps. you made my day

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