Sowing the Seeds of Sobriety – Figuratively and Literally

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I love gardening, the process of being with the soil, the water, sun and air – our four vital non-living elements on our Earth. I love getting the soil under my fingernails and feeling that soil in my hands and I tell my boys, soil is not dirty, it is from Earth, people create dirt!

Have you ever sowed a seed and watched it grow? The best fast-growing seeds are sunflowers and most schools teach small children about the life cycle of a seed using the sunflower or a bean as an example. It is fascinating to watch this miracle of life unfold before your very eyes, perfect in every way, logical in every way and unselfish to the extreme. Plants ARE. They know their purpose. They just DO.

Sobriety and Seeds

On that note, I want to compare the process of sobriety with the sowing of a seed and the eventual maturation into a glorious, beautiful, life-giving sunflower. As you know, the sunflower is packed with nutritious life-giving sunflower seeds, for the birds, the animals and for us too. People figured out how to make sunflower oil and other delicious goodies from these seeds.

The first question is this? When did you sow the seed of sobriety and why did you do this?

As the seeds of sobriety start to form in your mind, it may well be that you are drinking too much, or you are feeling uncomfortable about your drinking. Often, the feelings of shame and guilt can be overpowering. It’s the shame of knowing that the alcohol is affecting your life, behaviour and thoughts. It’s the shame of knowing that you are slowly losing control of your life and you feel anxious and alone.

You ask yourself these questions:

How did I get here?
Why can’t I fix this on my own?
Why do I keep going back?
What is wrong with me?
Do I have a drinking problem?
Why can’t I sleep?
Do I need to quit or can I just cut back?
Why is communication so difficult with my partner?
Why can’t I follow through on my promises to myself?
These nagging thoughts could go on and on.

Let’s Talk About Sowing the Seeds of Sobriety Figuratively and Literally!

When you decide to stop drinking and get out into the garden instead, it is life-changing and life-saving. You are starting the process of getting out of your mind and into nature, the real world. Our thoughts are not real, they are energies that we create, become obsessed with and allow to control us, often in a negative way.

This is what Shivdasini S Amin says about thoughts as energy:

We all hold energy in the form of thoughts, beliefs, emotions and memories. Therefore, even with respect to our bodies, the energy needs attention. If we are being consumed by anger, resentment, jealousy, greed, lust, hate and so on, obviously, it is serving us in some way but we know within our hearts that we can do better. Being stuck internally can lead to a number of diseases and ailments while being stuck externally impacts our relationships, finances, professional career, and so on. The best way to deal with this, then, is to transform or transmute the energy from one form to another and just as the law says in the process, “no energy is lost”.

When you garden you connect with the Earth’s natural processes – the life cycle of a seed symbolises the continuity of life, authentic life, as it should be lived, pure and clean, no thoughts. Ask yourself what is pure and clean about alcohol?

David Roger Clawson sums up the toxicity of alcohol like this:

  • Alcohol is a toxin and little more than a toxin.
  • Alcohol is a threat and creates a threat response.
  • No amount of alcohol is actually good for us even if it makes us feel good.
  • Alcohol intoxication is progressive dissociation or dissolution of the brain.
  • Alcohol has many deleterious effects throughout the body.
  • Cultural constructs and constraints play major roles in the drive for alcohol use.
  • If we decrease the conflict between the medial prefrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens by other healthy means, we won’t want or “need” alcohol.

Sowing seeds create life – push the seeds into the soil and watch the small shoots appear a few weeks later. When you stop drinking, the seeds of those thoughts to stop drinking have been sowed and now, small shoots are beginning to appear – hope, new life patterns, better ways of living on healthier foods and drinks, and less worrying about alcohol.

The shoot grows up towards the sun, trying to find the energy to make its own food via photosynthesis. Plants are the only living things that make their own food, which they provide for animals to eat, on the bottom rung of the energy chain within a food web, within an ecosystem.

Quit Alcohol and Grow

When you quit alcohol you are making your own food too, with new thought processes, new health patterns and new outlooks on life – remember that a healthy mind IS a healthy body and a healthy body IS a healthy mind. What you put in is what you get out!

So, the plant grows and it develops beautiful flowers – bright fragrant flowers attract bees and birds, bugs and worms, all of which must come, must eat and drink and be merry, to continue their own life cycles with help from this gorgeous blossom.

In the same way, as you enter the third week of sobriety, you have passed that second milestone (3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months) and you will be feeling positive and clear-headed, less toxic and ready to take on new routines and hobbies with luck. Think about the flowers you are producing and who needs them? Do your children need your honey? Does your partner need attention? Maybe it is also an opportunity to shed a few flowers in the way of friends who drink?

The beautiful flower in nature then produces a fruit (or a vegetable) packed with seeds for the ongoing cycle of life, continuity and growth. If that flower is a sunflower, those seeds will be loved by birds, insects and animals and scattered far and wide to regrow and make more. Same with a butternut or a tomato, those seeds will be loved by a living thing which will help to redistribute those seeds and make more.

As you move through your own sobriety, how can you spread those fruits and seeds around? Do you have fruits packed with seeds to share with other loved ones? Often, when people get sober, one of the wisest choices they can make is to volunteer at a needy NGO or organisation where children, women, animals or poor people need assistance. Create something arty or join a fitness club. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you are giving back to yourself, someone or something else and the Earth.

Good luck on your sobriety journey and make sure that you read about your journey and join a tribe for connection and support. As you learn when you stop drinking, connection is the opposite of addiction. You may not agree that you were addicted to alcohol but you were probably on that grey area drinking spectrum between being a complete down-and-out alcoholic and a person who just needs a glass of wine every two weeks!

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The 11 Year Fact

Did you know that the average dependent drinker will struggle alone for 11 years before reaching out for help?

Don’t wait for 11 years – join Tribe Sober today!