Dry in the Desert

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As you know I have just returned from a week of YogaFit training in Saudi Arabia. Going out for dinner there was a very different experience, the energy, the ambiance and something was missing .....Saudi Arabia is an alcohol-free country …. There is a complete ban on alcohol. It is illegal to produce it, import it, or consume it. As a Muslim country where there is a strict interpretation of the Koran, KSA is also the home of Mecca, the most important sacred site of Islam. There are harsh punishments for those caught making or drinking alcohol in the Kingdom

I don’t think we all realize the way most cultures revolve around alcohol and how much is influenced by it until we get into a culture where it is non existant.  

My first trip to Rishikesh India was the first time I had been a  'dry' region. Alcohol is forbidden there as it as the pilgrimage town and regarded as one of the holiest places to Hindus. Sages and saints have visited Rishikesh since ancient times to meditate in search of higher knowledge. Because of this religious significance, , non-vegetarian food and alcohol are strictly prohibited in Rishikesh.

My relationship with alcohol has been one of contrasts . I like to have fun, I am highly social & yes I like to drink. However I also like to wake up without a hangover, have energy, look good and be clear. My father was an alcoholic and one of my half sisters in a very active alcoholic so I have to also have be mindful of this genetic predisposition.  Because my father was an alcoholic, I had access to drinking at a young age, I had my first sip of wine at 10 years old ( out of a plastic bag that Billy Fineman a childhood friend had filled ) and when I was 12 my friends and I broke into my fathers unlocked liquor cabinet and drank so much that I had a blackout. For the record, I have no problem not drinking and I have even less of a problem drinking. But I know first hand how alcohol clouds my judgment and intuition goes away. I have like most of us made some poor choices while under the influence. I also am aware that alcohol slows metabolism and adds an extra layer to my midsection- a great reason NOT to over do it.  for me alcohol consumption, like sugar  can become habit.

However not having a drink at all and staying sober also becomes a habit. I make it a point not to have any while I am doing a training-  because I want to be clear, resent and wake up energized. I’m lucky  I can look at any food or beverage and know how it will make me feel. As highly kinetic person – I can feel what a substance will feel like before it enters my body – the sugar from a cupcake, the heaviness of mixing carbs with protein, the discomfort of having fruit on top of any food, the alcohol moving into my bloodstream after a sip  and the slow soft and warm dullness that comes from a drink.  

Let’s talk about alcohol & consciousness - It’s a fact that alcohol dims one’s judgment and one’s spiritual connection and light. 

Alcohol consumption is something that is not only widely accepted in our society, but in many cases and social settings expected.  It sometimes seems in our society that the only way to have fun is to include alcohol in the equation. I believe it is widely distributed to keep us distracted & disengaged. Just as Marx said  religion was the “ opiate of the masses “. Alcohol  IS the opiate of the masses. literally it hijacks the brain into thinking you are having a good time .. all the while your reflexes, your thoughts, and your judgement are being slowed to a crawl.  Not to mention what it’s doing to your spirit .... 

Interestingly enough the word  “Alcohol” comes from the Arabic “al-kuhl,” which means “BODY EATING SPIRIT,” and is the origin for the English word “ghoul.”Which according  to Middle Eastern folklore an evil demon believed to eat human bodies.

“Alembic” and “alcohol” are both metaphors for aqua vitae, or “life water,” and “spirit” refers to a distilled liquid, which came from Middle Eastern alchemy.

In alchemy, alcohol is used to extract the soul essence of an entity. Hence its’ use in extracting essences for essential oils, and the sterilization of medical instruments.

By consuming alcohol into the body, it extracts the very essence of the soul, allowing the body to be more susceptible to neighboring entities most of which are of low frequencies. Also interesting that alcoholic beverages are called  “SPIRITS” – but spirits can be negative or positive.

Many people who consume excessive amounts of alcohol often black out, not remembering what happened. Some believe that this happens when the good soul (we were sent here with) leaves because the living conditions are too polluted and too traumatic to tolerate leaves body, staying connected on a tether, and a dark entity takes the body for a joy ride around the block, often in a hedonistic and self serving illogical rampage. Our bodies are vehicles  for our spirits.  Some believe that If one spirit leaves, another can take the vehicle for a ride.

When I have gone to do plant medicine joornies they insist that you don’t drink alcohol, coffee, eat meat for at least a week prior to the experience.  It dulls your third eye.

And according to the NIAAA website :  

  • In the U.S Prevalence of Binge Drinking and Heavy Alcohol Use: In 2015, 26.9 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month; 7.0 percent reported that they engaged in heavy alcohol use in the past month. We have a major major problem in our society.An estimated
  • 88,0008 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women8) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

Right now I am keeping the Saudi momentum going and staying alcohol free… I experienced a higher level of awareness and consciousness in Saudi – maybe it was the trips to the mosque,  the prayer that I learned, the energy of a culture where ritual is the norm or connecting with a new souls   At this time I am making another choice. Of course making  this decision right before Thanksgiving and this gave me some anxiety- I was going to a party with 10 people and I knew that lots of adult beverages would be served – American culture is Turkey day - lots of food and the layers of pairing drinks with food goes right along with it

Champagne as a start  - Wine with dinner - Cognac for desert

When my gracious host slid a cognac in front of me, I was blessed- my good friend is in recovery for almost 12 years, when I was eyeing that glass and not wanting to be rude- I was supported with a gentle reminder “ you said you didn’t want to drink for a while and I’m here to support you “

So I slid the glass away and continued to sip my ice tea….

If I am on a path of maximum awareness, consciousness & connection I need to be mindful of every choice made. Every day, one day at a time ...

 

Beth Shaw3 Comments