Welcome to The (Not) Drinking Diary Series! I’ll be chatting to people on alcohol and on life; about their sobriety, mindful drinking and/or alcohol free period.
I met Gail on New Year’s Eve, we shared a glass or two of alcohol free fizz and I knew I’d found a kindred spirit. Gail is a transformer and modern day healer, she is fierce and so so inspiring. Her Instagram account is one of my go to’s in my journey to get to know myself better and I am super excited to share the below with you. It’s a long one so grab yourself a cup of your favourite tea & settle down for a LOT of wisdom!!!
Name: Gail Love Schock
1.What led you to think differently about drinking?
In truth I’d stopped savouring nature’s bounty. I was swinging between ‘having fun’ and alcohol amnesia – not always pretty. I was suffering from a corporate hangover of ‘work hard / play hard’ bullshit and I couldn’t work out how everyday of the week was potentially the ‘new Friday’ and still rock up to the office in the morning without feeling like death warmed up. I wanted to enjoy a glass of red wine as much as the grape had enjoyed growing. To sense the flavour the same way the vineyard keepers had, I wanted to understand my palate more deeply and started to ask what do I even like? It turns out I’m actually not a huge fan of a lot of alcoholic flavours. Until I started to pay attention to the artistry of flavour and attitude to what celebration meant for me was passing me by.
How would you describe your relationship with alcohol now?
Healthier. I’m a conscious drinker and sober curious. I’ve been in and out the confidential rooms and I really understand the difference between a cold crisp glass of champagne as opposed to a bottle or more when your mouth is bone dry from dehydration and you might as well be drinking pond water.
I can take booze or leave it. I’m more sober curious than ever and am totally enchanted by the alcohol free botanicals and elixirs, which are being created.
Also I can’t do my work as a healer, emotion feeler, speaker and writer if I’m nursing a hangover and my hangovers are horrific! I’ve realised more and more that respecting my body is priority number one and that means being balanced with it.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since your approach to alcohol shifted?
I still feel a bit of pressure to drink booze with certain buddies and yet I’ve gone through months and years of total sobriety without anyone forcing a drink down my throat. I’ve noticed that some buddies and environments I can enjoy a non-alcoholic drink or simply a single glass of a beautiful French wine and I’m sated, because the environment and company nourishes me. Likewise I know when my inner party girl has a hankering for dancing on tables and wants to let loose, so I really have to tune in and redistribute that letting off steam energy in a different way. I’m still figuring this one out.
It’s been interesting from a coaching point of view as well…as soon as I started my sober curious journey my old stories started to sober up as well, I wasn’t recreating the same shit over and over and as a result people started to seek me out as a coach and mentor who were also in stages of sobriety. I now work with people all over the world in various stages and rooms. There’s a certain language I started to incorporate into my offerings and the places I speak…for example …’Just for today let’s suspend judgement, anxiety, self doubt, fear, you can pick it up on the way out if you want, but right now let’s be here and see what we can find out shall we?’
For me sobriety is often less about the substance, alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, shopping or food and more about the two fears we all share. I’m not worthy and therefore I will never be loved. Once we see this and walk around it, curious, life begins to shift. The opportunity as opposed to the challenge is to go deeper under the plaster, to rip off the plaster, the scab, get the poison and toxicity out and stop picking the scab. Let it heal. You’ll hear me saying this a lot, ‘I’d rather wear the scar than the plaster.’ Working on myself is all I can do, working with you is part of my purpose, supporting you to feel there are other choices towards self care, love, remembering we are incredible creations of natures architecture. This is what matters.
What lessons have you learnt about life (and yourself) since your relationship with alcohol has changed?
I’m as much fun sober as I am with an empty shot glass in my hand.
There’s something really sexy about a divinely enjoyed meal and a shared glass of quality wine or tasty sober tonic with a lover. The richness of life is tasted in words not tipples and I for one am always drunk on words. Savouring is the greatest pleasure and deepening my relationship to pleasure is a life’s work now.
How do you start your day? Do you have a morning routine?
I awaken with a Lumi (a light alarm clock – no sound, simply light) and before I open my eyes my hands are in prayer position and I give thanks for sleep, my bed, the beautiful day which is unfolding for me, miracles, chance and wonderful encounters, opportunities and all the magic the universe has in store for me. I surrender any shitty chitty, Let Go and Let God take over. I move into the I AM meditation…I am love, I am worthy, I am divine, I am guided, I am nurtured…whatever feels good.
Then my beloved and I read the lesson for the day from A Course in Miracles with hot water and lemon. I then begin my daily candle lighting rituals, to all the Mary’s – Mother, Magdalene and Poppins. To Love, Jesus, God, to Lakshmi always with the words, thank you for clearly guiding me, thank you for making everything so easy I can’t miss it and thank you for always providing more than enough for my family and I.
Then it’s gym, or yoga time or sometimes straight to instagram…poor habit I know I’m working on it! I’ll meditate throughout the day, sometimes it’s for a few minutes in addition to my early morning waking, other times it can be a walking meditation, or quiet cooking, the meditation is in the softness of slow sound and movement. Sometimes I sit on my sheepskin rug, or cloud as my peeps call it and depending upon what’s needed let my heart lead the way to whatever meditation is called for. I’m cyclical not routine led, I have an outline of how I enjoy my days to flow, I’m also open to magic.
After this it’s breakfast time and then I smudge everything – me, laptop, phone, the cat if he doesn’t move quick enough. I throw open windows and clear the air. Write or check my aims list for the day and begin catching up on emails, client preparation, 2017 tour planning and whatever else. I spend my day with a Course in Miracles open beside me so I can refer to the lesson as often as I need to and sometimes have it written on my wrist as well.
Overall I want to be present, when I’m present my heart is open front and back and I can hear my muses, demystify any bullshit my ego is trying to trap me with and see what’s in front of me.
Do you have any rituals you always make time for?
I am addicted to rituals. I feel the echoes of my ancestors in carrying out similar movements to them. The lighting of candles, deep bows of gratitude, yoga, dance, movement, slow cooking, applying make up is a sacred ritual for me. Dressing also, how does my heart and spirit call to be seen today?
My ritual of cultivating curiosity was and remains a game changer, starting the day curious of what further evidence there is that the Universe truly supports me is a joy and that’s what I do everything for; to follow my joy. The answer isn’t in chasing happiness, which is where booze comes in, the answer is never at the bottom of the glass or bottle, there’s simply more questions. I’ve found I can answer them more clearly when I care for myself through ritual and renewal.
Lighting candles. I’m an addicted to great candles, incense and flowers. Flower meditations are the key to everything.
What’s your favourite thing to do (hangover free) at the weekend?
Walks by the sea, cooking, reading, connecting with my beloved, with myself – you know simply checking in and asking what can I do for you today? This is another game changer.
Laughing, naps, going to a great movement class and clearing space. Fridays are all about tidying for the weekend and week ahead. Sundays are about emptying out my wallet and smudging it, making sure receipts are filed and money is the right way around etc. You can’t underestimate the power of respecting your environments.
When it comes to your own personal development, what is one thing that you’re working on or learning right now?
Such a good question…Liberation… How can I be even more liberated? This is my quest of 2017. I want to feel more deeply liberated, which also means feeling greater freedom, full of vitality, light, love, abundance and prosperity.
How am I doing this?
Copious amounts of reading – right now this ranges from the Gospels of Mary and Philip, to A Course In Miracles, How to Transform Your Life (A Buddhist Text), texts and papers on quantum reality and more. I’m deepening my relationship with the Mary’s and in turn this is bringing me closer to Jesus Christ and his teachings of living the Christ Consciousness. I’ve also committed to diving more deeply into Buddhism this year to understand the many natural crossovers and lessons. Also The Enneagram, this is a life’s work…well everything is, but I’m more deeply under the duvet with the Enneagram.
I’m moving more, I can be very heady (see above!) and it’s important to embody the lessons, moving really helps me to do this.
What is the one thing you’re obsessed with at the moment that’s making your life better?
The one thing I am obsessed with is A Course In Miracles. I’ve had a flirty relationship with this text for years, but this year we are dating seriously and it’s extraordinary. The Course’s intention is to help us remove the blocks to love. This is my life’s work, my dharma, my own purpose. All I want is to be of service in a way which helps people feel less pain, remember love and to live by following joy. As Buddha tells us wisdom is knowing what makes us happy and compassion starts with the self. To live one day in this nectar would be bliss, to continue to help others feel this is heaven on the way to heaven.
(Oh and rose petal baths…. preferably reading in a rose petal bath. I’d live my life in the tub if I could. I’m such a water baby.)
And finally, thinking differently about alcohol can be challenging and isolating, is there any advice you turned to or do you have any words of wisdom for people reading this?
Let yourself off the hook, you are a worthy lovable person and you are oh so worthy of love and happiness.
Don’t worry about the wagon. If there’s no wagon to fall off it hurts less. It’s a day at a time, right?
Working with a coach, mentor or accountability buddy can be enriching and enables further support. All my sober clients and friends who I work with have found their voice again and have moved a wee bit closer to softness, forgiveness and freedom. That’s all we need – one millimetre a day of turning back towards ourselves is just the ticket.
Learning to discern between public and social messages and the messages we have in our mind is an invitation to choose the self again and again. I choose me, not your billboard or advertisement. I choose me not your social pressure. I choose me because I’m curious about what is possible without anything or smaller amounts of alcohol in my system. I choose me because I know there is something else to discover. I choose this journey, as I want it, day-by-day, hour-by-hour, sometimes second by second. Everyone can count to 8 and start again; sometimes that’s what we have to do. Sometimes we have to be so present it’s the most painful thing in the world, but that presence is what makes us rise. Equally presence is total freedom and nothing else can get into our being, we know who we are, we trust who we are and we know our choices are from the three green lights as I call it, belly, heart and mind. It’s what makes us great and it is what absolutely supports us in our journey towards cultivating our very own magnificence and that is a life worth living as far as I’m concerned. As for everyone else and their opinions and ideas of what is socially correct, no thank you. Simply put, no thank you that doesn’t work for me is the kindest and strongest words you can say to others or yourself.
About Gail Love Schock
Gail Love Schock is a coveted healer of mind and body, she is a mentor coach, well known for her down to earth truth speaker and practical tools. She goes deeper than on demand spirituality and has spent the last 15 years developing bespoke systems for mind body spirit medicine. Her mentorships, guided quantum meditation, salon’s, retreats and 121’s encourage radical contact with life. She will bin your BS and give your old stories their notice. She wants you to dissolve blocks to love, to remember how to follow your inner joy, lean into self-love and cultivate your magnificence.
Audience Quote ‘Experiencing the way you seem to work on Monday was really eye-opening for me – it felt equally transformative, transcendent, divine, powerful, but it also felt very grounded and worldly and real.’
Follow Gail on Instagram and check out her beautiful website Gail Love Schock here.
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