It has been over five years since I have taken a sip of alcohol. Saying that out loud sounds wild to me. When I quit drinking I really didn't plan to stop for this long. I told myself I wanted to take a break from alcohol. I needed clarity, I wanted to detox my body and mind, and I felt a strong pull to become more present and in-touch with myself on a spiritual level. I felt like alcohol was hindering my ability to be in alignment with my highest-self. So I made the decision to stop drinking for a while in hopes of a major reset. I knew this wasn't going to be without difficulty. There were countless times I had woken up after a night out muttering half-heartedly about never drinking again, but my social calendar always had other plans. As someone who used to experience debilitating anxiety, it wasn't easy to imagine a life of socializing and having fun without liquid courage involved at least some of the time! Additionally, what other 27 year olds didn't drink?! None that I knew! I would probably become boring and lonely without booze and would surely start missing out on all the fun times. Wrong. Well mostly. I do feel a little boring sometimes, but with time I eventually stopped caring about that. The seemingly endless benefits of not drinking quickly became more important to me than worrying about anyone thinking I'm boring or no fun. So here we are five years later, sober as fuck and still going strong. If you are curious about the real reasons why I quit drinking and about how my life has changed, keep reading.

You are probably wondering if I'm an alcoholic, in AA or perhaps did I get a DUI? What's the real reason I put the bottle down over five years ago? Why was I desperately seeking clarity when it seemed like everywhere I looked, people were looking to numb or chemically alter their existence? Why was I giving up something that I also seemed to enjoy? The reason why I was seeking clarity was much more dynamically inspired than just wanting to reconnect with myself. And no, I am not in AA, I have never gotten a DUI, and I don't think I was an alcoholic, although I did overdo it probably a little too often. The reason that I quit drinking was because I was preparing for something. Something big. And I knew that it was going to be earth shattering. I was sure that what I was about to do had the potential to ruin me. What I was about to do was going to be break my heart in more ways than it had ever broken before. I needed to prepare and to become stronger. I set out to become mentally tougher, to get clear, and to remove anything that was potentially blocking me from being the best possible version of myself during the worst time of my life. I was about to file for divorce.

Six months before I filed for divorce is when I quit drinking. I was taking a proactive approach to protect my mental health before going through something incredibly dark. As someone who has lived with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember, I had finally gotten to a place in my life where I had become self-aware enough to call myself out and recognize habits that were no longer contributing to the best possible version of Mara. I arrived to that level of self-awareness through my yoga and meditation practice. Yoga and meditation are powerful tools that invite you to explore new levels of self-discovery from a place of compassion, empathy and non-attachment. Non-attachment to your feelings and your thoughts. In yoga and meditation we practice observing our thoughts and observing our feelings as if we are just a spectator. We have feelings but we are not our feelings. We have thoughts but we are not our thoughts. If this is true (it is) then we can learn to control our reaction to these feelings and thoughts. Our thoughts and feelings do not define who we are when we practice non-attachment to them. How freeing!

However, even as a well-practiced yogi who knows I do not have to identify with my feelings and thoughts, sometimes there are certain feelings and thoughts tied to life events that are especially powerful. Powerful enough to sneak up on us and challenge our inner world in ways we didn't know possible. The more we practice preparing for those big disruptions through yoga and meditation the more prepared we are for when they actually and inevitably arise. So as I was preparing to destroy the world as I knew it by filing for a divorce, I realized I had become aware enough to understand that I must remove anything that would weaken my ability to manage my mental and emotional health during the dark days ahead. I knew that if I was going to actually heal from my heartbreak, I would need to fully experience it. I didn't want to dull the pain. I wanted to feel and fully experience every fucking heart-wrenching moment of my pain. I had to if I was going to survive it. It felt wrong to lessen the pain. I needed it. My broken marriage was deserving of a proper mourning and I knew that being present while mourning was the only way to eventually recover from the death of my marriage. So I quit drinking. And I survived.

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Last week I stayed at the cutest airbnb for the second time. I discovered this little gem in the heart of Kansas City in May 2020. At that time the world was two months in to quarantine, I was jobless, home schooling my 9 year old child and completely desperate for a change of scenery. I took to airbnb to discover somewhere interesting to stay for a couple of nights. I needed somewhere out of the ordinary and magical because life was feeling so depressing and monotonous during this time. And it had to have some kind of feature that would entertain my kid-- he was dying for a break from routine probably more than I was. As soon as I saw the pictures of this completely renovated airstream I knew this was the place! This charming tiny home looks like something you would find at Joshua Tree or in Palm Springs. Complete with a hanging egg chair and outdoor hot tub, the ambiance is something out of a quaint little dream. It was the perfect quarantine staycation. BOOKED! We loved it! Lennox didn't want to leave and neither did I. As a kid, this place had to feel super magical and I knew our little stay would be a memory that he would keep forever.

Fast forward an entire year- wtf 2020 was such a blur- we were dying to go back. Lennox, now 10, was excited to tell all his friends at school that we would be returning to "our RV" and I couldn't wait to get back in that hot tub. The newly renovated airstream has a queen sized bed that is actually very comfortable, running water, a fully operational bathroom and shower, a cute kitchen that I definitely didn't cook in, and a gorgeous leather sofa that we curled up together on to watch Free Willy. Lennox had never seen it, and I hadn't watched it since I was a kid. I definitely cried lol. There is also a grill outside for guests to use, but I'm more of an order pizza while camping kind of girl.

I have a feeling the second time at "our RV" was not our last time. Some places just feel extra special, and this is one of those places. Looking forward to next time.

Follow the @airstreamtinyhouse on instagram. And book your stay HERE!

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You guys, I'm so excited to announce to you that my new baby is here! LÜMLIVE is my brain child of 2020 that was actually a plan in the ether way before the pandemic. When I opened my yoga studio a week and a half before the pandemic hit, I had no idea I would be creating LÜMLIVE so soon. My plan was to nurture my brick and mortar studio for a year or two, and learn how to be a proper business owner before diving into another huge project. But as the world changed quickly, so did my plan. I had to begin filming classes right away.

I launched the first LÜMLIVE last August after I hurried it together. Last year I became a self-taught camera man and website builder along with about a million other new hats I was wearing to get digital classes out to my followers as quickly as possible. After a few months of filming classes, I began searching for a more user friendly online offering and I partnered up with Vimeo to create a brand new LÜMLIVE experience. I am so proud of the new site and I really hope you guys love it, too. I will continue to film every week and will also be filming my favorite yoga and fitness friends to bring you guys some variety. Please feel free to email me or send me a DM if you have any specific class requests! I always love hearing from you guys! Thank you for your continued support.

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