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Lessons Learned From Sobriety & An Invitation

I woke up on December 28, 2013 with a gnarly hangover. 

For the sake of transparency, I’d say it was weird for me not to wake up with a hangover on most mornings during that year – and a few years preceding. 

The disgusting taste in my mouth, the pounding head, the woozy and spinning sensations upon sitting up, and the general nagging feeling of malaise were all old familiar friends of mine.

I never considered myself an “alcoholic.”  Alcoholics went to meetings, got in trouble with the law, couldn’t hold their shit together, wrecked cars, got into fights, drank when they woke up, had loved ones who staged interventions, etc. 

None of these were ever me and this was my justification for my “partying.”  “I’m just young and having a good time,” I’d remind myself.  No one ever said anything to me, I never got in trouble with the law, never wrecked a car, and had my shit together, or so my warped opinion at the time said. 

Yup, I was just living the life of an early 20’s American woman and the bar was my preferred locale and bourbon chased with beer my favorite, although I really didn’t discriminate much.

Objectivity + A New Way

The truth was, it is by some type of divine protection that I never got in trouble, wrecked cars, or even died.  It’s truly when you step away from a situation that you’re able to see it objectively.  Now I can see that it’s neither healthy nor productive to begin your evenings out drinking by being a six pack up before you walk into the bar or to put yourself in compromising positions where you’re quite lucky you didn’t end up in a Lifetime movie or on an episode of Dateline.

So, what was so special about that morning, then?  To this day, that was the last morning I have woken up in such an awful state and the evening prior the last time alcohol passed through these lips. 

Without getting into the long, nitty gritty details of my entire life and the “inner demons” that led me to want to numb out of it more than actually live it, or the traumatic and painful event of early 2012 that was really the straw that broke the Devon’s back and served as the catalyst for where I am today, let’s just say something larger than myself broke through to me that day.

I did the unthinkable for me at the time and I vowed take a year off of drinking. 

The feat seemed monumental and almost unattainable, yet my competitive nature wasn’t about to see me “fail” at this self-imposed challenge.  Earlier that year, I had started to make positive changes in my life and health (for the umpteenth time – I used to be a pro at the whole periods of “fad diets and excess exercise” thing followed by a period of the “all-you-can-eat and sedentary” thing) and knew that the only way I could finally sustain the positive momentum towards my ideal life was to cut the booze.  I haven’t had a drink since, nor do I have any desire to pick it up again.

Clearer, Evolving, Awakening

Fast forward to today – my life is nothing like how it once was, and for that I’m eternally grateful.  I’m in a continual process of evolution and growth fueled by an unwavering commitment to and love affair with myself.  I’m wide awake, more mindful, I take radical responsibility for all of me (even the “undesirable” parts), I practice radical self care, I honor my needs and my boundaries, and the list continues.  The first few years of sobriety were deeply revelatory and transfmorative, to say the least… I am grateful for each and every day and for the person I am today.

The Invitation: In the upcoming year, I invite you to take a bold look at your life.  Where can you really, truly, once and for all sober the eff up?

You can’t ignore, bypass, or numb yourself out of the root of the issue forever.  We all have our preferred tools, whether alcohol, food, porn, sex, mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or watching television, I’m inviting you to identify your numb out method and choose to SOBER UP.

What are you really avoiding?  Who are you without this device and what would be possible in your life without it? What other parts of you are starving because you’re choosing to feed this addiction?
Alcohol was always my main obstacle.  I’ve had a strong passion for holistic living and alternative wellness my entire life and was always the one offering my friends B complexes (alcohol severely depletes your body of virtually every single vitamin and mineral, B vitamins in particular) or liver support herbs before our binges – yes, true story.

Addition is a symptom of Feminine Shame

I have known deep pain and suffering, as I am sure you have, too, on some level, at some point in your life.  On top of the drinking, I used to smoke like a chimney, and be quite overweight – upwards of 80 pounds. I was in a perpetual cycle of seeking something outside of myself and thinking that the next drink, food fix, or one night-stand would hold the answer. It didn’t and never could.  I’m not proud of these pieces of myself, yet, I embrace them and I know that the unprocessed childhood pain that fueled those past behaviors served as the catalyst for my own transformation and for me to have the ability to confidently and compassionately guide and hold you through your own transformations, too – whatever they may be.

Clearly, the way I was living was not in alignment with my ideal lifestyle, yet until the roots of my perceived obstacles were faced and my real needs identified and met, I would be stuck in this perpetual cycle of half ass-ing my life.

Everything that was driving me to think drinking was my only coping mechanism was rooted in Feminine Shame.

Frequently Asked Questions About Feminine Shame

What is Feminine Shame:
Shame is an often misunderstood state that we do our best to avoid – and about which we rarely speak! However, it is a natural, necessary response that arises when we perceive our sense of safety, belonging, contentment, and/or joy to be in jeopardy. It motivates us to make change so that we may repair our sense of safety, belonging, contentment, and/or joy.
 
Feminine Shame, a phenomenon and concept created by InnerSpark, is when we perceive ourselves, in our innate, natural state, to be the barrier towards our sense of safety, belonging, contentment, and/or joy simply because of our existence and presence. It is an intense and deeply held resistance, aversion, resentment, and fear towards anything that is soft, transient, cyclical, fluid, passive, nurturing, intuitive, an/or emotional in nature.
 
It is a shame towards that which is natural in a world attempting to get us on board with what’s “normal.”
 
This learned disconnection leads us into a perpetual state of “not enough.” We feel wrong, bad, unworthy, fundamentally flawed just for existing. As a species, we’ve lost our taproot and have learned that it’s better to ignore the innate naturalness of our being, unless we wish to open ourselves to scrutiny, judgement, and more shame. What we’ve learned and emulated across many generations now, largely due to Puritanical programming, isn’t “natural,” although we’ve come to certainly view it as “normal.”
 
Living with Feminine Shame is a constant fight between natural and normal and an internalization that there’s something wrong with us. We are disconnected from our InnerSpark and continually seek cues and validation externally. This compartmentalized way of life makes everything harder and wreaks havoc on us physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually and contributes to dis-ease on a massive scale.

Why Does Feminine Shame Exist:
The root cause of feminine shame is in the programs that have taught us to shun our naturalness and to view it as wrong, bad, sinful. Since so much of our world in its natural state is meant to encompass these qualities (our physical bodies, the cycles of the Earth, the stages of life, growth, and aging, and more), it’s an unfortunate truth that we’ll all experience this feminine shame at some point our lives to varying degrees.
 
Always striving to fit into a rigid, external measure of “normal,” willing ourselves to continue the quest when what would truly bring us back to wholeness is embracing our natural state and our Spirally essence.

Who Does Feminine Shame Impact:
Feminine Shame impacts everyone – regardless of gender or physical anatomy. It’s an abstract, permeating concept that mostly refers to shame towards that which is natural and has virtually nothing to do with gender or anatomy.
 
It is when we believe our very natural existence and presence, especially those aspects that are fluid and natural, are the source of our sense of safety, belonging, contentment, and/or joy being in jeopardy.
 
While womxn do tend to experience it more directly, as a species, we’ve undoubtedly come to a place where the essence of “feminine,” or the Spiral Principle is not held with high regard. We are all impacted, as is our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health and the health of our planet.

How Do We Heal Feminine Shame:
We heal Feminine Shame intentionally, compassionately, gently, and lovingly. We do so by embracing what’s natural and letting go of what’s been deemed “normal.”
 
In The InnerSpark Method, a system for supporting deep-feeling, sensitive women in breaking the cycles of burnout, people-pleasing, anxiety, and constantly trying to “fix” themselves, we heal Feminine Shame through five phase approach: befriending the body, managing our energy system (with resources like InnerSpark’s Energy Management Tools) and connecting with our emotions, mastering our mind, and aligning with Nature’s wisdom and rhythms.
 
We do so by reconnecting with ourselves, our InnerSpark, to see the parts of ourselves riddled with shame. We do so in community where we allow ourselves to be seen and witness each other. We come back to a state of reverent balance and holistic living and thriving.

Self forgiveness is a combination of self compassion and self love.

The only way to your version of your ideal life is through your challenges and obstacles and to then transmute the shadow into nourishment.  Until you embrace ALL of you, nothing will change.  Am I proud of the actions, behaviors, or choices my younger self made?  Hell no!  However, I have much compassion for her and realize she did the best she could at the time with what she had. 

I also recognize that without those episodes of my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Does that make guilt or similar emotions disappear?  Probably not, but let those emotions serve as reminders of how far you’ve come, rather than hinder your feelings of self worth.

Forget about anyone else who may not “get” you.  It’s honestly mind blowing to me how I’m treated as a non-drinker.  From people’s confusion, to off comments or playful jabs, I have found myself wondering why my old ways were so culturally acceptable.  Why is it “normal” and acceptable and even celebrated to routinely get black out drunk in our culture?  

Yes, to lead a life of consciousness, of mindfulness, of deeply honoring the divine within is sadly a bit counterculture, however, do not let that or anything else stop you from embodying what YOU most desire. And you must break the mold, get out of your little comfort zone, question everything, and do things differently if that’s what it takes.

So, again I ask you, where can you sober up and truly see your life for what it is – a sacred gift?

Based on my own journey and my areas of expertise, I have made it my mission to heal Feminine Shame, and to serve others on the path of remembering their own sacredness to fully embody their purpose.  I want to help you fall madly in love with yourself.  I want to help you get to the root of your perceived obstacles, to manifest the habits that yield the health and wellness you deeply desire, and to help you create the life you want.  I want you to get to a point where there’s no more shame, guilt, or instability in yourself, your self trust, your habits or goals.  I want you to get to a place where there’s an “of course-ness” around caring for your sacred self because you see the divine within and hold yourself in the highest and most tender regard.  I want you to quit playing small, to quit downplaying your gifts, and to quit justifying with excuses that keep you stuck in victim mode wherein life is viewed as something to “get through.”  I want you to show up authentically and to fully live your purpose because you are so desperately needed right now. 

It’s all within and I’d LOVE to guide you back to the source of your own magnanimous inner spark and that starts with sobering up and clearing the sludge that dims it.  Rise, Dear One, and let’s work to make your life what it’s meant to be from the inside out. 

The InnerSpark Method

The InnerSpark Method is a revolutionary, whole-person approach for deep-feeling, sensitive women that gets to the real ROOT of burnout, overthinking, people-pleasing, anxiety, and that constant sense of "there's something wrong with me."

The InnerSpark Method is a profound inward journey of self-discovery, self-healing, and self-mastery that exists to strengthen and empower sensitive, deep-feeling women to transform challenge into resource and create their own lifelong pathways towards wholeness, thriving, growth, and transformation.

This is the foundation for life we all should have received. It’s a living, breathing framework and map back home to yourself.

Sweet Soul, it’s time to live from your InnerSpark.

I’ve got you.

Explore Feminine Shame:

Sweet Soul, it’s time to heal Feminine Shame and tap back into what’s natural, real, wild, and magical.

The Uprooting Feminine Shame Podcast by Devon Ray Battaglia is for deep-feeling, overthinking womxn ready to identify the roots of their people-pleasing, burnout, and anxiety so they can discover their true, shame-free nature and confidently thrive in body, mind, and spirit. Listen in to explore truly integrative, holistic ways of living more naturally aligned with your unique needs – physically, emotionally, mentally, energetically, and spiritually.

Each episode delivers potent transmissions to inspire and empower you. With a range of topics complete with a dash of Western science, hearty servings of metaphysical wisdom, and heaps of embodied experiences, there’s something here for you to create profound, sustainable, holistic shifts in life, health, body, relationships, and spiritual growth.

Subscribe to The Uprooting Feminine Shame Podcast

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