I like my wine, I really do and I particularly like a glass on a Friday and Saturday night because somehow it’s become part of the ritual of the weekend (notice that unconscious, automatic action!). And I really want to be able to say that you can drink as much as you like and still be mindful. But the truth is that alcohol and mindfulness don’t mix very well. Why’s that then? Well because alcohol takes you out of touch with your body. I know I am much more likely to eat mindlessly when I have had more than one glass of wine. By the time I’m on my third I’ve lost touch with what my stomach wants and even if it’s screaming ‘I’m full, don’t feed me’ I am more inclined to tell it to shut up as I tear open the bag of chocolate peanuts that I had saved for a night out to the cinema the following week (yes I own up that was me last Friday night).
HOWEVER being mindful is also about accepting that we do lose touch with our bodies from time to time and we do forget to be conscious of this present moment but that doesn’t mean that we’re useless, and ‘no good’ at this mindfulness stuff. It just means we’re human. We’ve got so many more chances in this lifetime to be mindful.
You might want to try bringing in a pause before you reach for the second or third glass of wine (or beer, or spirit etc) and ask yourself whether you really want it and if the answer is ‘Yes’, then savour the taste and enjoy it. Try and be aware when you move from being mindful of what you’re drinking to being mindless. Not beating yourself up when you find you’re being mindless just notice and accept that’s what happens occasionally. Over time you’ll find your awareness increases and whilst I do have times when I eat (and drink) more than I want they tend to be fewer and fewer nowadays.