Crying tears of happiness, that is! I am seriously so grateful and full of love that it is squeezing out of me and dripping down my face.
This certainly wasn't always the case on my birthday.
Many are a blur, others ended up in horrific fights or missed days of work the next day that led to shame-filled meltdowns.
6 years ago we received numerous noise complaints at the hotel suite we rented, and the next day had to do the walk of shame, eyes shielded from the hot Cambodian sun and the piercing glare of other hotel guests as they loudly deplored us for "ruining their night"
5 years ago I woke up the day after my birthday with a giant goose egg on my forehead, from taking a head-dive directly onto the concrete
4 years ago I passed out after drinking too much absinthe
And just over 3 years ago, a few weeks before my 32nd birthday, I had that innocent girls night that turned into a wild one, where I woke up the next day and declared "I'm never getting drunk again"
I can't say that the next birthdays were all of a sudden amazing, simply because I wasn't wasted or getting blackout drunk
I was still trying to figure it out
I was also pregnant for one of those birthdays and so in my mind it "doesn't really count"
And now, I just turned 35 years old in in New York City.
Last week, I spent a full day doing health consultations at Ralph Lauren's HQ in Manhattan. I then relaxed in my friend's gorgeous apartment overlooking the east river.
I then headed to a luxe conference called Forefront, which is all about living the Rich Life. Rich in experiences, rich in relationships, rich in quality of life. I was be one of 500 who showed up ready to do the work to live a most fulfilling life. Ready to take charge of our lives and businesses and get clear on what a rich life means.
We met, we discussed and we learned from experts like Ramit Sethi (super online whiz and connector) and Daymond John (NYT bestselling author and one of the Sharks on Shark Tank - whose personal story is so inspiring and gave one of the best talks I’ve ever seen in my life!).
Friday night I danced at an open bar cocktail reception, with only a half glass of wine turned into a spritzer on my actual birthday. There's a video of my fake drunk dancing on Instagram which I think is pretty awesome.
The next night we were on a boat cruise on the Hudson river the breathtaking view of the Manhattan cityscape and the Lady Liberty beaming down at us. I also danced my ass off on the cruise. I had one gin and soda and after that I was pretty much oblivious to the copious amounts of alcohol flowing from the open bar (the only issue really was that I noticed how drunk other people seemed to need to be in order to allow themselves to have as much fun as I was having sober).
After the conference ended on Sunday, the conversation and connection continued with a lovely Italian dinner where I drank a glass of prosecco. We had planned to go out dancing but everyone seemed more content to spend time with each other in the hotel lobby.
There were definitely moments where I experienced a tad of FOMO (fear of missing out). Both Friday and Saturday night after the reception and boat cruise, the party train continued and I was invited to hop on.
Yet being sober and able to totally listen to my body, I realized how tired I was and that it wasn’t the best choice for me. It wasn’t always easy in the moment to say YES to my best yes, but as soon as I was tucked into bed with my tea and my oils, I was grateful. I certainly was grateful the next day when I bounded out of bed with energy and felt how easy it was to focus on the amazing content of the conference, while others were clearly nursing hangovers and rallying their energy just to be able to concentrate.
So yeah, tears of gratitude are streaming down my face. It is amazing to me how magical my life because once I truly got out of my own way and stopped sabotaging myself. While I had achieved a lot of external success before - I was misaligned and suffering on the inside.
I am so grateful that I have learned that there could be another way. Not only in living my life, but in my relationship to alcohol. Even when my drinking was at its worse, I intuitively knew that a life of total abstinence wasn't for me.
I now have an incredible and fulfilling career as a self-employed entrepreneur, a best-selling book, a house in Mexico and a precious family, and I can enjoy an occasional glass of wine or bubbly without obsessing about more or fear of spiralling out of control... all things that felt like a distant dream 5 years ago, when I literally crashed and burned my way out of my former career and life. This hasn’t all come “easy” - it’s been a ton of work and continues to be - yet as I realized this past week, I am already living a “rich life.”
I love how healthy, strong, clear and present I am now. I wouldn't trade that feeling for anything. I used to party my way through conferences and as a result, everything is a blur. Now I celebrate the quality connections, the energy I have, and most important, how comfortable I feel being me.
I also have tremendous love and compassion for the past Caitlin. The Caitlin that woke up banged and bruised, the Caitlin who loved to be the life of the party and was always the last one to leave, the Caitlin whose pain and shame stayed carefully buried behind booze and false bravado, the Caitlin who wanted to do better for herself but just couldn’t figure out how for so many years.
I love her. She is me and I wouldn’t be here, writing this email to you, if it weren’t for our journey.
I’ve also realized that me of today was always inside past Caitlin. I just wasn’t listening to her. I was afraid of her sometimes, afraid of what might change. Afraid of cracking open and afraid of truly changing.
Your ideal YOU is already inside of you too, <<First Name>>. You’ve heard her whispering to you. You’ve started listening, which is why you are reading these words right now.
One of the biggest lessons for me from the past few years was that it takes a village. I wouldn’t have been able to do this alone, and neither should you.
It was also one of the key takeaways for me from this weekend. It is so important to have a tribe, a group of people who see you, celebrate you, honour your dreams and desires, support you to keep moving through challenges, learning and growing.
That is why I’ve created the Drink Less Be More Masterclass.
Because if you keep doing the same thing, spending all your time with the same people, and yet expecting different results - well, that’s crazy making.
If you know you are stuck in a demoralizing cycle and you want to interrupt that pattern - this is for you.
If know how much more is possible for you if you could truly honour your ‘best yes’ - this is for you.
If you long for a tribe of women who really see you, love you and are there to lift you up - this is for you.
If you are ready to redefine your relationship to alcohol once and for all - this is definitely for you.
In fact, I know of no other experience like this out there. Which is why I created it. But don't just take it from me, here is some of what the first participants were saying:
“It's beautiful to work through this process in an environment with people who understand, have had their own ups and downs with alcohol and who don't judge.”
“This could be a life changing class for so many people. I loved how real you are Caitlin and the support of listening to the others in the class was priceless”
I am giving you the strategy, systems, community and support I wish I had had access to 5 years ago when I was slip sliding towards bottom, or even 3 years ago when I was finally trying to make some changes but had to figure it all out on my own.
The 6-week Drink Less Be More Masterclass includes the very best of what I’ve learned and implemented for myself and my clients over the past 3 years, including intentions, positive mindset and accountability, solid strategies that work for YOU, healthy habits/healthy impact, relationships/dating and intimacy, implementation and weekly personalized attention, support, and group calls.
This intimate group experience is by application only. Because I am so excited to share this resource with every woman who needs it at this moment in her life, I will be launching more broadly later this week when the sales page goes up. For now, I wanted to make sure you had the info to secure your spot asap.