What It Means To Live Free

A photo of a free woman

For us, living free started with examining our relationship with alcohol and ultimately deciding to leave it behind, but it didn’t end there. When we stopped drinking, we noticed so much more than just our improved skin, better sleep, and reduced anxiety. We started to see everything around us more clearly as well, and the idea of living free took on a whole new, much broader meaning. We started to examine our relationship with other forces around us and to take back control of our lives and our stories. We faced up to our emotions, our shame, and our true selves. Every day we find new ways to tap into the voice inside and quiet the external voices. We are learning to define ourselves on our own terms. Today, our journey looks like this….

Free From Expectations

When it seems like the whole world expects you to have a drink or raise a glass, choosing not to drink can feel like a real act of rebellion. The “just have one” refrain rings out at every work happy hour, birthday party, and wedding. But each time we said “no thanks”, we strengthened our ability to say no to the broader expectations of others. And after enough happy hours and special occasions, our no’s expanded. No to events we don’t want to attend, no to situations that make us uncomfortable, no to being an overachiever at the expense of ourselves and our families. The more we say no to external expectations, the more we say yes to ourselves. Yes to rest, yes to quiet reflection, yes to the people and places that bring us joy. 

Free From Toxic Media

When we stopped drinking we started to notice alcohol everywhere.  From television sitcoms to baby onesies, everywhere we looked we saw messages impoloring us to “relax,” telling us we “deserve” a drink, and joking about our “mommy juice.” How had we never noticed it before? The media was selling us alcohol at every turn. Once we started to take a closer look at the media, we noticed other “happiness” being sold to us, too. Just buy this sundress, this outdoor furniture, this pool float… and you too can live an effortlessly joyful life! Vacation like this family, cut veggies into animal shapes for your kids, escape with your partner to Tahiti for two weeks… then you’ll be happy! The message is everywhere that we are only one purchase away from the life we always dreamed of. Now, we find ourselves viewing these messages with a critical eye, whether coming at us from the TV or our social feed. And while we’re not immune to the old feelings of desire and even envy, now we have the ability to notice the feelings, take a step back, and ask whether that new salad bowl will really make us complete.  

Free From Diet Culture 

And speaking of toxic messages in the media, chief among them is the pervasive diet culture we were born and raised in. As we started to look at the media messages around us, we began questioning the message we were receiving about our bodies. The message that we were only one diet or workout or protein shake away from a body shape and size that would somehow make us whole, make us happy. We started to interrogate those beliefs. We haven’t yet rid ourselves of them entirely, but when we catch ourselves thinking, This would look better if I lost five pounds or I look fat in that photo, we take a breath and hit refresh. Our bodies let us walk and swim and play with our kids. When we aren’t picking them apart, they feel good and healthy and strong. Our bodies can breathe, and so far we wake up every morning to see another day. We’ve started to approach our bodies with wonder and gratitude, and we actively reject the diet culture that would have us spend our hard-earned money on products to fix some fabricated deficiency.


Every day is a gift. Most days are a challenge. Our path is not linear.  But we start each day with the intention to live our healthiest, happiest, and most authentic lives. For us, that means actively rejecting any mindset, media, system, substance or person that stands in our way… to live free. Whatever that means for you, we see you and we support you. 


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