Embracing an Alcohol-Free Lifestyle


Clint Murphy Karolina Rzadkowolska


Clint Murphy, Karolina Rzadkowolska

Clint Murphy  00:00

Good morning Karolina Welcome to the growth guide podcast where I’d love to start our conversation is with a line that you wrote, I’m no longer hoping or wishing for my dream life. I’m building it every day. And the reason I want to start there is I’ve talked about this a bit in my writing, but one and a half years ago, I also stopped drinking. And I’ve continued to say that one and a half years, has been the most productive and successful. One and a half years I’ve had in my life in pretty much every measurable category, physical, mental, financial business building in so I wanted to know, why that line for you.

Karolina Rzadkowolska  00:46

Yeah, well, Clint, congratulations. This is such a great description of what can happen, how your life can explode in the best possible ways when you ditch alcohol. And you know, I’ll just paint a little picture of my before I was working in a cubicle, I was really getting kind of jealous and envious watching these other people, you know, become entrepreneurs and authors and travel a lot. And I here I was Monday through Friday, I was trying to live a quite healthy lifestyle. So I usually saved drinking for only the weekend. But then every weekend, right? It was drinking. And every Monday morning, I woke up feeling like I took two steps forward in my healthy lifestyle and five steps backward over the weekend. And it was the cyclical living that just felt like there was no progress ever. There was no ever measurable achievements. And I think that you know, just always thinking about how much am I drinking, let’s make sure it’s less, let’s like worry about it, or whatever, was constantly keeping me stuck in this, like, this focus, where I wasn’t really believing in myself, either. I had such a lower self esteem, because if I let myself down by drinking a little too much one night, it’s like, Well, why do I think I could go off and achieve my bigger dreams. And so I was just like, stuck, I would say in this like, complete comfort zone, everything was completely fine. I had a good job, I had a good marriage. But I was not the first type of person who believed that I could actually you know, quit that job or launch a business or go off to my bigger dreams. And when I first started not drinking, it was just supposed to be a break from alcohol. And I remember the confidence I got of just like stacking the days of just like, wow, three weeks without alcohol, 50 days without alcohol, 100 days without alcohol. And then this confidence that surged within me so high of like something that was my Achilles heel for so long, that I really was like, well, wait a minute, like, what else could I do? What other things I’ve been telling myself aren’t possible for me. And so that confidence spilled over into every other area of my life, my health improved, I ran a half marathon, I dropped 50 points off my cholesterol, my emotional health improved, I really healed myself love and dynamic with myself. And then that confidence and courage I got from going alcohol free in a world that really demands that we drink literally gave me the confidence and courage to do everything I’ve always wanted to do. And now five and a half years later, I am living my dream life. You know, me and my husband work on my company, we get to travel all the time. It’s a six figure company, we help 1000s of women a year, I got a book deal from HarperCollins. And I’m a successful best selling published author. It’s just like the things I used to wish about exactly like you said in the opening quote, are now my reality.

Clint Murphy  03:19

And when you look at that, at what stage of that journey, did you decide for yourself? I’m pretty sure this is permanent. And I asked that because you’ll recall and I want our listeners to know if they decide to join us on this journey. You have your friends, and your past drinking friends that they’re gonna look at you and say, oh, yeah, you’re taking a break. Like at some point, you’re gonna have a glass of wine again, or you’re going to join us on a trip where we’re having beverages again. When did you realize no, I’m not, like I’m this is me. This is a better life for me.

Karolina Rzadkowolska  03:57

Yeah. Well, as I was taking a break from alcohol, I teach this now in my programs, but I really adopted what’s called the bread crumbs strategy, where to the people around me, I was basically like bragging in a good way of like how amazing I felt. So I was telling my husband, for example, like, well, I’ve never slept better or I haven’t laughed like that since high school, just these little breadcrumbs so that the people around me that were closest to me could start to see like, she’s never felt better, she’s never looked better. Like this is really, really working for her. And when I decided to ditch alcohol for good basically, I remember this moment, I was 70 days alcohol free at that point. And you know, I only ever wanted to take a break. This was just like a reset for me. Like let’s just have some space away from alcohol, redo things I never imagined I would never go back to drinking. And I remember I had you know, just these feelings that I’ve literally not felt before I was feeling euphoria. That’s why I call my brand Euphoric. And my book Euphoric. I had like this appreciation for nature that I had like completely lost. I was just feeling waves of gratitude and awe and just so much more self love and confidence like I told you, and I was actually just had I booked a trip to Japan and I had booked it when I was still drinking. So when I booked it I had booked like an easy Kaya tour which is basically like a food and drink tour. And so the first day I get into Japan, we already have this tour booked. It’s like whether I want to or not like alcohols included already for free technically, because I paid for it right. And so I get to one of the first bars in Japan and I’m already feeling just so much wonder, the temples are beautiful. I mean, Japan has such a, you know, really gorgeously aesthetic and yet soulful place. And you know, someone puts a beer in front of me. And I just think you know what, the moment I have that beer, all of these incredible feelings are gonna go away. And this sense of like, anything being possible, all that’s gonna go away. And I was like, in for what? A beer that I’ve had literally 1000s of times in my life. Like I’ve had that beer. I know what it tastes like, I know what it feels like, I know what it feels like the next morning when you wake up, you know? And so I was just had overwhelmed with this feeling of been there done that. I know exactly what Karolina feels like, as a drinker. I know exactly the way she like responds to life. I don’t know what’s this like incredible, Karolina is capable of I don’t know where this road is going to lead. And it feels like this road is like an endless wave of possibilities. And so it was that moment that I decided to like, take the road less traveled, and really commit to being alcohol free. And when I got back, like that’s when I really adopted the identity. I told a lot of people, and I immediately, like registered my website domain and started writing my book and started my business like that’s the moment that it just was for good. And I’ll have to say that like I think some of my friends and the people who around me kind of already weren’t surprised, because I  was leading with that breadcrumb strategy, like when you’re telling everyone how amazing you feel. It’s like hard to be like, well, why don’t you go back to drinking so you can feel shitty again?

Clint Murphy  06:51

Yeah, exactly, exactly. And we’ll come back to hangovers. But something you were hinting at there that really jumped out at me, is for me, what I look at as probably the number one benefit of not drinking, and it’s a combination, I’ll say of three things. And that’s inspiration, creativity, and I would add productivity, like that not having a fog while you’re drinking, not having a hangover the day after, or even if it’s not a hangover, it’s that morning malaise, if you will. So you almost have a full day, every time you have a drink that’s in essence, a write off. And I don’t know if you feel the same way. But I think that for me, is what’s helped lead it to that dream life is you’re always on or you don’t have to be on but you have the ability to always be on and always be producing something that you want. So it puts the choice into your hands versus alcohol.

Karolina Rzadkowolska  07:54

Absolutely. And with that, you know, my intuition spiked as well. And I’ll just tell you a quick story. I had wanted to write a book for years, I was a little girl who loved to read. And back when I was younger, I would actually write quite a lot. I would write poems and short stories and little plays and stuff. And it was right around college, when I started really drinking that my writing just stopped. I just stopped writing, I stopped journaling. And I really felt it and I never lost that goal or dream of wanting to write a book. So I remember in my later 20s, I would make these new year’s resolutions like this is the year I write a novel. I’m supposed to write 30 minutes every week or something. And I would do it the first week of January and then never again. It’s like I didn’t have the discipline to write I had no creative ideas. And it honestly it was so much easier to just open a bottle of wine and write the next great American novel, you know what I mean. And so I was just thought I was doomed. I was like, I have writer’s block. I just can’t do this. And I literally had given up and it was like a really almost hopeless decision. I was like, this is just not panned out for me in this lifetime. And that was like the biggest dream of my life, you know. So it’s actually a really sad moment to believe that and when I went alcohol free not only do I start to notice that I’m journaling so voraciously again, I literally in one moment am sitting watching a sunset in Hawaii. And the feeling that I feel just so amazing. The universe just hits me it’s like this is euphoric. You are meant to write a book and in business about this. And the next week I got literally every single chapter downloaded to me like every single thing that was meant to be in that book just came to me after years of hearing and feeling nothing right. And I just started writing it voraciously. I got the first draft done within just that first year, obviously it took a little bit longer to get you know, like a book deal and a publisher and all that kind of stuff. So the book came out quite later and was edited and stuff. But it was so incredible how much creativity, how much intuition, how many just like signs and messages I was getting about what to do and how much of that like productivity I had that that discipline to also sit down and do it. And I think for me, I would never be able to tell you this when I was still drinking. But now looking back, like to me it was a way of playing small because yes, maybe in the moment, you hold the drink, like maybe you become a little bit more confident, or gregarious, which I totally don’t believe anymore. But that next day was the day to like retract, it was the day to hide from the world, it was the day to take off. And I think in doing that, that’s what allowed me to play so small and not have to like go out and play big and stand center stage and be in the arena, instead of sitting on the crowds like judging other people. And ever since that day, I really do believe that play big every year or every few months, like we’re taking really big steps in my business or in my career, just doing things that literally scare the shit out of me. And when you do them, you feel so exhilarated because every single time you push yourself outside the comfort zone, and that’s the initial like bump away from alcohol was this huge departure from that comfort zone into this world that is, you know, you take this leap of faith. And I just really believe that the universe catches you every single time almost, you know, when you do those kinds of things. And you learn so much and you grow so much, you know, so it’s like there’s so much stagnancy, I think that was characterized with my relationship with alcohol. I wasn’t growing, I wasn’t pushing myself. And it wasn’t like I was depressed. But it was depressing that I was just living in that kind of comfort zone. And the things I’ve achieved in the five and a half years like you just like you said, like that’s my whole lifetimes, like things I’m proud of compared to the other 30 years that were like, you know.

Clint Murphy  11:23

Yeah, so many nuggets that you talked about right there. One I’d love to dive into you talked about the next day. And you look at it and I laughed when I read your comment in the book about fatty food, I thought I was one of the only person that you know, the day after going out with drinks for friends. I’d love to have like a BLT from Subway with a bag of chips and Diet Pepsi. And there is something about that combo of grease and carbs and caffeine and in the coldness of the Diet Pepsi like that would be like, Oh, okay, well, I deserve this to like, recover from last night. And then sit down and watch TV for half a day. Like what have you seen in your life change from that diet perspective? You’ve talked about how much more productive you are that next day because you’re not retreating in and playing small. What have you seen from a diet and a health and what do you see in your clients that you work with? When they eliminate that need for half day of Excedrin Migraine Relief recovery once or twice a week?

Karolina Rzadkowolska  12:23

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I think it’s just really normal these days and age to be very, like we all want crave a healthy lifestyle. I think health is a big value for most people. And so it’s just so ironic that it’s like we value health and yet we drink something that literally makes us feel unwell. And this is like across the board. Nobody wakes up the next day after drinking feeling like a million bucks, right? It doesn’t matter who you are. Maybe when you’re really young, you can get away with bouncing back. But you know, it does. It’s a toxin that our body has to detox our body works overtime, it like shrinks differently, you know, parts of our systems, it’s a diuretic, like it’s so hard to process on our body, that reduces our REM sleep cycles, like there’s just so much going on or neuro chemistry gets all out of whack, we get more stress hormones the next day. So suffice it to say we’re all going to feel a little worse off after drinking the next day. And I think that that excuse like it was like this, like I had this. Like I said, I took two steps forward in my healthy lifestyle. And every single time I drink I went all the way backwards if not a few steps behind that. So it’s like my well being never really progressed, I never felt like I was actually making progress with that. And there’s so many sites so much scientific evidence to to show how alcohol really impacts our like things from our appetite like it really increases our appetite, for example and numbs the signal that we’re full. So we can’t really register that it also blocks so many nutrients, like almost every nutrient we want to be eating, it’s getting blocked and not absorbed. So therefore you actually are hungrier and are missing out on some of those nutrients. And it slows down metabolism so much. So when we drink, the body has to process the ethanol right away because it can’t store it. But basically, that sounds like a good thing. But it’s not because you’re putting on pause all of the carbs, protein fats that you ate that day that should have been processed instead, nope, the body has to process the ethanol first. And so that all takes a second stage and oftentimes just sits around in the waistline instead. So there’s all these like different reasons why alcohol actually really does not necessarily Miss fit depends on what person might not totally increase weight gain it did for me, but it’s definitely not going to help you at all it’s going to like make that an upward battle to ever want to try to lose weight. In addition to how it affects your aerobic fitness like it literally raises your heart rate without any physical exertion, making the heart have to pump harder over time which literally causes it to sag. Most people have higher cholesterol and higher blood pressure as of that and a higher heart rate. And we can see these I saw you wearing an aura ring too. We can see these kinds of things, literally in the devices that we’re now wearing. Like the effect when when I’m talking to a friend who’s had like a drink or two the night before she can now see the evidence of all of it. stuff on her body. But I will say that too that in addition to that, like malaise, we feel literally there’s stress hormones being pumped in your body as a result of the alcohol, and the something called dyne orphan, which is really the opposite of endorphins, it makes you feel low and sad. And they’ve actually found that people who commit suicide have very high levels of dimorphic in their brain. And every time we drink, this is what we’re releasing in high levels in our brain. So it’s like that Monday morning woes, or whenever you’re feeling it, when you’re literally just feeling like all I want to do is eat the junk and watch the TV, like that’s a neurochemical reason for that, right. Like, there’s nothing like wrong with you, per se, like alcohol created that reaction in you. And so I’ll just say that, like, once I removed the alcohol, like my healthy living exploded, I was able to actually commit to I think a better like workout routine, instead of always being like, you know, I tried to go to like yoga on a Saturday morning, after having a few drinks the night before, it never panned out very well, it was not a good idea. And so like it was like, I was always able to actually make progress and eat better, and my body was starting to crave those healthier foods. I personally lost weight, I dropped 50 Points off my cholesterol, which is I think, just incredible. You know, two thirds of Americans have higher cholesterol, I’m sure it’s similar in Canada, and I have to be prescribed statins or something like that. And they’ve even studied that just five weeks off, alcohol will lower most participants cholesterol by 20 points, which is pretty big deal. Blood pressure also goes down. So that’s really incredible. So these bigger internal markers, cancer markers go down, liver fat goes down, these really big things that really can affect our long term disease risk really can go down quite quickly in a break from alcohol and get even better the longer you go. So it’s just I’ve seen miracles happen. I’ve seen my clients get off medication, I’ve seen clients just like completely commit to a daily exercise routine just to eating better, feeling better running marathons, I signed up for my first half marathon when I took you know, that first year. And it was actually really cool, because my husband and I did it together. And that’s what replaced our date night, like we would go instead of to the bar or drinking or to a brewery, we would go running on Friday evenings and just talk and hang out as we’re running like five miles or whatever it was. So it was it was so incredible to like shift that way. But I think it’s natural. Like I said at the beginning, it’s natural to value health. And it’s really asking yourself, when alcohol is a part of my life, is it really helping me be aligned with that value? Or is it really detracting and I think just all the properties of alcohol and how it affects the body makes it really hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle when alcohol is part of the picture. It really, truly is. And so I would say that, yes, the health explodes the next day, and you’re not just the next day, but just all around. And you really are able to do the things that you set out to do the intentions you had nothing’s like causing you to want the, you know, the greasy food and just the laid back day and all that stuff.

Clint Murphy  17:51

And when you take that a step further, I mean, you talked about it a little in there is it’s not only the physical health, we have the mental health aspects. And what I’m looking at is a lot of the reasons people will drink they’ll say, Oh, I just want to take the take the edge off or you know, cut my stress a little or I just want to relax at the end of the night. So I’ll have a glass of wine or a couple of drinks. It’s nothing, not a big deal. In Sure. Maybe it’s not a big deal. But it impacts the anxiety, the depression, the apathy. And so we think we’re taking the edge off. But in the fullness of time, we’re actually building a way bigger edge and the numbness or the just cut through the stress for a night. Maybe that only takes you one beer on night one. Five years later, it’s well I’m having three or four beers in. So what do you see in that mental side of the equation? For you, it became euphoric. What do you see with everybody else that does this journey? 

Karolina Rzadkowolska  18:58

Yeah, well, I think it’s just so fascinating to see that like, we have these global beliefs around alcohol that like it helps me relax. Or maybe it helps me be more confident or more social, or it helps me have more fun. Like we like really ingrain these beliefs on to alcohol. So what I do when I work with clients and through my programs is really unpack some of these beliefs that literally might not have any parent in any truth, right? Like this idea that alcohol relaxes us like yes, Alcohol is a depressant, but it really our body has these counteractive systems so that when we take this depressant, our body’s like, Okay, we need to counteract this it releases stress hormones, like no other we release cortisol, adrenaline denorfia and all in response to alcohol and to say you had just one drink, you’d probably notice it maybe an hour or 40 minutes later you have this crash and you really start to feel a little like wired a little weird. Most people don’t stop with a one drink right? So you might if you drink all night, you’ll feel it definitely in the middle of the night you might wake up with like a startling adrenaline pumping in your body you’re constantly in In that moment, you’re worried about everything that’s like ever happened to you in your life, right? Like you’re just like an anxiety anxious mess. Or you might feel it the next day with just heavier anxiety. And what’s so interesting about that is that those stress hormones that alcohol releases, the ethanol can be processed, depending on what age we are. But between about two days completely, those stress hormones are going to live in your body much longer. So up to a week, if not even two weeks, depending on your age. So when I was a weekend drinker, I always thought like, oh, well, by like Tuesday, I’m like normal again, no, like my body was still working against those effects up until Friday. And because of that, you know, alcohol also kind of tricks our brain, it does release this like surge of dopamine, but it’s so artificial, like it’s the same thing that happens with cocaine or heroin, our brain knows that Something’s fishy. Our brain knows that this isn’t natural. Over time, it actually retracts the receptors that are catching that dopamine, and releases less dopamine in response to things that are supposed to make feel make us feel good. So a drinkers brain has less dopamine than a non drinkers, and our levels of serotonin and GABA go down with drinking as well. So what that tells me as a drinker was that like, I was living in a constant state of apathy, basically, my stress hormones were high, my happiness neurotransmitters were low, and when I drink, I got this like, quick burst, and then it crashed, right? And that’s what I’ve lived for. And that’s what I thought made me feel better and made me feel relaxed or made me feel like I was having more fun. Because yeah, quick surge after feeling apathetic all week will feel better. But what happens when you take a break from alcohol, it will take a few weeks for your neuro chemistry to rebalance. And it’s depending obviously, on individuals I say about four to six weeks, but it’s going to just depend, you’re going to find that those stress hormones are going to get stopped being released in such a heavy way. Your natural happiness, neurotransmitters are going to start to rebalance your receptivity to dopamine will go back up your serotonin and GABA levels will go back up. And so that’s why I came up with that word euphoric is it literally I felt such a better in a better mood, I felt so much happier with little things like taking a walk in the woods or playing with my niece or even cuddling with my dog, all of a sudden, these little moments felt so much more special, because I was really able to take them in in such a different way. So it’s so interesting that we believe alcohol makes us feel better. But it’s literally the thing that caused us to feel that stress and that worse SNESs in the first place, you know what I mean? And we don’t realize that we’re just drinking to actually take the edge off from the last time that we were drinking. Like, that’s how it’s really functioning, you know what I mean? And they actually did this study once where they put like brain nodes on participants heads to be able to measure their brainwaves, and everyone just got off work. So they were pretty stressed out. The brainwaves are kind of chaotic. And then everybody gets to his bar restaurant and orders a drink. And then all of a sudden the brainwaves relaxed, they get become these nice, smooth waves. Now, here’s the kicker, everybody ordered a drink, but didn’t get the drink yet. So the brain relaxed gesture in response to the idea that a drink was coming, which really tells me that we use alcohol and I think and believe and rituals so much, that the signal that we are about to be able to relax is what’s relaxing our brain, not the ethanol itself. So if we continue having some kind of decompression ritual, at the end of the day, our brains gonna get the same message, right, maybe it’s as simple as pouring a drink, just a different kind of drink, a mocktail or a tea or something like that, like that still tells the brain, Hey, your work is done no more checking emails, we’re gonna relax now, right. And you can still signal that. And then there’s obviously all kinds of different tools or different rituals that we can use to signal to our brain that it’s time to relax, for example, some stretching, or maybe a walk or watching the sunset or taking a bath. Like there’s so many things that we can use and teach our brain to now be the new signal, which is just so fascinating to me, because it actually works, and it’s not going to, you know, create more stress over time. 

Clint Murphy  23:55

And do you think that’s one of the reasons so if we look at the rise of mocktails, or alcohol free beers, and when you go over to Europe, there’s so many more alcohol free beers, alcohol free wines, is (1) it allows you to still take part in the rituals that your dinner mates, or people you’re out socializing with, are taking part in, which takes away that a little bit of the anxiety of being the non drinker in the group. You know, everyone’s like, Well, why are you drinking water? Cause like well, then you get into the hole, I have to explain myself. I don’t want to do this every time I go out. So you just order a non alcoholic drink? Is it part of that and then is the other part this get this ritual that signals to our brain? Let’s calm it down. We’re getting our drink. We don’t care if there’s alcohol in or not. We just want that ritual.

Karolina Rzadkowolska  24:46

Yeah. And I think that’s what’s so beautiful about this rise of the alcohol free movement is just gives us so many options, you know, at first like when I found some of these drinks, like I really needed them in the sense of like, I didn’t have to completely unravel the whole I bid, you know, it’s like I just replaced and it was so much easier. And it also made me feel like I wasn’t depriving myself like, sometimes wanting to have a drink is just a matter of wanting a treat, you know, wanting something a little special, like a little more special and elevated than a tap water. And so having like a beautiful drink and a beautiful glass at a beautiful hour, you know, still can really, really give us that sense of not only a treat, but that ritual, it calms us down. And then especially as alcohol has been used as a tool for belonging forever, you know, like, we have socialized with alcohol for a long time now. And it can often feel like if I’m going to be the one who’s not drinking, I might lose that belonging and acceptance from my peers, like it’s actually a really instinctual kind of feeling. And so, you know, with having those options socially to is just so brilliant, because it’s like everyone gets to just choose what’s going to serve them best. And it really shouldn’t matter what’s in our glass, you know what I mean? At the end of the day, it’s like, it doesn’t really matter what food we pick, usually at a restaurant. So why is our drinks matter so much as well. And I just see the rise of this industry, like it’s being really fueled by our just, I think our newfound consciousness around this area, our health, just so many things that are you know, coming out of this, giving people the option, even if they do still drink like to be like, Why should I have to drink every single time I go out. And it’s so interesting, I’ve noticed that Spain is actually one of the biggest consumers of alcohol free beverages, especially beer. And it just makes so much sense to me. Because in their culture, they usually go out almost every single day after work, and they socialize with their friends. And I just can’t imagine handling that with alcohol every day. Right? So they actually, it’s really normalized now to have alcohol free beverages instead. And this industry is growing so much like there’s so many new entrants every time there’s new, obviously, alcohol, free beers, Wine Spirits, but there’s also just these incredible new line of drinks that are not trying to mimic anything, they’re just their own new thing. And oftentimes, they’ll have like nootropics, or adaptogens in them that actually do scientifically relax you or you know, like, give you a spike of energy or something like that. So they’re more functional beverages, too. So it’s actually like really doing the thing you really want the drink to do for you. And it’s completely alcohol free, it’s not going to affect you at all the next day. And I just think that’s wonderful, because like having these options is amazing. Now, I’m five and a half years into it to this at this point, like I don’t care whether I have a special drink or water like it’s really like that that meaningless to me. But it’s so fun, I get sent these drinks a lot for free to try them for my brand and stuff. And I just think it’s brilliant that there’s just so many, like movers and shakers in that space that are really redefining our drinking culture. And I can see that it might change it really down the line that you know, when the next generation of people go to college, maybe that will be more normalized, we’re maybe going to a bar in like 20 years, we’ll see half people drinking half people drinking alcohol free drinks, and it’s not going to be like a big deal. You know what I mean? So I think right now, there’s such a high expectation to drink. And it’s like an if you don’t have a valid excuse, you better just kowtow and just drink. And it’s like even the excuses aren’t really that solid. It’s like what you can be pregnant, you could have a massive problem and have to call yourself an alcoholic. Like, really? What excuses Do we truly have in our society to say no, thank you. And I think that’s wrong, because it means that there’s always this expectation to drink. And that just without knowing everything we do about how unhealthy alcohol is for the body, for the mind for the soul, like that just doesn’t play well with me, you know. So I think these drinks are really bringing on a new culture and a new sense of inclusivity and just options for people to do whatever the hell they want, right without feeling like the pressure of expectation to drink. Plus, it’s really, really can be effective at first, anyone who’s listening who wants to take a break, but is fearful of maybe having to feel that deprivation. Don’t deprive yourself like try all the drinks, have fun, doing all the things even going to like a health food store. You don’t even have to get like an alcohol free style beverage, even a health elixir or different tonics like just have fun, there’s literally 1000s of drinks on the market. You know, you don’t have to have one with ethanol in it.

Clint Murphy  28:47

It feels to some extent that’s one of the reasons kombucha for example is just feels like it’s so much more widely drank right now is a lot of the people are using that as a non alcohol route. It does feel weird, it maybe let zoned in on this a little that it’s one of the only substances out there that says bad for you as it is and not to take away from people who are making the choice to have a drink or two. But scientifically, factually, it’s very bad for us. And at the same time making the decision not to drink it is what gets you pressured more than choosing to drink it. Almost any other substance out there that does the same things as alcohol, fatty foods, sugary drinks, smoking vaping. Like, they all are like Whoa, don’t. Don’t do that. Like that’s really bad. Yet with alcohol, it’s like well, why wouldn’t you like what? Why aren’t you having a drink? Like what’s wrong with you? Like, why is this one so flipped on its head relative to all the other things that we’re not supposed to do?

Karolina Rzadkowolska  29:54

I think it’s so brilliant to recognize and I think that too, that we have a very old fashioned paradigm sometimes on alcohol that you either drink way too much, and you cause yourself a problem, and now you have to quit drinking and poor you or your normal drinker. And I think with that paradigm, we don’t recognize also how much social conditioning goes into forming every single one of our alcohol habits. You know, none of us kind of started probably drinking in a vacuum, like we lived in a society, that glamorized alcohol that really showed us as young as young, even children that alcohol was the code to adulthood. It’s what all adults did around us, right? There’s so much like, sophistication that’s locked into alcohol, whether you’re watching a TV show, or a movie, you know, like European culture, just all this like injecting alcohol with all of these like false qualities of glamour and sophistication. There’s also so much that goes into like, as you become an adult., It’s like this code to adulthood, it’s a rite of passage that you go from non drinking to drinking at one point. And that proves that you’re cool, and that you’re a rebel and that you’re independent, or that you’re like, you know, following along, or whatever it is. So it’s just so fascinating to see that culture does demand that we drink, and what an interesting and or if not ingenious, like, marketing strategy, alcohol industry gets us to drink when we’re pretty young as a rite of passage. And then it’s ingrained into our lives for the rest of our lives. It’s like every social occasion, every one doctor in 1991, started saying that red wine is good for the heart. And all these flood studies came out after that, showing that there’s some positive correlation with alcohol and heart health. All of that has been so debunked. Now, there’s no positive correlation. Alcohol only hurts the heart over time. Like I said, it increases heart rate, cholesterol, blood pressure sags the heart over time, it is not good for the heart at all, in any sensor form. And we have so many studies now showing that, like you said, if we’re being factual, alcohol just lowers our lifespan and increases disease risk in even in the moment, like it does so many things to our body that we can be able, if we are intuitive enough to feel and to see. And so it’s just so much like we really, in the last 30 years, we’re kind of like, brainwashed into also thinking that alcohol is healthy, and that we are supposed to have a glass of red wine every single day. And so you take that, plus that social expectation that you drink every time you socialize. And we have to recognize that we all grew up in a society that highly just venerates that alcohol and expects you to be a drinker. And if you’re not drinker, well, then then something’s wrong with you, something’s bad about you, you have a problem, or you’re super religious and boring, and something like that, right? So it’s also become bad to be a non drinker in our society. So all of that conditioning, it’s like, well, what do we expect, of course, everyone’s drinking, of course, people drink more than they should. Like, that’s literally the society we’re growing up in, right. And so I think we need to recognize, too, that all of this, you know, real, just incredible consciousness and rise in studies and just knowledge that no alcohol isn’t healthy. It’s not a healthy beverage, it is truly just deteriorating from our life. And that there are so many incredible benefits to taking a break or going alcohol free, and it’s becoming more of an available option for people to really choose. You know, like, aside from a pregnancy or two, most people literally just drink their whole life without even knowing how they feel as an adult, as a non drinker. You know what I mean? I personally did not even know what my mental state and my mental mood felt like as an adult, without alcohol, because it was every week, even if I didn’t drink during the week, but at least every weekend, it was a presence. And so you know, I really like to invite people to just try to take a break from alcohol, because they literally have never even experienced that sensation in their bodies, you know, for a longer period of time, and to recognize to that, that social conditioning is literally taking the choice away from all of us, like we just were pressured into it. And then once a habit forms it comes becomes the easy thing to do. It’s not like alcohol is wrong or evil or anything like that. It’s just easy. It’s the easiest thing to choose when you’re not feeling good. It’s the easiest thing to choose. When you’re feeling a little nervous at a social event, you want to feel more confident it like bypasses you actually having to feel your feelings and have healthy coping mechanisms and really develop and search for yourself and stuff like that. And so I think it’s just fascinating that there is so much expectation to drink, and that we don’t really talk about that for the people who, you know, have grown up in the society. And I think that what happens now is that people who are electing to go alcohol free, are really the true rebels. It’s like alcohol is having a cigarette moment where cigarettes were so ingrained into our culture, even doctors recommended them. And it’s like the people now who are seeing that, wait, something’s up here. This is wrong. This isn’t making me feel good. I want to be without this. It’s kind of like really at the front of the bell curve of I think a big transformation that’s going to happen throughout all of society, because it’s just so clear now how bad alcohol is from us. And I think that we’re really just going to be shifting to just more options. And even as we just advanced as a society like in 100 years from now, I just see us being so technologically more advanced that will create something new that isn’t so toxic. Like why would we drink this crude chemical from like the 20th century that causes cancer just makes no sense to me, You know what I mean? But I think it’s like really amazing to notice that if you are interested in alcohol free life or that if you are alcohol free already or sober, curious or whatever, you’re actually a rebel of this system that literally demands that you drink and for what, so you have lower health, so you have less productivity. So you don’t feel that creativity inspiration, like who is actually served by you drinking nobody except for the alcohol industry, right. So I think it’s like a matter of like taking our power back and really the agency for our lives. And that’s why I’m so passionate about this is like, just like how you opened up. When we go alcohol free, like we take back so much of that creativity, inspiration, agency productivity, I’ve seen people achieve so many of their biggest dreams, alcohol free that doing things they never thought were possible. And so for me, it’s like a secret to unlock your deeper purpose, unlock your deeper potential and really go after what you truly want in life, not just what’s easier in the moment. And I’ve seen people just change their lives launch businesses write books, like go on to inspire their people become speakers, just phenomenal things of stepping into their full potential, that alcohol is just not allowing them to do. So again, I think like if you’re in this boat, if you’re questioning it, or you know, going down this route, like really recognize you are a rebel, it is expected that we all drink it, you are going to ruffle some feathers when you go alcohol free, because people want you to drink it makes them feel more comfortable like that, because then they don’t have to look into their own habits that way. And that you also can really see yourself as a role model and someone who might inspire other people. Because here’s a statistic, at least in the United States, and I’m pretty sure this would map across most Western countries, 52% of Americans actually wish that they drank less or not at all. So when you go out to a party, and most people are drinking, majority of people there actually wish that they weren’t drinking deep down, but they might not yet have the courage or the intuition to actually do that. So when you are the rebel that goes alcohol free and orders the mocktail like you actually are inspiring people without even knowing it. So I think that’s just a brilliant reframe to like really take on. And that yes, you are breaking a moral code and or not a moral code, but a code in some way of being a non drinker in this world. And yet, I think that’s what like free thinkers and forward thinkers have to do. Like, we have to do that. And just really not play along with this, this whole thing where we’re being boozled into drinking something that is so unhealthy, and feeling the pressure to just keep that up.

Clint Murphy  37:17

And you open the floodgates, because you brought out some statistics, I’m gonna throw two at you and let you run with the ball. So you highlighted that according to substance abuse and mental health administration, 59% of regular drinkers, misuse, alcohol, and drink way more than health guidelines recommend. And so a lot of the people that are listening are like, well, I don’t have a problem. I don’t drink that much. Yet. We actually don’t know like, what is that much? And are we over that? So that’s one thing. And the second one was, and I was blown away by this, you quoted a study by a company research by one year, no beer, down that 87 87% of people who take an extended break from alcohol, don’t go back to drinking. And what you said was what they discover on the other side is so good. They’re forever changed. So can you talk a little bit about those two statistics and how they tie into this journey into alcohol freedom?

Karolina Rzadkowolska  38:18

Yeah, of course, well, if anyone’s re evaluating the role of alcohol in their life, it can feel very scary because we have very negative associations with what that means, right? Like, we all have stereotypes in our head from movies, or from real life of like, well, I give up alcohol, that’s I’m going to be called to a word. And that means you know, I have vodka, hidden it in my office, and I got a D, why just all these really, really negative things. And no one wants to really be labeled with the problem. No one wants to adopt identity if I am a problem. And I think I love sharing that statistic to really show like, I don’t know that there’s this huge, massive group of people who have a problem with alcohol and the other people don’t, when we look at it, it’s a lot more murky, it’s a lot greater than that most people are actually over drinking, the health guidelines are actually very, very low. And the pores and the percentages of alcohol like we as a culture, are drinking too much. So it’s not like an indication of you did it wrong, you can’t handle it, you’re not in control. As a culture, we drink too much we drink above those health guidelines. And you know, in the US that’s over one drink in the candidates even lower now, right, they just changed those health guidelines to be even lower. So it’s just incredible to see that like most people do ever drink there’s nothing to be that ashamed or embarrassed about that. And that way to take it on as like a negative meaning of yourself. But I think it’s good to recognize too that drinking of even a few times a week or a few glasses a night that is too much right? That is way too much even one glass of wine, lowers our REM sleep cycles from you know, Ron five to six that we’re supposed to have the night down to just one or two. And so I think it’s just fascinating to recognize that when alcohol is lowers our longevity and pretty uses more cancer risk and is so much more entwined with negative health effects than we ever thought that it’s all okay to reevaluate that role of alcohol in our life. I think that it’s just an intuitive introspective choice to be like, I don’t want to quit forever, necessarily, but if I’ve always been drinking maybe would really lend itself to potentially take that break from alcohol. And see what I discover on the other side. It’s kind of like the apples and oranges thing. Like if I’ve just never tried it, I don’t know what I’m missing out on. So instead of thinking that you’re missing out when you don’t drink, that’s what I love that research by when you’re no beer. Imagine that you feel just healthier, happier, just so empowered to do the things you really truly want to do you really find yourself you heal yourself. You just become unstoppable. And of course, no wonder Why would something so like arbitrary and meaningless is alcohol really play into your future life when you’ve got so many bigger things to do? You know, the way I see it is what I do today, I feel so much fulfillment on a daily basis, I literally feel high every single day. And it’s just like incredible to be doing the things I’ve always wanted and dreamed about. And really knowing that I’m also making an impact. I didn’t feel like it was making an impact on my previous career. And all of that is just like, why would that little artificial buzz of alcohol ever even compared to the true meaning the true purpose, the true sense of fulfillment that I get on a daily basis. And that’s where I love guiding people, not only do I help women ditch alcohol, I help them find their deeper purpose, and unleash that special gift that they have to share with the world. And so I think that, you know, when we look at over drinking, wretched just to recognize that it’s not this black and white thing, it is literally this huge spectrum of different shades of grey and most common drinkers find themselves in that gray area. Or they’re light and occasional drinkers. Of course, there are right and there are those people who are in that white, but most people who regularly have an alcohol habit are already in that gray area. And then obviously, you can get more severe from that too. And you don’t have to wait for it to get severe in order to make a change. And maybe it will never even get that severe, maybe you really truly just are always drinking this much. But it’s only going to make you feel worse over time, it’s only going to detract it’s only going to, you know just give us that like mediocre feeling and that apathetic feeling over time. And that’s the thing, that’s to me, that’s the real reason, I think the bigger symbolism of why I love to choose being alcohol free, I don’t want to be mediocre. I don’t want to be normal. I don’t want to live a normal cookie cutter standard life, I want to live an exceptional life, I want to know that I really lived out my biggest dreams and my biggest sense of potential on this planet, like I don’t want anything to do with normal. And so I’m willing to live a lifestyle that’s a little different in order to unleash that version of me. And it’s insane how many people will notice that that’s just the one shift. Obviously, there’s a lot of work and personal development and growth that’s still involved in like going after a big life. But like the alcohol piece makes everything so much easier. It’s that one shift that like turns the engine on, and just makes it so much stronger to go for. So I love those statistics because they also make me feel like I didn’t eff up there was nothing wrong with me. I wasn’t like the one person who couldn’t handle her drinking, you know what I mean? Like that kind of like trope that we get. It really truly is more common than we think. And you know, we need to just be talking about it as a society and just have more introspection baked into our relationship with alcohol. When I work with people, I don’t ask them if they have a problem. I hate that question. Because a problem in relationship to who or what my better question to ask is, is alcohol truly making you happy? Is it helping you achieve your bigger goals and dreams? And is it aligned with your values? And I think I would have had a different answer to those questions when I was still trying to figure out my drinking than if I was just trying to figure out whether or not I had a problem.

Clint Murphy  43:50

Agreed in for a lot of people that are listening. One of the things that keeps us drinking is our limiting beliefs and what you were doing right there was you were examining your beliefs and I really loved Karolina how you ask two questions. When you’re looking at your beliefs. You say? Is this belief scientifically true? Does this belief Empower or disempower you? Can you talk a little through why those two questions and in the how the listener might use them to examine a hypothetical belief

Karolina Rzadkowolska  44:23

Of course, like we said earlier, there’s so many global beliefs around alcohol that are actually completely false. How we think it relaxes us some people think it helps us sleep like it is the worst thing to sleep you can ever take. And yet there’s 20% of people use alcohol to help them sleep right? So there’s literally things that we’ve adopted from mass culture that make us believe in properties around alcohol that are literally not scientifically true. And so I think it’s just a really and exciting part of this journey is to actually learn what alcohol is or isn’t doing and really taking kind of like a you know, looking under the hood kind of strategy to really learn about alcohol. You know, I recommend my book I have some thoughts I’ve seen statistics but another really good book is called alcohol explain that will really pare down what alcohol is or isn’t doing to your body. And you can really start to reevaluate, like if the things that I’m using alcohol for are actually effective or working, then alcohol isn’t a useful tool and your brain will stop certainly not craving it anymore for those reasons, if I’m using it as a relaxation or decompression method, but I truly learned the lesson that it’s not doing that and I can even notice that higher anxiety the next day, I’ve now slashed a big reason why my brain will wanting to drink and that desire slowly goes away as well. And so there’s a lot of different beliefs, we can go through that filter. Is it actually true or not once we learn more about the science of alcohol, but then there’s those things that seem really subjective. So for example, I’m an introvert. I grew up pretty shy. So when I started drinking as a teenager, it was the magical elixir turned me into an extrovert made me more confident, more popular, more talkative, all those things. Now that’s very subjective, obviously, is it true or is it not true? It’s maybe harder to say. But I could tell you that over the years that I was using alcohol, I didn’t actually build my confidence up if anything, I deteriorated it. I definitely embarrass myself many times, you know, even just having wine stains on my teeth. Not a cute look. But you know, there’s also the more like subconscious things of just like showing up at a party and thinking to myself, Oh, you need to go grab a drink. It was almost as if I was telling myself Hey, Karolina, you’re not good enough. Nobody actually wants to talk to you, you have nothing interesting to say, but here Have this drink, and then you’ll be better. And so I think over time, it was actually like this such a bandaid at the deeper confidence that I really, truly needed to build within. And for myself, you know, it was almost like a muscle I’d never flexed or this comfort I’d never felt in my skin because I was always using alcohol is that crutch. And at first I was a little awkward socializing without alcohol, sure, but like that was such a thrilling thing to learn through and to build that muscle and to get that confidence within my skin. So in that way, thinking that alcohol makes you more confident is actually really disempowering. Because it’s saying that you are therefore not confident, there’s nothing within you that would ever be confident, you need this outside substance to ever be able to turn that on. And so so many things like that, even if the even innocent idea of alcohol is fun, actually tells the bigger limiting belief that we believe we’re not fun on our own. That will be fun. We do not know what fun is. And that is a very limiting belief. We all had lots of fun as kids before alcohol, we played, you know, dress up, we climb trees, we went roller skating, we did all this stuff in our inventiveness. And then as adults, it’s like we turn into these passive zombies, where we just wait the for the fun to hit us with chemicals in our brain, instead of actually being an active agent and creating our fun discovering our fun, and you know, really making a meaningful life based on searching for organic joy, like what really makes me happy? And what an interesting conversation to have with yourself when you’ve used alcohol for so long as your fun. It’s like no, but what really makes me happy what really brings me joy. And I would imagine just like myself, most adults don’t even know the answer to that. And I think it’s also one of the most beautiful kind of experimentation, exploration journeys, we can go on to figure that out.

Clint Murphy  48:15

And it’s why I loved that you had this statement own your truth. Plus, except yourself plus forgive. What does that look like for you, Karolina, and what’s the importance of that formula?

Karolina Rzadkowolska  48:28

Yeah, well, as I share my story, I tried to drink less for a long time, and honestly, I technically succeeded. I drank quite a lot in college. And that’s when I had probably the most unhealthy habits with alcohol. I was just partying I didn’t have any other healthy coping mechanisms like that was just that time, obviously everyone was binge drinking. But as I got older, I really adopted that healthier lifestyle. And I really tried to compartmentalize alcohol be super healthy during the week only drink on the weekend. And so I always had this quest to drink less, you know, only the one drink only the two drinks only this kind of drink only that kind of drink. And I continually let myself down. You know, even if I had one drink more than I wanted to. I felt so much shame the next day. And sometimes I had a few more than I wanted to and I felt literally embarrassed and ashamed. And so I really took that on and really felt negative about my relationship with alcohol. I thought there’s something wrong with me. I thought that just I was the one you know, even when I felt bad the next day like maybe I would have three drinks with a friend and that same friend had three drinks. I literally imagine that they were waking up feeling great and that I was just the only one who was waking up feeling so bad because otherwise why aren’t we talking about it? You know so I really brought on this internal meaning of something is wrong with me something’s wrong with the way I can handle alcohol you know, something is just inherently wrong with my self control or whatever. And that really negatively impacted me to have this like meaning based on the ways I let myself down with alcohol means something about me. I’ve completely eradicated that. I have only love and compassion for the past version of me that like I said, grew up in a society that groomed her to drink and made it seem like This is the normal code of adulthood. And plus we’re talking about something that’s so easy to form a habit around and is addictive. So it’s like, what do you think is going to happen here, you know what I mean? So I just have so much love and compassion for that past version of me, I’ve completely detached any meaning about me. And I only see as alcohol being the problem of you know, alcohol being the one that literally creates these feelings. Even the negative feelings I had the next day weren’t really my own. It was the chemical concoction that alcohol was doing in my brain. And I’ve just detached completely from any kind of negative story that I had about myself. And I can really see it as the alcohol now, because there is none of that negative story that carried on to my life, once I ditched alcohol, you know what I mean? Like, literally, everything improved. It was never me, this is the real me, this is the most authentic, truthful version of me, when we are using alcohol as a regular part of our lives. That is what’s filtered. That is the mask that is the part that isn’t allowing us to express who we truly are. And I say that that might sound a little controversial. But if you think about it, it’s a substance that’s changing your brain. Like if someone was on a medication that was literally changing the way they think and feel, and everything that would be a like, not as an authentic version of them not to say anything’s wrong with medication, but we can just see something’s been added, something’s been changed, right. And it’s the same thing with alcohol. And so when I really came to peace with this, it’s like, I accepted all of my experiences as quite normal as quite common as quite nothing to do with me and my short fallings, but truly as a result of like growing up in a society that conditioned us to drink and all the properties of alcohol that make it what it is, and just let it go and accepted it. And that’s why I love sharing these statistics for anyone who’s carrying some of that shame. I mean, even when it’s not that bad, even if it’s not like, oh, I drink too much, and blew up the whole house party yesterday, but just like, oh, I had like a beer yesterday or two. And now I don’t feel like going on this run, that feels shameful. That does, because it’s like, you’re not abiding by your intentions. And you’re not, you’re not able to trust your words, when you said you were gonna go on the run. And we carry that we stack that on over and over and over again, we literally erode our self esteem over time, because we cannot trust our intentions anymore. And so I think it’s a beautiful thing to really D, clear that shame, forgive yourself recognize the societal forces at play and the alcohol forces at play, and see that like, Okay, well, let’s see what I’m really made of now, if alcohol is not in the way, and you will be so pleasantly surprised. 

Clint Murphy  52:25

And for me, I’ll share one of the most rewarding moments I’ve had being alcohol free. And sometimes it’s not through our own eyes, but through the eyes of the people around us. And it was a conversation with my youngest son, he’s 12. And he said, Dad, how long have you not been drinking? And at the time, I think it was somewhere around 14 months was the answer I gave him. And he said, That’s good. You’re a better dad without it. And you know, it was, it was rewarding and heartbreaking. Because that meant for 10 and a half years, I wasn’t as good as of a dad, to him and probably 13 and a half, to my older son. And it struck me as well, because it was roughly at the same age, when I was 10. My dad stopped drinking. And so I have great memories of my relationship with my dad and where he was in our lives. Because you don’t you don’t remember much before nine, but my sister who was four and a half years older than me probably doesn’t have as good of memories with him, as I did and so it just struck me. My youngest son, I stopped at that age, my father stopped at the exact age with me. And what jumped out at me was, I think it’s that without it, generally just calmer and more mindful in the one that really jumps out is presence. And you talk about how much more present we are without the alcohol, even with your trip to Japan that we talked about earlier in the conversation. Now all of a sudden, you’re seeing the temple, you’re seeing the flowers, the painting behind you, you’re seeing the cherry blossoms, you’re not just numb to it all. And so do you want to zone in a little on that presence and how impactful that is on our alcohol free journey?

Karolina Rzadkowolska  54:21

Yeah, I just want to say thank you, you know, your story gave me goosebumps. And it’s just so so special. And you know, our timing is literally perfect. Like our timing when we decide to reevaluate alcohols perfect, we couldn’t have known better before. There was nothing different to do. Literally all of that conditioning, like I talked about is so ever presents a very strong force. But when we like awaken it really is an awakening. It truly is a coming back to self and really being the best version of ourselves in so many ways. And I love that you get the evidence of that and that’s just so special. And that presence piece is huge. You know, like that, really being able to like live in our everyday moments and really appreciate the things around us, and especially from the parents I’ve worked for like worked with, it’s just the the presence that goes up. They’re not trying to hurry through the, you know the tasks of getting their kids to bed or whatever. So they can have a glass of wine, it’s like they can just truly just be there, and there is no reward they’re waiting for later. You know what I mean? It’s just that complete mindfulness. And you would almost argue that drinking is like a mindlessness, like you’re literally turning off parts of your brain, and trying to just skip through and numb and stuff like that. And so it really does change your level of appreciation of what you take in in the moment and stuff like that. And I think it’s so so beautiful, that we can notice that in our relationships, which is a really great limiting belief debunker, because a lot of us believe that not drinking will take away connection, you know, from the social piece or something or the bonding. And it’s really the opposite, I have so much more meaningful conversations with my friends. Now, there’s no more small talk or gossip, like, we really can be more vulnerable with each other, my husband and I really redeveloped our relationship together and got to know each other in such beautiful ways. It has strengthened all of my relationships, and I’m willing to be just more present for it. And I’ll share this quick story from a client. She has her father in law who’s you know, been around for years. And then this just they always drink together. And you know, he was just a constant present in her life. And when she was alcohol free, and he wasn’t drinking that night, either. He shared with her all of these stories he had from being a Vietnam War vet, and just so much incredible life wisdom, he was sharing with her and she just had this moment of like, I didn’t even know that was with him, him I didn’t even know he had so much to share. And it’s just like, for years, we had been just hanging out and glossing over everything with alcohol. And this was just such a heart to heart moment. And it was just so special for her to have that and just ingrain this idea that wow, we really can connect better with people when we are alcohol free when we are truly present in that moment. And just even that idea of presence, you know, I remember because my brain was so hijacked to think that alcohol was the ultimate pleasure source. Everything else was like a, you know, I once was going on a hike with my husband. And this was before when I was still drinking. The hike was gorgeous, you know, there was beautiful, like a babbling brook and beautiful trees and being with the person I love most in the world. And I don’t I remember how much I just wanted to get through it, I was just like, What is this hike going to be over I want to go to happy hour afterwards. It was like the hike was just a five and the happy hour was the 10. And so when you take away that alcohol and that like artificial surge of you know, like just dopamine and just this pleasure, you know, effect in our brain, it’s like all the other stuff starts to get so much more meaning like that high canal become the eighth. And I really am not rushing to try to get somewhere I’m just enjoying myself in that moment. And like, you know, that’s what the mindfulness teachers tell us like this is all we have is the now you know, there isn’t a future there is no pass, it’s just the now. And we can literally miss our entire life waiting for those future moments or rum ruminating about the past and thinking I should have done this or I should have done that are all that stuff. It’s really like, I think that taking a break from alcohol or going alcohol free is so much bigger than just the alcohol piece. It’s like a vehicle to so much expanded personal growth. And that’s why I think that anyone who decides to embark on it has literally been like handpicked by the universe to go on this incredible journey and really grow and develop themselves in ways that you know, the rewards and the miracles they don’t even know of yet, but they’re coming. And it really just does train you to be the version of yourself that you really want to show up to be in this world. And I think that’s just such a beautiful example. Because, yes, there’s all the achievements and you know, I have clients who’ve written books and lunch businesses and just all this incredible stuff. But at the end of the day, our lives, it’s like, people are gonna remember us by how that we treated them. Right, like, that’s what’s gonna matter so much. And I just love that story. Because that’s like it with itself is the biggest way I could ever hear.

Clint Murphy  58:52

I love it. And we’ve gone pretty deep and wide on parts one and two, in part three, you have an eight week roadmap to take people on their alcohol free journey to test it out if they’re interested. Do you want to talk a little bit about that section, just high level and we’ll get people to go read the book to go deep into their roadmap?

Karolina Rzadkowolska  59:12

Absolutely. And I think that as we’re speaking, you know, we’re really romanticizing taking a break from alcohol, but when you do it in a vacuum without very much mindset or growth work, it’s just it might just feel like deprivation for you. So like really having a roadmap that allows you to change your mindset and debunk some of these beliefs you have around alcohol, and really, truly, you know, do the exercises to learn what’s fun for you. And all this stuff is gonna make it a night and day difference of an experience. So definitely recommend that for you to get some guidance. And like I said, we’re like Clint said it’s in the books. So just so grab the book euphoric and you’ll have that for you. But it really helps change the mindset and it really helps you change what those desires for alcohol are. Because when you can debunk those and find no true like emotional need being met through alcohol or no true benefit or comfort or pleasure, you literally lose The desire there is no subconscious desire anymore. I don’t feel like I can’t drink or I’m not allowed to drink. I just don’t want to drink. You know what I mean? It’s such an empowering feeling. And I think that that’s where everyone needs to land if they want to be alcohol free is that it’s not something your willpower offering, or you’re feeling deprived about, we need to reverse the desire and the brain in the first place. And there’s a total scientific method you can use for that it just takes a lot of introspection. So you know, there’s weekly guidance, there’s journaling questions you can do. There’s also just a lot of tips on like, how to handle social occasions how to handle this with your partner, you know how to handle your emotions that are surging, because they’re not being numbed anymore how to redevelop a sense of fun and really like, now that you I think it is a just an awakening, now that you have this awakening, what are you going to do with it? You know, I call it like embarking on your next chapter. Like, it’s, I think Napoleon is the first one attributed to this quote, it’s choosing what you want most over what you want now. And I think that alcohol just trains us to keep choosing what we want. Now in the moment, just get me that buzz, just get me that drink, just get me that thing. And it’s like when we start choosing what we want most instead, that’s when we build the life we really want, you know, and some of that takes a little bit of discipline or some determination or all those things. But it is so gorgeous to get the rewards of the things that we actually want most loving relationship with our children, for example, maybe writing a book or for example, or expressing our creativity in a certain way, maybe helping a group of people, the things we want most are the things we want now will give us that stronger sense of fulfillment and purpose and meaning. And that’s what this is all about at the end of the day. And I think that just deciding to take a break from alcohol will grow you in so many ways that it is such a valuable experience for anyone truly obviously I’m not like a prohibitionist and saying everyone needs to quit drinking. But I really just think it’s such a valuable personal development exercise that you will find yourself so changed. And especially if you read through this book and really follow the you know, the mindset exercises and then debunking and the journaling, you’re gonna get through it in such a way to really be thriving and really, really find those deeper questions instead of just like, you know, back in back in the terminology of the old paradigm, they used to call it a dry drunk is someone who doesn’t drink, but hasn’t ever worked on themselves basically. And so I don’t really like that term, but, but in that same sense of the way, you know, you want to make sure that you are unpacking your relationship with alcohol and discovering new meanings and new beliefs and all those kinds of things. Because you could take a break for 30 days and not do any of that work. And then the moment you are allowed to drink again, you’re gonna go right back into it and it’s gonna be like you know, you can’t wait almost so this mental work is really important.

Clint Murphy  1:02:38

Love it. That’s beautiful. Karolina I’m going to share a Final Four rapid fire questions with you the these ones will be quick ones for you. What’s one book you’ve read, that’s been very influential on your life. 

Karolina Rzadkowolska  1:02:51

So many, I could only choose one. And this is the one I see coming up for my clients the most as well. It’s called The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. And it’s all about how we believe that there is a ceiling or limit to how much success love and wealth were allowed in our lives. And that we might subconsciously sabotage ourselves from ever having more and really unpacking that for ourselves. So, especially when someone goes alcohol free, and all of a sudden, everything feels really good and everything’s succeeding, you might feel like you hit that limit. And so that’s a really good book to read to be like, Why am I stopping myself? What is that about wanting to play small or not outshine others? Really good one for that.

Clint Murphy  1:03:27

I need to read that one. What’s on the shelf right now? What are you reading right now that you’re enjoying?

Karolina Rzadkowolska  1:03:32

Oh, yeah. So I am reading a book on it’s a Celtic book actually on like, the phases of the year. And I find like this time of year, I get a little bit more into more homey and old fashioned rituals of just marking the time in my life. So it’s not necessarily that personal growth oriented. I usually have a personal development book, but I love the changing of the seasons right now. So again, it’s just like that ritual mindful way of living that I’m kind of hungry for right now.

Clint Murphy  1:03:59

I love that. What’s one thing that Karolina has spent less than $1,000 on in the last 12 to 24 months that you’ve thought to yourself, Wow, I wish I bought that sooner,

Karolina Rzadkowolska  1:04:10

Less than $1,000 on you know, I will say this I went on a trip with my parents to Hawaii and I love to travel obviously. But uh, it was such a just like no brainer to just be like my parents are almost in their 80s. And you know, to just get the flight and to go over there and spend time with them and have the kind of vacation that might be a little different because we’re spending it with them versus just whatever we want to do. But like really recognizing that all of our time here so limited and the time that we have with the people we love is also limited and just to like really honor that and intentionally show up for that I will never regret that trip and I obviously hope there’s many more to come but that was really really special and actually for anyone who loves to travel but thinks it’s too expensive. There’s so many I love to like hack the travel system and find like inexpensive deals and all that kind of stuff. So there’s always really true their way. And it was it just meant everything like, to me experiences will always trump things.

Clint Murphy  1:05:05

Absolutely. And for the listeners, one of the best pieces of advice I got maybe five or six years ago was to always recognize our parents, they’re older than we think in the moment that we think it’s so if you’re able those trips to Hawaii, or whatever it is, that’s within your financial means doing it sooner than later, because there might come a time where they can’t make that trip, and they can’t go for those long walks for you. So investing in your parents is such a wonderful share. Thank you for doing that. In because this show is about growth. And what then is a habit change or a mindset shift, or behavior change that you’ve undergone in your life that’s had the most monumental impact? And I think I know what it is. But what if it’s not alcohol free? As an example? What might it be for you?

Karolina Rzadkowolska  1:05:55

Yeah, you know, I used to just believe that some people were lucky and that some people just hadn’t made and that there’s something like biologically or mentally or something wrong with me to not be able to. And I really believe in the principles of the human potential movement started kind of in the 60s with this idea that like, if one person has done something, and that is evidence that you can do it, too. There’s nothing different about you versus birth me. And so it’s really this belief system that has been ingrained as a result of going alcohol free, that literally anything is possible, and anything is possible for my life. Now, do I believe that every second of every single day, absolutely not, but that is the better, bigger worldview I have. And it’s literally caused me to take so many leaps of faith and do so many things that on the outset really scared me because it truly is I have this one life to live and I’m gonna live the extraordinary exceptional life I truly want to. And I think that belief of really recognizing we can do anything, it’s we live in a time to where literally, the things that we get to do or have or be in this lifetime are so different from what our ancestors experienced, like, I think we really need to need to recognize how truly we live in a time and place that like our ancestors suffered so much. So we could arrive here. And some of the lingering ingrained beliefs of like, you know, you have to be realistic or money doesn’t grow on trees, it actually comes from times that really weren’t our own, and that we don’t have to keep continue repeating and believing those things, really anything is possible. And for your listeners, I just want to leave this incredible movie that just shows this, it’s called a million miles away. And it’s this true story of a migrant Hispanic worker who applied to be an astronaut with NASA and failed 11 times didn’t have the traditional like schooling and or like, pilot experience that most astronauts get. But he kept trying year after year after year, just in heightening his skills, getting more scuba practice getting more flight lessons, like just going crazy for it. And he finally got accepted after year 12, which most people would never have, like tried that hard. And then a few years later, he went up to space and was the first migrant worker up in space and just completely rewrote the history for his family. And what’s possible. I love that movie, it just came out on Amazon. So check it out. I’m like getting teary eyed thinking about it. And that’s just the belief system I have now that literally anything is possible. And the difference between success and failure is just the person who wouldn’t give up.

Clint Murphy  1:08:17

And the crazy part to you sharing that is I always say on the podcast. So people have probably heard this or I do in my writing. I say, I realize I can do almost anything. And it’s quite simple. Know what you want, understand what it takes do the work day in doubt. And then I joke and I say okay, I’m probably not going to be a NASA astronaut. That might have passed me, but you just told me that that might not have passed me. So now I’m going to look into what I need to do. So I can take that one thing that I said, Okay, of all the things. That’s the one that won’t happen. Maybe that can happen. I don’t know if they’ll take someone do they take people in their 50s By the time I’m ready.

Karolina Rzadkowolska  1:09:02

50s Yeah, I mean, watch this incredible movie. I loved it.

Clint Murphy  1:09:05

I’m gonna watch this because that’s the one thing like I’m always like, I realize, to your point, I can do anything I want in this world. And then I say except be a NASA astronaut. And so maybe that’s not true. Oh, now I’m jazzed.

Karolina Rzadkowolska  1:09:19

Maybe not. And obviously, to like maybe there’s not everything we want to be doing. And that’s like beautiful focus of clarity, and you know, just really focusing on what you want. But I really truly do believe that and like with that spirit, obviously, you know, everything’s in your wheelhouse and everyone else who adopts that mentality.

Clint Murphy  1:09:36

And so we went pretty deep and wide through euphoric and tackled a number of wonderful areas. Is there anything we missed that you want to make sure the reader gets or the listener gets?

Karolina Rzadkowolska  1:09:48

Yeah, I think we’ve been saying this quite a bit. But it just, to me, this really truly is one of those switches that really does like it’s called like that domino effect. So many things line up For you to be not only a better version of yourself, but truly release and express that bigger potential that you’ve been given on this planet, I really do believe that every single one of us has a special gift and that we are, you know, just as they say that we only use like 10% of our brain or so like, we are only using 10% of our potential or so we are all capable of so much more than we could ever imagine. And it’s just incredible. To me, it’s not like even a health experiment, or, you know, let’s just take this alcohol away so we can be living more, you know, I don’t know, aesthetic lives are more discipline lives, it is the bigger picture equation of like, remove this one thing and watch it all unlocked for you watch your fuller potential come to life. And that’s why I do what I do. You know, I’ve been talking about this for five and a half years, and I’m still so passionate about it. Because maybe I’m not as passionate about explaining how to go through a craving every single time from scratch, you know, someone brand new, I like to talk about a little bit more advanced things now. And that’s why we have a certification program. We certify new coaches and help them with their businesses so that they can go and reach more people because I cannot reach you know, 7 billion people on my own. We want to have so many more thriving alcohol free change programs and coaches out there that are incredible. But to me, I’m still so passionate about this topic, because it really does in my mind is the secret to unlocking that bigger potential for you. And you don’t know what that is at first. So it’s at first it’s very much you’re doing it in faith and trust that I don’t know what’s gonna come of this, but I’m willing to try I’m willing to do something different. I’m willing to put this on for size and see what happens. And I think that level of faith is so beautiful. And you’ll just be so pleasantly surprised. And I hope you write me and like four months from now just like you know telling me all about it because you will just be so amazed. I’ve literally even heard of really light drinkers who drink like one drink a week, taking a break from alcohol and still feeling all of these incredible feelings. So it just to me, it really does prove that it doesn’t matter where you are on the spectrum of your relationship with alcohol, you will really unlock a deeper part of yourself and at first it might be those health benefits but it starts to evolve and morph more into those emotional spiritual things that we really all want in our life.

Clint Murphy  1:12:11

And where can people find you Karolina?

Karolina Rzadkowolska  1:12:14

Absolutely. So I like as we talked about today we have this beautiful book Euphoric, Ditch alcohol again, a happier, more confident you. I definitely recommend starting with that you can find it euphoric on Amazon, just type it in anywhere books are sold. You can also go to www dot euphoric book.com to get a direct link and get the book in most countries as well. And then you can find me at euphoric af.com I have my programs there to help you change your relationship with alcohol, find your deeper purpose. get certified as a coach, if you’re interested. I also host retreats around the world if you’d like to join and I’m pretty active on Instagram too. So if you want to send me a message or you know share how this episode landed for you, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me@euphoric.af

Clint Murphy  1:12:53

Love it. And we are going to end right there. Thank you for joining me on the show today. Really appreciate it.

Karolina Rzadkowolska  1:13:00

Thank you so much.

Site Design Rebecca Pollock
Site Development Alchemy + Aim