Whenever I see a rainbow, I feel as if everything is possible. I feel as if I’m truly present and under the influence of joy.
When I hear or read the phrase, under the influence, I immediately think of alcohol or drug use but we can be “under the influence” in many ways. How about being under the influence of joy because of the discovery that we aren’t alone and that we’re able to become authentic and happy individuals by changing our behaviors, attitudes and perspectives?
I know this happened to me. When I discovered that there was hope for me and that in sobriety I could create a bright and happy future for myself, I was infused with joy. Moving into action feels good. Finally stepping out of the closed-minded state of denial creates a flow of dopamine – the “feel good” hormone, that builds on itself and can absolutely create an “under the influence” state of mind – one that is natural, clear, motivating, purposeful and powerful. The “pink cloud” phenomenon.
There’s one caveat – pink clouds don’t last forever and it’s difficult to predict when those happy pink clouds will disappear. It’s important to use this time carefully and wisely. Take action judiciously, always asking for and receiving feedback from partners or professionals who understand and have been through these stages of change. Take the implications of any changes into deliberate consideration so your decisions are grounded and not reactionary.
Once you feel stabilized in your sobriety, do an inventory of the values that matter to you most and move toward being in alignment with those values as you continue taking actions that will lead you forward and into emotional sobriety. If you’re interested in doing an inventory, try this Values-Based Living Self-Assessment. It’s a good first start and something you can revisit at any time, especially if you feel that you’ve become stagnant or if old mind-sets and behaviors start resurfacing.
Remember, you have the power of choice when it comes to being “under the influence.”
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”