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Stepping Into Your Purpose with Cole Chance



In this episode, I sit down with Cole Chance, who is a yoga teacher in recovery. In this episode Cole shares her inspiring story with sobriety, recovery, and her journey stepping into her purpose as a yoga teacher. Cole currently offers yoga practices on youtube and in her membership on her website. She also runs international retreats and yoga teacher trainings.


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Follow me on Instagram @alexmcrobs and check out my offerings in yoga, meditation and coaching at http://themindfullifepractice.com/.


Transcript


Alex: Hi friend this is Alex McRobbs founder of the Mindful Life Practice and you're listening to the Sober Yoga Girl podcast. I'm a Canadian who moved across the world to the Middle East at age 23 and I never went back. I got sober in 2019 and I now live full-time in Bali, Indonesia. I've made it my mission to help other women around the world stop drinking, start yoga and change their lives through my online sober girls yoga Community. You're not alone and a sober life can be fun and fulfilling, let me show you how.


[Music]


Alex: All right, hello hello everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Sober Yoga Girl. I'm so excited to be sitting with Cole Chance today and Cole has been kind of in my spear for a while right when I moved to Bali. One of my friends actually mentioned Cole and then um someone else recently I posted something on Facebook in a Facebook group about being sober and someone commented being like do you know Cole Chance? She's a great like Sober YouTube channel and I was like oh my God this is so weird like this person keeps coming up in my life and um so I'm super excited to finally meet you after hearing your name and sort of having these Mutual Bali connections and to have the opportunity today to hear more about your story.


Cole: I'm excited to be here. Yeah, I'm glad that uh, that we synced up and yeah excited to share yeah.


Alex: So, Cole is also a traveling yoga teacher. She was sharing with me right before the episode started so she's in Colorado now but she lives in Australia and pre-covered she was traveling um from lots of different places including Bali and Guatemala and I'm also a traveling yoga teacher and so syncing up was a little bit difficult with all the time zone changes but we finally made it work and.


Cole: Yeah.


Alex: Well, how long have you been sober for?


Cole: Um Justin and I and uh just nine years last month.


Alex: Wow, congratulations.


Cole: Yeah.


Alex: Nine years, that's huge.


Cole: Yeah it really is, it feels um impossible and just right like it's it's that like Paradox of um it feels like I'm a completely different person and I'm the ex absolutely same person like all of these different you know these both and um but yeah grateful grateful for it absolutely.


Alex: So, tell me more about your life pre-sobriety?


Cole: So, I was let's see I was raised in Middle America I was born in Oklahoma um very Christian conservative Middle America and I was an only child extrovert introvert family only yes only child I mentioned and I around whenever I was like 13 and happy I had a pretty like a chill childhood played a lot of sports it was quite active and then I remember like all of a sudden feeling like there was a hierarchy like all of a sudden I began to notice that there were like cool kids and not cool kids and like all of these different um this different kind of ladder and I'd never noticed that before and it may have been an average puberty like all the hormones that come along with all of that um in hindsight I began to have I was beginning to have a social anxiety but you know it's coming about this age 13 you know 13 14. moving to like Middle School and I didn't have a word for anxiety I don't know what that meant but back then I just knew I felt very uncomfortable and I remember like not being able to speak to the people I wanted to speak to like the cool kids all of this and this really inner turmoil that I'd never experienced before so it was like all of a sudden this new in our world and I remember being at a friend's house whenever I was about 13 and drinking some peppermint schnapps in her pool on like an inner tube and I remember like spinning around in the inner tube looking up at the stars and you know the schnapps is running through my body and I was feeling so incredible and I said to myself like just I put like the hammer down to myself that this is what I want to do forever like this is it all of those little pieces that we're feeling really scattered of me of like I'm unsure I don't know what to say I don't know like all these little pieces like coalesced and I felt like more like me than I'd ever felt before like I was like bigger than my body um and what's really interesting is it's a feeling of embodiment that I originally was receiving that's that Insidious trick um and like I said I kind of like made an agreement to myself like this was the golden key I found the golden ticket and I'm gonna do this forever and that's really what I what I set out to do from there um so we began to just find like you know older brothers or sisters or you know how you do to get to get um alcohol here and there but it just became I started like thinking about it a lot and this is kind of what I wanted because it was that Sav of who I wanted to be that allowed me to be who I wanted to be but quite quickly you know enters in something that really kind of set the trajectory for me not that I wouldn't have um already I was already pretty sure I was already on that path I knew what I wanted but I started dating an older boy a cool older boy of course and um the first time we had sex I got pregnant when I was 14. So first time um last name's chance um so the whole school finds out again I'm in a conservative very conservative part of the country um I have to go you know my family finds out I wind up going and having an abortion that my father has to take me to and there's like protesters everywhere because we're in Oklahoma and I mean it was traumatizing I really don't remember that much about it I remember like a few snapshots per how dissociation goes and then they moved me schools we actually moved States after that and that was absorbed as um they were embarrassed of me that my parents were embarrassed of me and I also remember like I couldn't speak to my parents about it like I couldn't process this I like totally shut off I decided that I hated my mother I don't know how this all rationalized in my head but I decided that I hated my mother and um wouldn't really talk to my father and I kind of set out with this new label that I had created for myself of like I am bad like I'm the bad girl like this doesn't happen to anyone you know like I am this thing so we moved around for in high school for a couple times and I kept finding um trouble wherever I went because now it's kind of like I felt so shameful on the inside in hindsight I felt so shameful that uh rather than saying like fucking hurting I was like I'm choosing this like I'm doing this like I'm bad I'll show you I'm bad like this is how that I had kind of um Turned it so that it felt which which we do all the time in a million different ways of how we turn something painful into a story that feels like it's a choice and then I proceeded you know for the next 20 years to choose to really begin to kill myself not but feeling like it was a choice that I was making that I was doing this you know for fun for all of this um and fun was a big piece of it because that was the that was the that's what it was for a long time I didn't realize I was kind of running from something as well um I always I had deluded myself into things that I was running to something that I was seeking in this feeling of that being bigger in my body and I became this very um quite colorful party girl so this was then my new um costume that was more comfortable for me to wear in the world laughs hmm so I moved out of the house in high school then I'm finally on my own because you know that feeling many of us probably know that feeling of like my parents are ruining my life like as soon as I can you know get out and do this things will be good and uh you know I moved out and in a stupor I think I actually had crawled out of my parents house I had like eating a bunch of ecstasy and was somehow ended at my parents house and I couldn't get out but I remember moving out like with my bags like crawling out it was quite quite something looking back um and then I went tried to go to college didn't work because I just you know I partied the whole time and then I have a long time of just repeating this cycle of um very very heavy very heavy partying lots of um cocaine loss of ecstasy quite young so all of this started in high school um lived in a town where there was Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri if anybody knows this this is a really big party town and where people from the bigger cities would come and bring their Yachts down from like Chicago and St Louis so I was hanging out with a lot of older men with a lot of money with a lot of drugs and um I had like this a copious intake ability and because I'm hanging out with these you know again these older people I still have this hierarchy in my head of like I'm needing to fit in so I'm needing to do um I'm needing to prove myself in some way so I would do more than anybody else I would do like the biggest lines and the biggest like all of this really really odd pride in how much I could drink or how much cocaine I could do um yeah which became very very painful and quite quickly whenever I was about 20 whenever I was having adverse effects for a long time but whenever I was about 20 I was shaking in the mornings every morning and that's whenever I began to realize that if I could um just drink in the mornings then all of a sudden I found like my second Golden Ticket because I was like why am I doing this why am I feeling depressed why am I shaking why are all these things happening to me it can't be because I'm an alcoholic it can't because of this like I wouldn't my mind wouldn't even conjure that possibility but I found I started having a little bit of vodka in my orange juice in the morning and that fixed everything a little side note that I worked in a lot of um tourist towns so in the mountain towns in Colorado in um kind of Summer town so and I was bartending cocktail waitressing things like this so everybody was drinking in the morning it was really easy to hide it was really easy everyone was having mimosas everyone was having bloody marys it wasn't that big of a deal and it was once I moved out of this scenario a little bit I could hide in that I moved out of the scenario a little bit and moved to Santa Cruz which is also a big party town but it wasn't a tourist town so that it was a little bit odd that I was hiding vodka so that was the first time that I was actually hiding it before I wasn't really hiding it because everybody we were all doing it so that's one of those kind of pivotal moments threshold moments when it was like this could go one of two ways I could like dig into this issue that I'm having or I can cover it up and start hiding it so that's what I started doing is began to hide it about that age I go wind up going start going to rehabs um off and on in my 20s and kind of what happens without digging into all the stories of them kind of what happens is that I hit a threshold I go go go go go um I hit a threshold and then I I'm in a ton of pain and I want help to stop hurting and it gets to the point where I can't self-medicate like that's not helping anymore so I go to a threshold and then something happens something blows up some proverbial you know blow up and then I'll say okay I'll go to rehab but I never really wanted to get sober I wanted to find a way to do it better and I wanted to stop hurting so quite quickly after I would detox you know these things would start happening I and I would start getting my head about me I never started thinking about actually like getting sober I was maneuvering I was um strategizing of how I wasn't going to drink in the mornings or I wasn't going to I couldn't do I I'm going to have to like only do cocaine on the weekends you know all of these different ways that we make deals with ourselves and often I would like drink on the plane out of rehab like it was very very quick this identity I like couldn't lose um so this would happen several times I wind up having a grand mal seizure for from alcohol withdrawal um so I say this just because I've seen beginning to accumulate these adverse effects that really shouldn't be happening at this really young of an age I think I was 24 when I had the grand mal seizure my grandmother died I flew home for the funeral and if I think that we most of us probably all know how dangerous an alcohol withdrawal is to somebody who's highly um flooded with booze is that normally around day two or day three there's a possibility of a seizure and that's what happened because I'm trying to and I was still drinking a little bit but not very much because I was with my family and the night of my grandmother's funeral ended up in the hospital for a week with um alcohol withdrawal not with alcohol withdrawal with a seizure from alcohol withdrawal and the doctor and everybody knew that I'm an alcoholic except me and they're telling me like this is this is from alcohol withdrawal and I find this is just how deluded or how our delusion works I find like on Google that like a half of percent of people who have a grand mal seizure have it from stress and I'm like get off my back my grandmother just died like this is not from booze and then I I go back you know I go right back out to Colorado and I'm drinking on the plane and you know there it is and they're like we don't know when we'll see her again but eventually family hears from me and I need help or I need money or something horrible has happened and they have to come and Rescue Me um I've been to a Scientology Rehab on accident I've been to I've actually been it's funny because I travel all the time now that I think I've been to six rehabs and they've all been in different states so I was like on rehab tour in my 20s but again I wasn't trying to get sober I was trying to feel better and I wasn't willing to admit that I had an issue um so speeding all of this up a little bit I think it's it gets so loopy in my head towards the end I was living in Steamboat Springs Colorado and I was hitting this Brink again and often what I would try to do I was in and out of detoxes often um I would be getting I would go into detox because I need help and then I would come out because I couldn't have booze like this was this thing I was doing or they wouldn't let me have a cigarette or something like this would happen um and this would kind of happen quite regularly so I'm beginning I know now that I have an issue but I'm trying not to deal with it so sometimes I would then try to get benzodiazepines is what they would give me in the hospital to withdrawal so I decided I was going to do it at home don't recommend it so then I would just really end up mixing um Xanax and booze saying that I'm taking this so I don't withdrawal but I have to drink now because otherwise I'll have a seizure so this is a new excuse of mine that if I don't drink then I might have a seizure which is a story I would tell myself and tell other people um so is this Balancing Act this constant Balancing Act of needing it hiding it making sure where to get it making sure I have enough of it drinking with you but also drinking from the closet all the things I need in managing this addiction while having fun remember I'm having a good time this full time um it winds up blowing up I can't remember exactly what happened but Xanax and booze I finally normally kind of get me to the wall because it's really heavy heavy blackouts like it might be blacked out for a couple days and I end up family comes and does a triage they get me I wake up on in a rehab in Texas in Austin they had picked out like a year prior waiting for me again to say that I would go so I go to this three-month rehab which if anyone's going down the rehab route it is way different than a one month rehab and I did not want to be there I was a friend of mine is that was the manager of the place at the time [ __ ] I was like trying to throw a lion into a pool like I was horrible the whole time I was so angry about being there but I remember hitting that one mark that one month Mark and being like they tricked me they said it was one month and it was actually three so I was always saying I was leaving it one month and luckily I had enough wits about me at one month that I realized that I was not okay and that was more I still didn't think I wanted to get sober but I realized that my thinking was not okay because it takes a long time for our brain to begin to heal and luckily I stayed for the three months big difference still didn't get sober um I did have about about six months outside of this outside of this treatment I'm going to back up because I want to mention this yoga piece here one of the rehabs that I went to about five years prior was in sand was in Santa Cruz and this is the first time I ever did yoga this is a very important moment I was um there was this it's called the camp in Santa Cruz is where I was and there was like this beautiful Greenhouse in the Redwoods and that's where people did yoga and I remember that my room wasn't ready or something I was detoxing actually I wasn't supposed to be in there but they like let me go and lay down on a mat in this beautiful space and it was gorgeous and it was like as if there were cartoon birds chirping and like I just remember how beautiful it was and how Angelic the teacher's voice was and I reaped of that Sweet Sticky smell of detox of it coming out of my body I hated myself and I was just laying there shaking on this yoga mat and everything around me was like so perfect and I remember the teacher saying that she was a heroin addict and I remember like looking at her like I was trying to look for her addict and not believing her because she didn't look like it she didn't sound like it and I remember like not believing her um anyway I do yoga through this whole time who end up doing yoga through this whole this whole time and it really connected with me and I didn't know why um and I remember her a few things that I remember from it I remember her letting us know what nama's statement and I didn't I think I'd heard the word at the time but I wasn't really sure and the way that she said it was that my higher self sees your higher self something like this and I remember being like hmm I'm like I don't have a higher self like thinking like there's the there's the part of me that isn't this piece of [ __ ] like just that that was like huh and I always had a really hard time with higher power so this gave me some languaging to say okay maybe there's a part of me that is a little bit wise like maybe there's a part of me that isn't trying to kill me that like wants me to do well um and again that didn't happen right away but it it it absorbed so I remember leaving this treatment saying someday when I quit drinking but I'm not going to like I remember that thought like the two different thoughts like whatever you do but I'm not but maybe later um then I'm gonna look into this yoga thing and then I proceeded to be wasted by the time that somebody picked me up in Tahoe on the other end but I started going to yoga every now and again and towards the end you could ask me like how are you doing or you could say like when's the last time you've been to yoga because they would be really correlated so I started kind of living this double life like I was kind of at the yoga studio sometimes and I would like over hear people's conversations because I don't know who these people were what they were doing like I'd like didn't know this type of living so I'm like listening to like what people are eating or like do you want to go on a tea date and I'm like I've never [ __ ] been on a tea date like we could like get martinis at lunch so just all of this stuff I'm overhearing and I'm like okay I'm like buying the yoga pants and like a kind of like modeling in this way of what even this language is but eventually you know here we go here we go getting a little bit more comfortable there um so out of this last treatment in Austin I have about six months sober and this is the longest that I'd ever had sober I was living in a sober living place there in Austin didn't want to be sober but I had to at the moment like I just had to because a zillion different reasons and I wind up relapsing for the last time um I was a massage therapist at some point I went to a massage therapy school luckily and I was a massage therapist yeah and this guy one of my clients would go to this French fancy French restaurant and the guy asked me the waiter asked me would you like a Chardonnay or sauvignon blanc it was at lunch you know lunch date safe this is what he asked me if I wanted to drink and I was like sauvignon blanc and he brought that to my table and I have this uncanny ability to shut off the part of my brain that's telling me not to do something so I just like I said told it to [ __ ] off and they brought it and I took a drink and this has been about six months now and every cell in my body woke up all the way down to my toes I had butterflies all the way down to my toes my body was like [ __ ] yes my head was like oh no and I I read I went home and I did not drink anymore that day I laid on the couch and I thought about it like this for the rest of the day and in the morning I was at the liquor store right when they opened and then it was on a difference about going to a town where you went to treatment for me anyway is I went to a town I went for Rehab I didn't know anyone otherwise I only knew the recovery Community there so when I relapsed I immediately called the people who I knew who already had relapsed and they're waiting like come on it's really interesting because we co-sign on each other's you know we want to feel like whatever we're doing is okay so when we have people around us that are also doing it it makes it feel okay so I called my friends in rehab that had relapsed recently they of course came and picked me up right away and we went on a bit of a rampage for the next six months or something this lacks this month was really intense again this wasn't partying here this was addiction I mean all of it was addiction but this didn't have the illusion of the party anymore um there's so much guilt and shame now I can't drink like knowing that I am not an alcoholic that was gone a really a long time ago so there's so much guilt and shame that come along with it now and hiding so I was um and now I'm also with people who are deep in their addiction as well so condensing this it gets really hectic it gets really heavy and I start I'm trying to stop drinking and I can't me and a friend come up with a great idea, the great idea was because I used to um I don't drink on opiates because they they make me nauseous whenever I drink and I have opiates and they just make me sleepy like opiates whenever my thing but like Oxycontin and stuff like that but I'm with you know I'm with people like in their addiction so I'm with a bunch of uh people doing all kinds of things so me and my friend come up with the idea that I should do some heroin so that I'm not so I don't want to drink so this was this was our grand idea so we go and then I start I begin shooting heroin and we also then begin decide that we're mixing it with um mix it with cocaine so then all of a sudden we're like in this whole other thing um it was just it was Heavy it was heavy and it was um not there wasn't anything pretty about it there wasn't anything luxurious about it whenever I started I think I mentioned I was in these big party towns on these yachts and we were smoking cocaine we wouldn't call it crack we would be smoking cocaine and it's very um I had this picture of myself always being like like this is my Nostalgia of what my addiction was like like Carefree Fancy free so fun and in the end I'm like at a crack house on the bad side of on the on the tough side of Austin with um prostitutes around children trailer houses smoking crack shooting heroin um it was intense I recall laying on this bed laying on a bed and everybody was waiting for some dude to come back with whatever it is that we were waiting for and this house was just nasty and I remember laying there and there was a mirror on the ceiling and I was laying next to a girl I didn't know who she was but I was looking up at us laying on the bed in the ceiling she couldn't have been 16 she's probably 16. and I was like oh my God and remembering that you know me at this age at her age and it was just like such a sucker punch this didn't last very long thankfully I went into detox I had to go into once with a patient um just it was it was hectic it was almost like I was trying to again trying to make this story of like I would always do the thing that you shouldn't do or the thing that was like the most absurd like that's the thing I would do it's almost like I saw myself like living in a movie and in the in the end just to kind of cut out some of this in the end I overdosed and I was left there because that's what people do they don't want to get in trouble and I remember what I remember is I was standing up and then all of a sudden I was like I was trying to talk I was trying to say something isn't right something isn't right and my voice was coming out like wow and I just crumpled to the ground and then I woke up I don't know how long later but no one was there and I had to get across town to this room that I had rented and I remember I had to like walk out to the highway in Austin in the middle of August I-35 and I needed to get across the street to the bus station and my brain was had been electrocuted like I'd never felt anything like this before and I had to look across the street but I couldn't turn my head so I had to like turn my whole body like very slowly several times to figure out if I could like get across the street and I finally made it across the street and I made it back to this little room that I had rented across from a liquor store and I bought us bought a bunch of booze and I think I had some pills and I was going to do the only thing that I knew how to do which was to self-medicate I knew it was going to be a while and I was taking and drinking and nothing was happening and I've been in and out of treatments now and in and out of AAA and all of these things so I have all of these you know words and phrases and stuff in my mind and one thing that came to mind was I don't know if you've ever heard the phrase that someday it's just not going to work anymore and they say that in a a and I actually think what they mean is like that one day what you're doing is not going to work anymore but what I took it to mean thankfully is that one day like the booze isn't going to work anymore that's what I always thought they meant like one day like and they did mean that but not in that way they meant like it's not going to work for your life but I took it like it's not going to actually work like I'm gonna drink it and it's not going to do anything but that's what happened that day it's because I wasn't nursing a hangover like this was this was something different so I was taking the pills I was drinking the Boost nothing was happening and I like was terrified because if you know then you know your thing if it's not working if that one thing of relief that you know doesn't work you got nothing left and then I recalled something else that somebody had told me once in treatment I was asking somebody who worked there like I was like how did you do it like seriously like how did you do it like I'm flabbergasted didn't want it didn't know how to do it but I remember asking this girl and what she told me was one day you're gonna realize that you can be high or you can be happy but that they're never going to go together again so yeah you're drinking and your things was great but one day you know they're never gonna mesh and that's what I remembered and I was like oh oh I'm fucked to quit because I didn't have that's the only thing I knew

I didn't want to die I never wanted to die I've been been told that this is what was going to happen to me soon for years now but that's not what I wanted I wasn't after that and some people are some people some people are after different intentions and my intention was to live a big life and to be a big big in my life and it fucking tricked me and I call the sober living place that I had been kicked out of only a month prior because I had been I had been hiding booze around that sober living house and forgot where I'd hide them they had no reason to let me back in and they did there's many reasons why they shouldn't have let me back in normally they only take people from treatment there's all of these reasons I didn't have any money they let me in for free they had one bed in all of Austin actually there's one bed and sober living that's available for somebody with a financial aid and they gave that bed to me and they shouldn't have I'm grateful that they did but I called them and they said to come on a Wednesday first of all no one had ever told heard me ask for help because I never was I was always in the wrong place the wrong time I wasn't supposed to be in rehab I wasn't supposed to be in detox I wasn't supposed to be in silver living but this is the first time that I'd asked and she said come on Wednesday and I showed up on a Tuesday night with my bag and I said I will sleep on your couch and that was it and when I walked into that place like foreign I don't think I could have done it without that place if anybody has questions around sober living happy to talk about that I've been in many but when it's good when you need it it's I don't know if there was another way I could have done it um to have that sense of safety there where I didn't have it anywhere else right outside that door I was on my own I was making my own choices I needed that little bit of accountability and I went um to Wanderlust in Austin they had like 30 days for 30 and that's probably all the money I had I probably borrowed it I'm sure I didn't have that money um and I started going every day and I got and again I told you that I had been in and out of yoga this whole time and every time I would get to my mat it would be like I touched home base I'd be like like it was a sign of like okay oh I have this little sense of safety and it had been a long time since I've been back because this last six months have been real hectic thankfully but I made it back and I was in this class of like 50 people in the back of the room and I made it to my mat and I got in child's pose and I just like ugly cried like ugly cried in the back of the room and I was scared and I was hopeful like a little bit of Hope mainly just terrified and I just kept [ __ ] coming back I just kept coming back every day um I wind up doing my teacher training there later that year one of the first places where I openly admitted that I was an alcoholic was in my teacher training and I just kept going I just kept doing it I eventually um about a year out I started teaching in treatment centers I started volunteering at some of one of the treatment centers that I had been to as a student that I went and started teaching it and I remember the first time that I walked out of there like the dream of anybody in rehab is to get out of rehab I always was trying to like figure out how I was going to get out of rehab and then I walked in and taught a yoga class and I walked out the front door and I just like cried at the front door and I was like oh my God I just walked in and out of rehab like crazy so that is that side of the story and.


Alex: It's honestly so incredible and inspiring like how much you've overcome and how much you've been through and just the challenges you've faced and and the place you are now in your life like I'm just I'm amazed I really am.


Cole: Me too yeah me too like I mentioned earlier it is really crazy to like you know sometimes I feel like I'm telling a story about another person and then sometimes you know I just have to close my eyes for like a half a second and be like right there so we like take ourselves with us and we change so much but it's both I think that's a big piece of it of like this wholeness this whole healing game is that we aren't like I didn't cut that piece off of me like we can't do that we can't like selectively numb selectively sever ourselves but you know taking that piece taking that piece uh taking that part of me with me it's really important to remember that's still here that we change but yeah we're with ourselves


Alex: So tell me about sorry what were you gonna say?


Cole: Oh I just said it's been a trip.


Alex: So tell me about how you went from okay so you did your teacher training and then you were volunteering in rehabs and um at what point did you start to travel internationally and um start to run yoga retreats like where did that part of your yoga career build so I um funnily enough I so I started teaching in rehabs I started teaching at like you know public libraries like all of these little things that you do whenever you're first you know your first teaching and I was just getting out of sober living um I had been I had bartended for a really long time but of course you know I can't do that so I'm looking for money as I was looking big Craigslist and I found a Craigslist ad for yoga YouTube channel this is like really nobody's really not many people are doing this and I'm like ah whatever so I meet this guy and I yoga TX was the um was the channel and they were just kind of starting out and I started um filming with him really didn't you know I'm really a new teacher but for whatever reason we we start doing this and I didn't think anyone would ever watch it I just thought that I would have like some video resumes was my plan that I could like send around to some studios because my whole life all I've wanted to do was travel my whole life a little girl from Oklahoma I just wanted to travel so I'm thinking that I can you know send this resume places and get jobs in different Resorts and stuff but people started watching and it was really bizarre and I was really never nervous in front of the camera because I didn't think anyone was going to watch so that was really helpful and people started watching and like that first video that I did I think I think I it's so funny to watch back it's so cringy to watch it but it has like five million views or something on it like I don't know just just something with the algorithm um but that channel really grew yeah so that really supported um people watching my classes and so that thing is going on so some people would I'd start to kind of people would reach out every now and again about you know could you come and teach here where would where will you be or something like that but then also on the other end of that I'd mentioned that I was a massage therapist so in and out of my um my addiction I was I was holding down uh jobs either bartending or doing some massage and I did a lot of Thai massage so I was working at a spa in um in Austin and we I'd been connected with this other girl who was doing Thai massage and she a friend of a friend she needed an assistant to do a retreat in Thailand and my friend was like I know someone here meet me Cole and it's my friend Jen Hillman um who she teaches on on has a YouTube channel as well but she took me to Thailand we went to Thailand into Bali it was like a it was like a six-week time massage training and I had never been over there thank goodness I didn't get out of the country in my addiction because it would have been I would not have made it back um so we go to Thailand and we go to Bali and I am like oh my God like I am so excited my whole family everyone is terrified like that I am you know this is the perfect time for me to relapse and I'm like I don't even care like I didn't even didn't even want it like this is what I wanted and I remember when I went to Bali especially just blew me away like all these people in Ubud I'm like what are they on like and I'm there for three months and like nobody once offered me a drink I didn't have to like avoid drinking I didn't have to like say I don't drink I didn't have the dreaded words I don't drink which is was just so strange but it's true in the beginning um getting to see people living in a completely different way I was hooked I was absolutely hooked so then I go with her the next year and I begin to see I'm seeing the inner workings of retreat so I'm seeing it from the back end how this is all being set up and I'm like I can't do this so it kind of began with that and I've done a ton of Retreats now so that was probably like eight eight years ago so it started quite quickly um after Wards.


Alex: Yeah and so it's kind of like as soon as you started to step into your purpose everything just fell into place because it was exactly what you were meant to be doing.


Cole: it was Eerie in a good way but it happened very quickly it happened very quickly I started traveling a lot very very quickly like around the world Journeys within like the the second year I was also working doing yoga massage on like this giant sail ship like all these things just started like happening and I was there for it I was there for it and in a sense I always wanted this big life like I always wanted this like I've always wanted something this was filling like that for me of like realizing that I could have this like I could be big in the world and like experience culture and experience people in the different ways that people are living and cultures and smells or I could have the bottle like that was a that was like a fake big like it wasn't it wasn't real and I didn't know that this was possible and you just like you don't know what you don't know and it yeah it was just a slow opening but when it opened um I would have sold myself short if somebody would have asked me like what do you want if you could do anything you could get sober and you could have anything you wanted what would you want like I would have sold myself short I would have gave myself a bad deal compared to what I have now.


Alex: wow it's just so it's just so incredible to think about your journey the journey that you've been on and what you're doing today it's just it's amazing and so what do you have coming up soon in terms of like do you have any big yoga retreats or um things coming up in the next little while?


Cole: Yeah I have coming back to Bali soon which I'm really excited about but first in Australia so I moved to Australia I'm going to host my first Retreat there in Feb beginning of February on the first of the 5th and then I come to Bali the 13th through the 20th so I'm so excited to be back there Ubud is that's my spot. will you be there then?


Alex: uh I think I will be yeah cool I'm happy to meet up.


Cole: yeah and then I'm running emerge which I have a a eight week online um sobriety self-inquiry program it's really beautiful it's called emerge that I created a couple years ago and I run that beginning in March so that runs for two months and then I also have teacher trainings 300 hour 200 hour um later in the year in Portugal in June so I'm a bit manic I'm all over the place so um I love it I love it I love getting to share this practice um little pieces of what has supported me and get to share it with others and see how it comes alive in them like what a gift so.


Alex: and I'm wondering um if you had any advice or wisdom or maybe your younger self before you went alcohol-free um before you got sober what would your advice be?


Cole: um my younger self didn't take any advice but I think what I would really want her to know something to the sort of that you don't you don't know like leave space in your knowing like leave room for possibility I was living very small I had a very small frame of the world and what I believe to be true so I would really want I wouldn't have believed it but I would if I could Infuse something it's a different question if I could Infuse something into my younger self it would be to remember that there is something else that you don't know yet because I think that we we do it just as humans that we like to create a sense of story and a sense of ground and so we make [ __ ] up to feel like we um so they feel like we know something but as soon as we think that we know it takes away the possibility and yeah I think that's really important to leave to leave space for something of something that we don't know just counter-intuitive but very important.


Alex: I love that it reminds me of um one of the themes from my teacher um was letting go in order to receive and that idea of of Letting Go and and receiving what you received from Letting Go you often don't know what you're going to receive but.


Cole: yeah yeah leaving space leaving space leaving room I should remind myself th