Day 340: Thanks Taylor Hunt

Butler Raines and Taylor Hunt on a beach in Costa Rica

I have been sober 340 days.

This passage from The Bhagavad Gita makes me think of Taylor Hunt.

"What the outstanding person does, others will try to do. The standards such people create will be followed by the whole world." 3.21

December 31st, 2016 was my last drink of whiskey. I wish I could say I committed to being sober the next day but I didn't. I knew I was destroying my body and my relationships. I knew I needed to stop drinking for good, but I gave myself an out. I was going to "experiment" with not drinking for 120 days.

In March 2017, I traveled to St. John for vacation. This was my first sober vacation. The friends I was with were overwhelming supportive. I brought a book I bought at my shala, "A Way from Darkness" by Taylor Hunt. It is a book about his journey in life. Every morning I read his story over breakfast highlighting all the sentences that resonated with my experience.

On vacation, I joined the Trini Foundation Instagram yoga challenge. Now, I am the last person who should be doing this. On my best day I am an awkward unathletic Southern boy doing yoga and most days more like a sweaty walrus. But maybe if I could get on his radar it would push me to commit to being sober.

Holy shit, I am one of the winners. How in the fuck did that happen? I won a workshop with Taylor. There was no way I could go to this workshop and tell this man I had started drinking again.

Eight months later I met Taylor for the first time in Atlanta. I was still sober and sharing openly about my struggles and sobriety. It was my first Ashtanga workshop. I had lived in fear I was not "good enough" to do one. I did it.

Last week I went out of country for the first time. I traveled to Costa Rica to practice with Taylor and many other amazing humans. Taylor shared that he knew of me before the yoga challenge; that my teachers cared a lot about me and had reached out to him for advice on how to help me back when I was drinking. He selected me as a winner in the the yoga challenge so I would have to meet him at a workshop.

Why one man chose to help someone he didn't know, I don't know, but I do know I want to be more like that. Time to do the yoga!

Thank you, Taylor.

"You should meditate often on the connection of all things in the universe and their relationships to each other. In a way all things are interwoven and therefore have a family feeling for each other: one thing follows another in due order through the tension of movement, the common spirit inspiring them, and the unity of all being." Meditations 6.38