I first discovered Mia's work when I renegotiated my relationship to drinking alcohol nearly two years ago. At the time, there were not too many inspiring sober voices out there, and it only took searching a key hashtag to find Mia. I was instantly captivated, and have remained so! Mia just oozes confidence, authenticity, depth, and coolness. As a newly sober person, she was the role model I needed. As I've continued following her, my admiration has only deepened. I want to be this sister's friend, and now through our shared love of breathwork am looking forward to meeting her at an upcoming training in June! Enjoy our latest in our Smoke Stories series.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your work, and where we can find you?
I am a 42-year-old NYC broad living in LA with my hubby, Joe, and fur baby, Pablo. I work as an oncology RN, and in my free time, I am an avid supporter of the Teetotaling lifestyle. I started the IG account @theSoberGlow about a year after I decided to drop my party girl persona and quit drinking for good.
Instagram was a place where I could write about the experiences and hiccups I was having as a newly sober girl. But instead of just posting the random meme here and there, I used this platform for real-life connections. I started a sober-ladies book club back in NYC and met the most incredible women. Through these meetups, I really found my passion and joy for connecting to other sober women.
By the time my husband and I moved to LA, I already had a group of women to call on, all due to my IG. I started another book club and soon after put together a women's SUP retreat down in Baja, MX. The trip turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done and experienced as a human being, so I'm doing more! This year I will be returning to Baja two more times, and I am currently scouting other locations for 2020 retreats (think winter wonderland amongst giants).
In a few weeks, I will be launching a coaching program for the gray area drinker (GAD), as well as breathwork, yoga nidra, and women's circles. I'm thrilled to be incorporating some of my favorite things into a practice that I can share with other women who are looking to uplevel their lives and in essence "get high naturally."
Where were you in life ten years ago, and did you ever see yourself where you are now?
Oh gosh, 2009. I was definitely not sober. I had just returned from several months in India where I actually did not find myself (even though this is the reason I went), but running away was the typical thing to do when life felt "off." At the time I was teaching and practicing yoga during the day and partying at night, as one does in NYC. I was always searching for the "thing" that would make everything better.
I knew that drinking was the common denominator in what was holding me back and making me feel less than stellar even though I was visibly healthy on the outside. I wanted to stop drinking, but I just didn't know anyone who was sober, and I had no point of reference for how life could be. I let this go on for years until I turned 39, when I finally quit for good.
Cut to 2019 - I live in LA with my husband, and our relationship is better than it's ever been (in 17 years). I actually do all the things I want to do (instead of just talking about them). I am surrounded by strong and supportive women who I adore. And I have both a career and a passion that remind me daily to appreciate every second of my life. They inspire me to keep choosing this sober lifestyle as the best insurance policy I can give myself and my health.
Where do you derive strength? What gives you the fortitude to keep going when the going gets tough?
I get the strength and courage to keep going from the connections I have made in my life. When people tell me that I am part of the reason why they decided to get sober and how their lives are better for it now, my heart literally bursts open. It makes all the sharing of myself and vulnerability worth it!
What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced, and how did you overcome that challenge?
Not everyone understands why I quit drinking.
On the one hand, people who know me never once thought I had a problem and were confused by me quitting. And then, on the other hand, I have people from the virtual world who challenge me when I talk about not having been physically addicted to alcohol. Which is precisely why I am focusing my work on the "gray area of drinking." I want my story to land on the women who are currently in a situation that I was once in. These are women who do not have a physical addiction to alcohol but know that it is not serving them in any way. Yet, they may not necessarily know how to make the transition to being a non-drinker or that it's even an option.
I want to help change the way a woman commonly justifies her drinking habits because life is just “not that bad” (yet).
What is an early or favorite scent memory you have? What comes to mind when you imagine your favorite scent?
I think the serendipity of this is just the sweetest. Hands down my favorite scent memory is one that happened in your hometown. Back in the spring of 2000, I took an impromptu trip to New Orleans with some friends. We were in the back garden of a pretty fancy restaurant having just finished our meals. I remember sitting there, having a fascinating conversation and the air was warm and thick, and the overwhelming scent of night blooming jasmine was utterly intoxicating. That particular time of my life is very precious to me. I was single, living on my own in NYC, and my world was full of possibilities. I will never forget that scent, but to this day I can not for the life of me remember the name of the restaurant.
Self-care: What is one non-negotiable self-care ritual that you try to regularly attend to?
I don't have kids, I have a lot of "me" time, and outside of my job, very little responsibility, so I recognize how privileged I am in having the luxury of time for a lot of self-care. If I had to choose it would be exercise and breathwork. There is nothing that makes me feel better. Journaling and meditation are also up there, but movement is key! Nothing turns it all around better than a great sweat session. I finally got myself a peloton bike (because commuting in LA to workout is just not my thing), and I am obsessed. Second favorite sweat session is my infrared sauna wrap.
Nature: We take great inspiration from travel & nature. What is the most inspiring natural place you've ever been to and why?
I've had the good fortune of traveling to many beautiful places around the world, but the most meaningful and inspiring place would have to be the Kripalu Center up in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. When I lived in NYC, I would take the bus up there as often as I could. However, the most memorable time there was the week after I decided to quit drinking. I was there alone for about 10 days, and that was the time I needed to solidify my choice to be a sober woman. Kripalu will always have my heart.
I highly recommend going there alone, it's such a beautiful place to reconnect to your "self."
What is your favorite Smoke product?
I am attracted to all of them because I love men's cologne, so the unisex factor is huge. Right now, I have been wearing the Ritual spray and the rose body oil. All of the scents are so sexy!
What is your greatest hope for the future?
To stay as healthy as possible, for as long as I can.