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2015

~~The most painful goodbyes are the ones not said and not explained.~~  Unknown

 

So I am not going to just disappear into the night, I am going to say that some of my most precious memories have been right here with the people who never gave up on me.  How can I say thank you enough?  How can I express my eternal gratitude?

We often speak of this site as a living, breathing community and it is.  The words on this site are brought to life by the people who surround each other with love, with compassion, and with wisdom beyond belief.  The emotions that can be felt through the blogs, the message board comments, the sweet little graphics are a testimony to those who "leave the light on".

There is talent here.....so much brilliant talent!!  Ann, Donna, Sootie....your blogs are often stunning and always, always remarkable.  Tommy, Dale, and Thomas....just as the three wise men, your guidence brings clarity and recovery to those often stumbling in the dark.  Kathy, Linda, Shawn....your glorious light shines the way for those who have lost theirs.  So many others, and please don't be offended if I didn't name you...there is not enough space or time....you mean the world to me!!

But it is time to continue my journey without the foundation of all I've grown to love here.  Sometimes spreading your wings and flying takes you further than you could go while holding on to that foundation.  I leave you with a smile and no tears because you will always reside in my heart.  Even more, several members here know how to get a hold of me so if needed :) 

And for those special exers who always bring kindness.....compassion.....and allow others to shine....Wendy, Moody, Marilyn, Ellen, Storm....there is a special place in heaven for angels like you.  Never forget the good you do!!

May you find peace and joy in your quit....may you find love and laughter in your world!!

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Walk Free

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Mar 13, 2015

~~People wait all week for Friday, all year for summer, and all life for happiness.~~  Unknown

 

The time to wait is over with.  Get out of your own way and let your spirit soar!!

It's time you know.  It's time to bury old hurts.....time to let go of past grudges.....time to release your burdens into the universe and walk free.

How glorious it is to feel part of life!!  No longer bound by the past.  No longer tied to fear.  No longer glued to addiction.

Instead you will be free.  Free to embrace all the good in your life and make that good completely normal each and every day.

Because it's there.  For you, I mean.  Life is waiting for you.  Waiting for you to say yes to it.  Waiting for you to throw your arms around life and love it.  Because it wants to love you back.  Life has so much beauty....its yours.  Life has so much kindness....its yours as well.  All the things you have been looking for your whole life is right there in front of you waiting for you to notice. 

Sounds too easy, right?  But its not.  It can be very difficult to let go of all that negativity....all that baggage...all that distress.  Because it's as normal as breathing as we've lived it so long.  It's even hard to notice anymore.....it just is.

But, my amazing friends, it's time to let it go.  Release your burdens and embrace your joys.  Treasure yourself....you''re priceless.  Treasure your joys....they are unique unto you.

Wish.  Do.

The world is waiting for you :)

Enjoy it!!  Sheri

"You are not defined by your past.  You are prepared by your past."  Unknown

 

i am so excited today!!  I passed by life coaching test and I am now a certified life coach!!  I have always wanted to get my certification!!  AND...yes, two good things in one day!!....I completed training for wraparound facilitating!  That means I am  thisclose to becoming a certified wraparound facilitator!!  My goals, my dreams, are coming true.  And I'm happy.

All I needed was time, which I have more of since I quit smoking and a belief in myself which grew tremendously since I quit smoking :-). Therefore, the logical conclusion is when you quit smoking, you can achieve your dreams and goals!

I am proof!!  This is such a good day!!  I hope yours is also full of light!  Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Icky Feelings

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Mar 10, 2015

~~The best feelings are those that don't have words to describe them.~~  Unknown

 

I always thought that this quote was true.  You know those amazing warm feelings you get when things are simply perfect, if even for a moment.  I can't describe those, but I love to feel them.

But I also have feelings that are just as hard to describe that don't feel so good.  You know....those icky little queasy feelings that nag at you like a fight with your best friend.

Those are the feelings I get when I read about another relapse here.  When someone is struggling so badly I can almost feel their pain.  When the shame, the discouragement, the fear gets so bad they either disappear for a while or they can't hear anything but their own negative thoughts.

I wish I could help.  I wish I could say more than, "Keep at it!!".  I wish I could beat back that da*n addiction until you can see the stunning light at the end of that dark tunnel.

But the most I can do is words.  Words of comfort, sometimes.  Words of hope at others.  I say them again and again just in case reading them the second time sends shivers of sudden understanding through your brain.  Because that's what you need to do.  Roll those words of knowledge, encouragement, and support you read here over and over in your brain until they actually soak in and you understand.

Those icky feelings I get happen because I so very much want each and every one of you to succeed in your quits.  You CAN do it, anyone CAN.  But I don't know why some do and some don't.  I can't read minds, I can't stalk you at home, I don't know what you are or aren't able to do.  Maybe that is part of my icky feeling....I don't know how to help you because I don't know what's wrong.

Addiction is terrible but recovery is possible.  Hope, light, joy......all waiting with bated breath to burst forth from you once you quit.  Negativity will die when left unfed.  So many little quotes that mean really nothing if you don't understand.  I don't want what I say to be meaningless.  I don't want what I feel to be for nothing.  I don't want what I know to be left misunderstood.  But smokers often aren't really learning, hearing, or feeling anything other than their addiction.

I quit.  I love my quit!  I have never been happier.  I am truly, truly blessed and I appreciate it with every single breath I take.  I simply wish for you the same freedom from nicotine.  So I will be here with my words, trying again to help you understand that you can do it, too.

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Maybe Today

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Mar 10, 2015

~~Maybe its not always about fixing something broken, maybe its about starting over and creating something better.~~  Unknown

 

When you wake in the morning, do you simply open your eyes yet sleep through your morning routine?  Or do you wake with a sense of anticipation....an awakening of the mind, the heart?  Because maybe things will be different this morning.......

Maybe this is the day when you will not miss that morning cigarette.  Maybe you will instead celebrate feeling free of your addiction just for a little while.

Maybe this is the day you will learn not to believe everything you think.  Maybe you will be more able to choose your thoughts with deliberation and care.

Maybe this is the day you will love yourself enough to treat yourself with the kindness and thoughtfulness you treat others with.  Maybe you will become your own best friend rather than your own worst enemy.

Maybe this is the day when you realize your life is full of blessings and you embrace those blessings with grace and love.  Maybe you will focus on what you have rather than what you think you need.

Maybe today is the start of something wonderful in your life.  Maybe today you will feel stronger, more courageous, better able.  Maybe today is all you ever dreamed or maybe today will be better than you ever imagined.

May today be your best day ever, my friends.  You deserve it! 

Sheri

~~Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.~~  Unknown

A quick tip for those who struggle with triggers, urges, craves....all those icky things that can take the focus away from your goal.

I work with children diagnosed with a mental illness.  I also provide wrap around services for the families as often what's going on in the home affects the children.  I have two families living together right now, which means stress is high as they fight for the bathroom, the TV remote, the last can of coke...etc.....

I had all the adults in the home identify their trigger word.  They came up with "bills", "tired", "loud"  and "stressed".  Whenever any of them said their trigger word, the whole family had to drop what they were doing and dance for one minute.  Moms, dad, all 4 children!!  They had the most fun with this :)  It not only decreased tension, but it is also teaching their brains to relax during stressful times rather than tense up.

You can do it as you struggle with your quit.  Any time you think, "Can't do this!"  or "Stress!" drop what you're doing and dance for one minute.  If you have others in your home, get them to dance, too!  I know it sounds silly but it works.

Just a thought to help......

~~To be true, you must embrace the life that's calling you and listen to the whispers in your soul.~~  Unknown

For the longest time, I wasn't.  I wasn't being true to who I was and I wasn't listening to the whispers in my soul.  Too many obligations, too much stress, too ill, too confused.....you name it, I had an excuse for it.

I look back now and just smile.  How silly I was!!  Embracing who I am has totally changed my world.  It is glorious....I am glorious!!  Happy.  Healthy.  Calm.  Serene. 

When you listen to those little whispers in your soul, you begin to move towards that light.....and that magnificant part of you that you didn't even know existed begins to emerge.  Then?  Your world turns magical....miraculous....balanced in a way you never thought possible.

There isn't a day I don't wake up and thank the good Lord for all I have.  There isn't a day I don't appreciate everything I have.  There isn't a day I don't embrace life.  All is good.

Because I am true to myself.  The life that had been calling me for so long....the life I was busy ignoring because I was too busy smoking and feeding that sick, sick addiction.  The addiction that whispers that everything in your life is impossible to handle without cigarettes.  The addiction that whispers the only way to face life is behind that cloud of poisonous smoke. 

In reality, my lovely friends, it wasn't that hard to quit.....just uncomfortable.  Unusual.  Odd.  And it took me completely out of my comfort zone into a world I didn't think I really deserved.  But I did....and I do...deserve this marvelous life.  So do you.  Take everything that is good in your world and make it even better!!  Listen to your true self...embrace that side of you that is longing to burst free and truly live!!  It is the side that loves rather than fears...that glows rather than dims....that is pure joy.  It's there, inside, just waiting.  Go ahead and nurture it, encourage it, explore it.  Its fun!!  And its so very real.

Your life is calling you....listen to the whispers in your soul.

Have a blessed evening,

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Honestly

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Mar 8, 2015

~~Be yourself.  There is something you can do better than any other.  Listen to that inward voice and bravely obey that.~~  Unknown

 

Ok, honestly?  As much as I try to give practical advice here, I just don't feel comfortable doing that.  I'm not really good at it.

I don't know if I'm making a difference just writing about being happy, positive, and joyous, but that's me.  It's what I do....it's who I am. 

I sometimes gush.  I sometimes am overly positive.  I'm often ridiculously happy.  I can't do or be or say anything I'm not.  Sorry.  Those who like it, please continue to read my words.  Those who don't, I won't be offended if you don't :)

I am bravely listening to my inward voice who says, "Be who you are....somewhat goofy, totally happy....a bit wise every other Wednesday."  Kidding, I am not wise at all! 

So next time I write....I'll probably be full of mischief....joy...laughter.  It's who I am.

~~Stop worrying about what you have to lose and start focusing on all you have to gain.~~  Unknown

 

Sometimes it helps to get it on paper.

What you have to lose by quitting:

*bad health

*smelling horrible

*isolation

*digging for change for that extra pack

*burning your clothes, your hand, your car seat.....

*active addiction

*anxiety when you need to smoke but can't

*bad skin, teeth, breath, stained fingers

Ok, I tried to come up with what we really lose....and couldn't come up with losing anything good.  And I tried!!  I tried to remember what it was like to smoke, but all the "good" feelings associated with smoking are gone for me.

What we have to gain:

*time

*money

*freedom from addiction

*taste buds working again

*smelling pretty...or at least better

*hugs and kisses from those who used to shy away from the smell

*self-respect, confidence

*better hair, skin, teeth, nails

Hmmm.......This is a great start and I could go on!!  But if you are struggling, you need to do this, not me.  Try it!!  It really, really works when you write it down.

May you all be enjoying a lovely, serene Sunday!!

Sheri

Don't know if this will work, but how about a little game about quitting?!  Fill in the blanks:

Quitting is ____________________________________.

Quitting isn't___________________________________.

 

To me, quitting is a wonderful adventure.

Quitting isn't rocket science so don't make it harder than it is.

~~Leave a little sparkle wherever you go.~~  Unknown

Some people make ordinary things extraordinary just by being themselves.  They smile often, bring happy into a room when they enter, and just shine with this invisible kind of energy.  So many of us here have that kind of positive attitude simply by quitting smoking.  Really! 

That easy?  I think so.  When you quit smoking, so many good things start glowing as the haze of smoke clears and you can see more clearly.  For me, I think it was the time I now had to do so many things I always wanted to do.  Precious time.  Full of delight, joy, and fun!!

Health also brings a type of radiant glow that warms and heals.  The tiredness I lived with for so long eased month by month after my quit.  The lack of energy....now just an icky memory.  I bounce now!!  I dance!!  My health means the world to me.

Now, I may not make ordinary things extraordinary, but my confidence in my abilities has grown tremendously since my quit.  I did it!!  And every day I don't smoke means that I am still "doing it".  I can do things I never thought possible.  How delightful a thought!!  It makes me smile just a little to know that I have abilities I never tapped into before. 

Each one of us sparkles in our own way. Our unique talents, skills, and personalities touch the world in a magical way that only we alone can do.  There is no need to hide behind smoke.  There is no need to hide behind the crutch of addiction.  Come on out.....life is fine :)  You can handle it, I promise. 

Hope you each will come to understand how extraordinary you are......

Sheri

~~Don't regret growing older.  It's a privilege denied to many.~~  Unknown

 

I love growing older!!  It's something new every day, isn't it? But this is not about me tonight!!

Don't regret growing older....some do, you know.  They want to stay young, vital.....with firm skin, healthy bodies, and sharp minds.

But...wait.  Smoking?  Say goodbye to that firm skin!!  Say adios to the healthy body.  Say ciao to the sharp mind.  Smoking kills everything you love about you.  It ages you faster than time does. 

Want to love yourself again?  Please quit smoking.  Want to stay young looking?  Please quit smoking.  Want to enjoy the privilege of growing older?  Please quit smoking.

Don't speed up the aging process.  Don't slowly kills yourself.  The thought of it.....the regrets, the weakness, the sorrow, both the physical and emotional pain.  It hurts my heart for every smoker.  Please quit.

Growing older should be graceful, beautiful, joyous, and...well....filled with all the good you feel about you.  You mean so much to your family, your friends, the world.  And there is so much of life left to be lived!!  Bucket lists, you know!!  What fun!!

Please quit smoking.  Turn your attention to all that's good about you.  All that you want to do....all that you still want to be.  Of course there is time!!  Live until life is over.  I read a quote that said, "Don't live the same year 75 times and call it life."  (Unknown)  I won't.  How about you?

Happy week-end all!!  May it be filled with warmth...if not from the sun, from your heart :)

Sheri

~~Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring....so I go back to being me.~~ Unknown

I am not normal, whatever normal may be.  I tend to wake each morning eager to grab life and dance through each day!!  I love my world!!  I am mostly happy, excited to be alive, and I try to be kind.  So when I quit smoking this last time, I knew I needed to change my approach, as what I tried before hadn't worked. Iit was time to quit MY way.

 I decided that I needed to make it.....fun!  I needed to laugh.  I needed to be me. 

So taking my quit step by step meant more than just putting one foot in front of the other. 

I hopped instead.  I walked backwards. I skipped.  I danced.

Through each step, I made my quit a little different....a little more...well....me!

Bad craving?  I blew a raspberry.  Or I sang "Eye of the Tiger".  Or I did a yoga pose.  Just because those things are things I do.  Now, I could have journaled.  I could have breathed deeply.  I could have gnawed on a straw.  But those are things I don't do, if that makes sense.

While everyone who quits needs to take things step by step, day by day, that doesn't mean that you have to do things stiff and stilted and totally not you.  Make each step, each second....you!!  If you are a belly laugher, laugh!!  If you are a goofball, be a goofball.  If you like rules, follow the rules.

Incorporate your quit into your world.  Make it a part of who you are, rather than trying to make you a "perfect quitter".  I think it works better that way :) 

And always, always love who you are.  You bring something special to the world by just being who you are...you bring something magical to this site by just being who you are.  Give yourself the gift of quitting AND the gift of loving yourself.  You are worth it :)

Sheri

~~Seek respect, not attention.  It lasts longer.~~  Unknown

 

 

Many people come here to EX, unaware of what this community is all about.  They come, they look around, read a blog or two, and then post about wanting to quit.  BAM!!!  The responses they get are overwhelming, inspiring, supporting.....and they are off.  Excited about everything, they jump in with both feet.  Blogging daily, making friends, sharing their quitting journeys.  Everything is fine until.......

They disappear.  Or they get suddenly silent.  Or they admit to a 'slip' and ask for forgiveness.  They are ashamed, embarrassed, humbled.

Please, dear quitters......please remember why you are here.  You aren't here to gain friends while losing your quit.  You aren't here to have 20 responses to your latest blog while silently craving a smoke.  You aren't here to bond with others without also learning about addiction, quitting, coping, and managing your quit.

In other words,  the support here is only as strong as the quitter being supported.  We can't read minds, we aren't your friend only when you are "doing" what you are supposed to be doing...reading Allen Carr, reading whyquit,com, blogging regularly......etc....etc....we are here to help.  First and foremost, we want you to quit.

This is not meant harshly.  This is not said in anger or judgment.  This is not everyone's opinion....only mine.  But I've lived it.  I've seen it over and over again.  And I hate the fact that being popular is sometimes more important than truly digging in and learning how to successfully quit smoking.

Numbers...quitclocks....money saved....means nothing if you don't truly "get" your quit.  I don't know how many times people say that they hate resetting their clocks.  That's not important.  Getting healthy and preventing cancer and coping with COPD......these things are what's important.

You may hate coming back here once you "slipped" because you have to 'fess up and disappoint people who believed in you.  Disappointing others who also used to smoke????  That's not important.  Because its not about what others think of you.  Its what you think of you that's important.

So please don't get so wrapped up in the comments, the clocks, the support, the friendships so that you forget why you are actually here.  You are here to quit...to strengthen your quit.....to understand, to learn, to recover.  That is what's important.  You are what's important.  Cravings come out of the blue, they say.  Not always.  Sometimes we just get too wrapped up in the community and not pay enough attention to our quits.

I love to see the numbers grow...1 week....1 month....1 year!!  Great!!!  I love to hear about your families, your jobs, your thoughts!!  You are so unique and amazing :)  I love to support.  But none of that matters if you don't quit.  As much as I will do for you if asked, I cannot quit for you.  Remember why you are here.

Ok, done now.  I hope this helps, I hope I explained myself well....I'm better at being light and happy than serious issues, but I felt this was important.

Take good care of your precious quits!! 

Sheri

~~The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.~~  C.G. Jung

 

I am happy.  Most of the time, 7 days a week, at least 12 hours a day.  No, I'm not rich.  Don't even really like money.  I'm not gorgeous.  I'm not extremely talented although I do love being creative.

I'm happy because I choose to be.  That's all.  I decided to move out of the "victim" mentality.....no more "poor me".  No more "why me?"  No more "I can't believe this is happening to me!!"

Instead, I simply change my thinking to "why not me?" and  "I can handle this" and "It'll be ok in the end."

It's all about choices, you know.  You can see things through the light of happy or you can see things...barely...through the haze of darkness.  You can feel positive or you can wallow in negative.  You can create a balance of both....the choices are endless!!

I am enjoying being who I truly am.  A positive thinker, solution oriented, bubble blowing, roller skating, dancing down aisle 8, grinning, happy person.  Love me or hate me, I'm still gonna shine :)  (I read that somewhere!)

Being positive got me through my quit with a minimum of fuss.  The hard part is totally done....but I will forever be aware that my addiction is just a puff away.  I honor my quit, honor myself, and am soooo very grateful for my smoke free life!  It is a privilege to become who I truly am.....and I am very blessed.

So, whether you are a negative nelly or a pollyanna in disguise.....celebrate you!!  Enjoy who you are and never apologize to anyone for being you!!  You are a treasure...a gift to this world...and those who love you will appreciate who you are. 

ps-I did not have a really good day today.  But a bad day does not mean a bad life and I am home with my boy and my jammies so I feel better already :)

May each of you treasure yourselves for who you really are!!  I do! 

Sheri

Dancingthrulife_6.4.13

Coming Alive

Posted by Dancingthrulife_6.4.13 Mar 1, 2015

~~Don't ask yourself what the world needs.  Ask yourself what make you come alive and then do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.~~  Unknown

 

I've never known smoking to make people come alive.  Coming alive, in fact, is what happens when you quit smoking and feel the freedom, the joy...the stunning glory of living life smoke free.

And once you quit, you begin to realize that there is nothing you can't do.  And so the goodness flows on......

I like it :)

My best to all of you here....may each of you come alive!!

Sheri